My husband and I are planning to acquire a flat in Hove and are in fact using a Hove conveyancing firm. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. The Royal Bank of Scotland have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our Hove lawyer is not on their conveyancing panel. Please explain?
If you are buying a property requiring a mortgage it is conventional for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the purchaser's lender. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your bank and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the bank's conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Hove lawyers, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
Would the conveyancing practitioners that you recommend carry out auction conveyancing in Hove?
We know of a number of niche solicitors we can put you in touch with those specialising in auction conveyancing. Hove is one of our areas of in which our lawyers have a presence.
Is there a reason why leasehold purchase conveyancing in Hove costs more?
In short, leasehold conveyancing in Hove and East Sussex usually requires extra work compared to freehold conveyancing. This includes analysing the lease terms, liaising with the landlord about serving required notices, obtaining up-to-date service charge and management information, securing the freeholder’s consents and reviewing management accounts. The obligations on both the landlord and the tenant in the lease need to be studied by the buyer’s conveyancing team and read from beginning to end – regardless of the fact the lease has passed through many different property solicitors hands since it was first entered into.
We previously selected conveyancers based in Hove on the Principality solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate amount for the legal aspects of the Principality mortgage. Is this an additional conveyancing fee specified by Principality?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms of Engagement or Quote then yes your lawyer is entitled to levy a fee for this. The fee is not set by Principality but by your Hove solicitor. Some firms on the Principality panel will levy an ‘acting for lender’ fee but some firms include it on their overall fee.
My wife and I are spending time looking at flats in Hove and I am now considering a potential offer. Is it too early to have a solicitor in place? I will be getting a mortgage with Virgin Money.
It would be sensible to instigate your search sooner rather than later. After you have chosen your lawyer and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and forward their contact information on to the EA. Given that you are taking out a mortgage with Virgin Money, ask your prospective lawyers if they are on the Virgin Money conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.
I am currently in the process of buying my council flat in Hove. I have a mortgage offer with Virgin Money. Conveyancing is not something I have any knowledge of. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should use one. Any advice?
It is not advisable to proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event, if you are getting a mortgage with Virgin Money, you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Virgin Money conveyancing panel.
I have just started marketing my basement apartment in Hove. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed, but I have just received a half-yearly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is pay the invoice as usual given that all rents and service payments should be apportioned on completion, so you will be reimbursed by the purchaser for the period running from after the completion date to the subsequent invoice date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer until the service charges have been paid and are up to date, so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
I bought a 2 bed flat in Hove, conveyancing formalities finalised July 2000. How much will my lease extension cost? Equivalent properties in Hove with over 90 years remaining are worth £211,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 charged once a year. The lease runs out on 21st October 2086
You have 67 years unexpired the likely cost is going to span between £10,500 and £12,000 as well as professional fees.
The suggested premium range that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to advice on the actual costs without more detailed due diligence. Do not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional concerns that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you move forward placing reliance on this information before getting professional advice.