I am five weeks into the sale of my house in Kent and the EA has just text me to advise that the purchasers are swapping solicitor. The excuse is that the mortgage company will only work with property lawyers on their approved list. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only engage with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to appoint for their conveyancing in Kent ?
UK lenders have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the last few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for more than 25 years.
Banks point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the cull – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Plenty of firms do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
Various internet forums that I have come across warn that are the primary cause of delay in Kent house deals. Is there any truth in this?
The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) published conclusions of a review by MoveWithUs that conveyancing searches do not feature within the most frequent causes of delays in the conveyancing process. Searches are not likely to be the root cause of holding up conveyancing in Kent.
I opted to have a survey carried out on a house in Kent ahead of retaining solicitors. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold aspect to the property. Our surveyor advised that some banks tend refuse to issue a mortgage on such a property.
It depends who your proposed lender is. Santander has different instructions from Halifax. If you e-mail us we can investigate further with the relevant mortgage company. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are used to dealing with flying freeholds in Kent. Conveyancing will be smoother if you use a solicitor in Kent especially if they are familiar with such properties in Kent.
I have been recommended by numerous property agents in Kent to find a solicitor using your seach tool. What’s the financial incentive for Estate Agents to offer your site over another?
We don’t make any referral fee for pointing buyers and sellers to this site. We found it would be just too difficult to pay a commission as a client could think, ‘How come the agent getting a kickback? Why aren’t I getting any benefit too?’ So we decided to step away from that.
We expect to complete the disposal of our £400,000 maisonette in Kent on Monday in a week. The freeholder has quoted £300 for Landlord’s certificate, building insurance schedule and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a leasehold conveyance in Kent?
Kent conveyancing on leasehold flats normally necessitates the purchaser’s lawyer sending enquiries for the landlord to answer. Although the landlord is not legally bound to respond to these enquiries the majority will be content to assist. They are entitled to levy a reasonable charge for responding to questions or supplying documentation. There is no set fee. The average fee for the paperwork that you are referring to is over three hundred pounds, in some transactions it exceeds £800. The management information fee required by the landlord must be accompanied by a synopsis of rights and obligations in relation to administration charges, otherwise the charge is technically not due. In reality one has little option but to pay whatever is requested of you if you want to sell the property.
I invested in buying a ground floor flat in Kent, conveyancing was carried out February 1995. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Comparable properties in Kent with an extended lease are worth £175,000. The ground rent is £65 charged once a year. The lease terminates on 21st October 2078
With just 58 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to range between £23,800 and £27,400 as well as legals.
The figure above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure without more detailed investigations. You should not use this information in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and you obviously should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information before getting professional advice.