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Find a London Conveyancing Solictior on Your Lender’s Panel

Ready to buy a new home in London? Failing to check that a lawyer is on your lender’s list of approved solicitors can put your London home move at risk of delay or failure.

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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in London

Will my conveyancing lawyers need to check that the building insurance for my purchase of a house in London. My lender is Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook. As of 29/10/2020, the requirements read as follows :

My partner and I are selling our house in London and the buyers lawyers are claiming that there is a possibility that the property was constructed land that was not decontaminated. Any high street London lawyer would know this is not the case. For the life of me I don't know why the purchasers are using a national conveyancing practice as opposed to a conveyancing solicitor in London. We have lived in London for 4 years we know that this is a non issue. Should we get in touch with our local Authority to obtain clarification need.

It would appear that you have a conveyancing firm already. Are they able to advise? You need to check with your lawyer before you do anything. It is very possible that once the local authority has been informed of a potential issue it cannot be insured against (a bit like being diagnosed with a serious illness and then taking out life insurance to cover that same ailment)

Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly picked up as part of conveyancing in London?

Covenants that are restrictive in nature can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the legal transfer of property in London. An 1874 stipulation that was seen was ‘The houses to be erected on the estate are each to be of a uniform elevation in accordance with the drawings to be prepared or approved by the vendor’s surveyor…’

How does conveyancing in London differ for new build properties?

Most buyers of new build residence in London contact us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is completed. This is because new home sellers in London usually purchase the real estate, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct conveyancing solicitors as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are used to new build conveyancing in London or who has acted in the same development.

Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in London from the point of view of expediting the sale process?

  • A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in London can be bypassed where you appoint lawyers the minute you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers’ lawyers.
  • If you have the benefit of shareholding in the Management Company, you should make sure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming formality and delays many a London conveyancing deal. If a duplicate share is required, you should approach the company director and secretary or managing agents (where applicable) for this sooner rather than later. The majority of freeholders or managing agents in London charge for providing management packs for a leasehold home. You or your lawyers should discover the fee that they propose to charge. The management information sought as soon as you have a buyer, thus reducing delays. The typical amount of time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most common cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in London. Some London leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers put in hand bank and professional references. The bank reference should make it clear that the buyer is able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.

After months of negotiations we simply can't agree with our landlord on how much the lease extension should cost for our flat in London. Can we issue an application to the Residential Property Tribunal Service?

Absolutely. We can put you in touch with a London conveyancing firm who can help.

An example of a Freehold Enfranchisement case for a London premises is 20 Avonwick Road in July 2013. The Tribunal was dealing with an application under Section 26 of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 for a determination of the freehold value of the property. It was concluded that the price to be paid was Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy (£15,970) divided as to £8,200 for Flat 20 and £7,770 for Flat 20A This case related to 1 flat. The remaining number of years on the lease was 73.26 years.

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