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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Lozells

I am progressing with the sale of my apartment in Lozells and the estate agent has just telephoned to say that the buyers are changing their property lawyer. The excuse is that the lender will only deal 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 select to handle their conveyancing in Lozells ?

UK lenders have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the last few years big names such as Nationwide, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for more than 15 years.

Banks point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the pruning – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. Banks tend not to disclose how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says 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. The buyers are not going to have any impact on this.

In what way does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in Lozells? What am I being asked for?

Lozells conveyancing solicitors as well as nationwide property lawyers throughout the UK have a duty under money laundering regulations to check the ID of any client with a view to satisfy themselves that clients are who they say they are.

Conveyancing clients will need to supply two forms of certified ID; proof of ID (typically a Passport or Driving Licence) and evidence of address (usually a Bank Statement less than 3 months old).

Confirmation of the origin of funds is also necessary under the money laundering laws as solicitors are duty bound to check that the money you are using to acquire a property (whether it be the deposit for exchange or the full purchase amount where you are a cash purchaser) has come from a reputable source (such as employment savings) rather than the fruits of criminal behaviour.

About to place an offer on a leasehold flat in Lozells. The selling agents advise that it is standard for flats in Lozells to have less than 75 years left on the lease. I am getting a loan with Nationwide Building Society. Will the property be mortgageable given that the lease has 72 years left.

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are obtaining a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. Nationwide Building Society have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 18/7/2021 the requirements read as follows :

- Our minimum unexpired lease term is 55 years.
- There must be at least 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term (regardless of the length of lease at the start).

Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 55 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period is less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 55 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial, etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined)
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house (does not apply to Shared Ownership)
- Starting Ground Rent greater than 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to every 5 years
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Ground Rent is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent is linked to the value of the building*
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than 5 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years.

I purchased a semi-detached Victorian house in Lozells. Conveyancing lawyer represented me and Leeds Building Society. I did a free Land Registry search last week and I saw a couple of entries: the first freehold, the second leasehold under the matching address. Is it worth asking Leeds Building Society to clarify?

You need to assess the Freehold register you have again and check the Charges Register for mention of a lease. The best way to be sure that you are also the registered proprietor of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Lozells and other locations in the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they mortgage they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with lenders. You can also question the position with the conveyancing practitioner who carried out the work.

Our conveyancer has advised that he intends to complete and exchange simultaneously on our sale of a £325,000 garden flat in Lozells in just under a week. The managing agents has quoted £360 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and previous years statements of service charge. Is the landlord entitled to charge exorbitant fees for a leasehold conveyance in Lozells?

For the majority of leasehold sales in Lozells conveyancing will involve, questions about the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    Addressing pre-contract questions Where consent is required before sale in Lozells Supplying insurance information Deeds of covenant upon sale Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Lozells leasehold premises is £350. For Lozells conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

I invested in buying a basement flat in Lozells, conveyancing having been completed November 2006. Can you let me have an estimate of the premium that my landlord can legally expect in return for granting a renewal of my lease? Comparable flats in Lozells with a long lease are worth £265,000. The ground rent is £50 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2097

With only 76 years remaining on your lease we estimate the price of your lease extension to be between £8,600 and £9,800 plus professional fees.

The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for renewing a lease, but we are not able to supply a more accurate figure in the absence of detailed due diligence. Do not use the figures in a Notice of Claim or as an informal offer. There are no doubt additional issues that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. Neither should you take any other action based on this information without first getting professional advice.

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