I am nearing exchange of contracts for my flat in Lydney and the estate agent has just called to warn that the buyers are appointing a new conveyancer. The reason given is that the bank will only work with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only engage with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Lydney ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms that can represent them, but in recent years big names such as Yorkshire Building Society, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for over 25 years.
Mortgage companies blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to monitor. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Some 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 buyers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
My wife and I are nearing an exchange on a house in Lydney and my mum and dad have transferred the ten percent deposit to my lawyer. I am now told that as the deposit has not come from me my property lawyer needs to make a notification to my mortgage company. Apparently, in also acting for the lender he must inform them that the balance of the purchase price is coming from anyone other than me. I informed the lender regarding my parents' contribution when I applied for the home loan, so is it really necessary for him to raise this?
Your conveyancer is legally required to clarify with lender to make sure that they know that the balance of the purchase price is not from your own resources. The solicitor can only disclose this to your mortgage company if you permit them to, failing which, your lawyer must cease to continue acting.
I am the only beneficiary of my late father’s will with all property in now in my sole name, including the my former home in Lydney. Conveyancing formalities meant that the Land Registry date was in April. I now wish to sell up. I do know about the Mortgage Lenders 6 month 'rule', meaning my property ownership will be regarded the same way as if I'd bought the property in April. Is the property unsalable for six months?
The CML handbook mandates solicitors to: "report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months." Technically you could be impacted by that. many mortgage companies would take a practical view as this obligation is principally there to capture the purchase and immediately sell or the quick reselling of property.
It is unclear whether my lender requires a lease extension. I have telephoned my Lydney bank branch on various occasions and was told it does not affect the mortgage offer and they will lend. My Lydney conveyancing solicitor - who is on the lender conveyancing panel- called to say that they refuse to lend in accordance with their published requirements. Who do I believe?
Your conveyancer has to comply with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook Part 2 requirements for your bank. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that the mortgage company will go ahead, your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask the bank to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the number of years remaining.
My sealed bid on a semi in Lydney has been agreed to, the sellers do nevertheless have a connected purchase. The owners have offered on a property, but it’s not yet agreed to, and have viewings of other apartments booked. I have chosen a nearby conveyancing solicitor in Lydney. What do I do now? When do I get the mortgage application with Virgin Money going?
It is understandable to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (home loan application is in the region of £1k, then valuation, Lydney conveyancing search fees, etc). First, you must ensure that your solicitor is on the Virgin Money conveyancing panel. Regarding the subsequent steps this very much depends on the circumstances of your transaction, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a buoyant market the majority of home buyers will apply for a home loan with Virgin Money and arrange for the valuation and only if it was satisfactory would they ask their lawyer to press on with the conveyancing in Lydney.
How does conveyancing in Lydney differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build premises in Lydney contact us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is finished. This is because house builders in Lydney tend to buy the land, 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 property lawyers 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 Lydney or who has acted in the same development.
I've recently bought a leasehold flat in Lydney. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
In a situation where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. However, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
Leasehold Conveyancing in Lydney - Sample of Questions you should consider before buying
Who is in charge of the block? Is the freehold owned collectively by the tenants? Best to be warned if fixing the lift or some other significant cost is coming up that will be shared amongst the leaseholders and will dramatically impact the level of the service charges or result in a specific payment.