My partner and I are planning to purchase a property in Ormskirk and are in fact using a Ormskirk conveyancing firm. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Godiva Mortgages Ltd have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our Ormskirk lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property needing a mortgage it is standard for the purchasers' solicitors 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 property lawyer should contact your mortgage company and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own Ormskirk solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
Our lawyer has identified a a legal deficiency with the lease for the flat we are buying in Ormskirk. The seller’s lawyers have offered title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our property lawyer has advised that he must be satisfied that the lender is willing to move forward with this solution. Who is the client here, us or the bank?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the risk of a conflict of interest, you and the bank are the client. Your property lawyer must comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects with the lease so that the bank can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
I am expecting a DIP from Co-operative this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we only have online calculators to go by (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc). Do Co-operative recommend any Ormskirk solicitors on the Co-operative conveyancing panel, or is it better to go independently?
You will need to appoint Ormskirk solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Co-operative conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and Co-operative through the process.
It is unclear whether my bank obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date. I have called my Ormskirk bank branch on a couple of occasions and was advised it wasn't an issue and they will lend. My Ormskirk conveyancing solicitor - who is on the mortgage company conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told they refuse to lend in accordance with their specific requirements. Who do I believe?
Your conveyancing practitioner has to comply with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook Part 2 conditions for your bank. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that the bank 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 left on the lease.
Santander have agreed my home loan in principle, my offer on a property in Ormskirk has been agreed to, what happens next?
Your property agent will need to know who your solicitors are (ensure that the conveyancing practitioners are on the lender’s approved list). Telephone Santander or the broker and finalise any relevant documentation. Santander will appoint a valuer who will get in contact with the selling agent or owners to book a time for the valuation to occur. Once carried out (assuming no problems) it takes on average a fortnight for the mortgage offer to be issued. Santander will send the offer to you and your property lawyers. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in Ormskirk.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £245,000 and found one round the corner in Ormskirk I like with a park and transport links nearby, the downside is that it only has 49 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Ormskirk in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error buying a short lease?
Should you require a home loan the shortness of the lease will likely be an issue. Discount the offer by the anticipated lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the existing owner has owned the property for at least 2 years you may ask them to start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer about this matter.
Me and my partner are buying a leasehold apartment in Ormskirk. Conveyancing estimates are coming in at around £1700. Is that reasonable?
The average fee last year for conveyancing in Ormskirk was just over one thousand four hundred and fifty pounds excluding SDLT and HMLR charges.