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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Portslade

I have 7378 less than 75 years left on my lease and require a lease extension for my apartment in Portslade. Conveyancing solicitors on the Nationwide Building Society panel can deal with such extensions correct?

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 6/10/2022 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)
- Any lease which is subject to a Ground Rent (or Annual Rent) being charged which is more than on a peppercorn basis
- Any lease which is subject to a Ground Rent (or Annual Rent) being charged which is more than on a peppercorn basis

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- 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
- A lease subject to a peppercorn Ground Rent (Annual Rent) charges

For the avoidance of doubt, any New Build properties completed but not sold pre-30 June 2022 will only be acceptable if the Lease conforms to the above guidance.

* 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.

Lease Extensions

We require all Lease Extensions to be completed under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 and to meet the above criteria as a minimum. Where you become aware that it does not meet these requirements, please refer to Issuing Office.

A friend advised me that where I am purchasing in Portslade I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. Can you explain what the purpose of this search is?

This is a search is occasionally included in the estimate for your Portslade conveyancing searches. It is a large report of about 40 pages, listing and detailing important information about Portslade around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Portslade Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the demographics of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime statistics, Portslade Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful data concerning Portslade.

Due to the encouragement of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a house in Portslade in advance of instructing lawyers. I have been advised that there is a flying freehold element to the property. The surveyor advised that some mortgage companies will refuse to issue a mortgage on this type of house.

It depends who your proposed lender is. HSBC has different instructions from Nationwide. If you e-mail us we can investigate further via the relevant bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can help as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in Portslade. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in Portslade to see if the conveyancing will be more expensive.

Am I right to be concerned by estate agents that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use a factory type conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Portslade conveyancing company?

As with many service providers, often input from connections can be most helpful. Nevertheless there are lots of players in a conveyancing deal; estate agents, financial adviser and mortgage companies may suggest solicitors to instruct. On occasion these solicitors might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there behind the scenes financial incentive behind the recommendation. You have the discretion to select your preferred conveyancer. You need to be aware that many lenders specify a panel list of law firms you have to use for the lender related work in your transaction.

In scouring the world wide web for the words on line conveyancing in Portslade it shows results of numerous conveyancersin the area. How do I determine which is the suitable solicitor for purchase transaction?

The preferential way of choosing a suitable conveyancer is via trusted recommendation, so seek the opinion of colleagues and relatives who have acquired a property in Portslade or a reputable estate agent or mortgage broker. Costs for conveyancing in Portslade differ, so it's a good idea to secure a minimum of three fee estimates from varying types of property lawyers. Dont forget to clarify what costs in the quote includes.

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Find out more about how flying freehold can affect your the value of a property.