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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Rocester

My partner and I intend to remortgage our maisonette in Rocester with Kent Reliance. We have a son 19 who lives with us. Our solicitor requested us to identify anyone over the age of 17 other than ourselves who lives in the flat. The solicitor has now sent a form for our son to sign, waiving any legal rights in the event that the apartment is forfeited by the lender. I have two questions (1) Is this form unique to the Kent Reliance conveyancing panel as he never had to sign this form when we purchased 5 years ago (2) In signing this form is our son in any way compromising his right to inherit the property?

First, rest assured that your Kent Reliance conveyancing panel solicitor is doing the right thing as it is established procedure for any occupier who is aged 17 or over to sign the necessary Consent Form, which is purely to state that any rights he has in the property are postponed and secondary to Kent Reliance. This is solely used to protect Kent Reliance if the property were re-possessed so that in such circumstances, your son would be legally obliged to leave. It does not impact your son’s right to inherit the apartment. Please note that if your son were to inherit and the mortgage in favour of Kent Reliance had not been discharged, he would be liable to take over the loan or pay it off, but other than that, there is nothing stopping him from keeping the property in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy.

Why do I have to pay up front for my conveyancing in Rocester?

Where you are retaining lawyers for conveyancing in Rocester your lawyer will request that you to provide them with funds to cover the the cost of the conveyancing searches. This will be the total of the cost of the Local Authority Search. When the deposit is payable against the total price then this will be needed shortly prior to contracts are exchanged. The final balance that is due should be transferred shortly before completion.

I have 70 years unexpired on my lease and require a lease extension for my apartment in Rocester. Conveyancing solicitors on the Nationwide Building Society panel can deal with such extensions right?

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 23/7/2019 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).

Ground Rents and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us for Valuer consideration. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term <55 years
- <30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent >0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles <every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years)
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period ≤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 >0.1% and ≤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 >5 and <10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial, etc
- Estate Rent Charges >£500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges >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 >85 years
- Ground Rent ≤0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period ≥10 years
- Ground Rent escalation ≤RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined)
- Unexpired lease term <125 years on a new build flat or <250 years on a new build house (does not apply to Shared Ownership)
- Starting Ground Rent >0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period ≤ 5 years
- Ground Rent doubles < every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years)
- 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 >£500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges >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 ≥125 years on a new build flat or ≥250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent ≤0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period >5 years
- Ground Rent escalation ≤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

Should I be wary that third parties that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use an internet conveyancing firm as opposed to a local Rocester conveyancing company?

As with lots of service providers, often suggestions from connections can be most helpful. Nevertheless there are many players in a conveyancing transaction; estate agents, mortgage brokers and banks might all suggest conveyancers to retain. On occasion these conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as being good in their field, but occasionally there behind the scenes financial incentive behind the recommendation. You have the right to select your own conveyancer. However, bear in mind that many lenders operate an approved list of solicitors you have to use for the mortgage related work in your home move.

The conveyancers handling our conveyancing in Rocester has forwarded papers to review that state the property is unregistered with epitome documents. Is it not the case that all houses in Rocester are registered?

Although the vast majorities of properties in Rocester are now registered with the Land Registry there are still a few that remain unregistered. Any property in Rocester that has been purchased since the late 1980’s will have been registered at the Land Registry under the compulsory ‘first registration’ scheme. However, if a Rocester property has not changed hands in that time then it’s likely the old fashioned title deeds will be the only evidence of ownership.Many Rocester conveyancing solicitors will be familiar with such matters but where uncertainty prevails the prevailing advice these days seems to be for the seller to undertake the registration formalities first and thereafter deal with the disposal - this will have a domino effect to cause a significant delay.

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