I am progressing with the sale of my maisonette in Rochester and the estate agent has just called to advise that the purchasers are swapping conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that the mortgage company will only deal with property lawyers on their approved list. Why would a leading lender only work with specific lawyers rather the firm that they want to select to handle their conveyancing in Rochester ?
UK lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the last few years big names such as Nationwide, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for over 25 years.
Lending institutions attribute this action to a rise in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – 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 claims that it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Some are unaware that they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. The purchasers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
I am buying a terraced house in Rochester. Can I do my own conveyancing?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing in Rochester you will have to appoint a solicitor on your lender's conveyancing panel to look after their interests. Most people therefore find it easier to let the solicitor act for them and the lender. Furthermore there is minimal cost savings to be made in you doing conveyancing for yourself and another lawyer conducting the conveyancing for the lender. Please feel free to use the search tool to find a lawyer on your lender panel in Rochester.
How does conveyancing in Rochester differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build premises in Rochester come to us having been asked by the seller to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is finished. This is because new home sellers in Rochester tend to buy the site, 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 accustomed to new build conveyancing in Rochester or who has acted in the same development.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £245,000 and identified one close by in Rochester I like with open areas and railway links in the vicinity, however it's only got 52 remaining years left on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Rochester in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake buying a lease with such few years left?
Should you need a mortgage that many years will likely be problematic. Discount the price by the anticipated lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current proprietor has owned the premises for a minimum of 2 years you could request that they start the process of the extension and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer concerning this matter.
Last October I purchased a leasehold flat in Rochester. Am I liable to pay 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. A critical element of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure 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 Rochester - Examples of Queries Prior to Purchasing
Does the lease have onerous restrictions? The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this situation the tenants enjoy control and even though a managing agent is usually retained if it is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent is directed by the tenants. The answer will be important as a) areas could cause problems for the block as the common areas may start to deteriorate if repairs remain unpaid b) if the leaseholders have an issue with the running of the building you will want to have full disclosure