I own a freehold premises in Smethwick yet pay rent, why is this and what is this?
It’s unusual for properties in Smethwick and has limited impact for conveyancing in Smethwick but some freehold properties in England (particularly common in North West England) pay an annual sum known as a Chief Rent or a Rentcharge to a third party who has no other legal interest in the land.
Rentcharge payments are usually between £2.00 and £5.00 per year. Rentcharges have existed for hundreds of years, but the Rent Charge Act 1977 barred the generation of fresh rentcharges from 1977 onwards.
Old rentcharges can now be redeemed by making a one off payment under the Act. Any rentcharges that are still in existence in 2037 is to be extinguished.
Do I have to attend the offices of the solicitor to sign the mortgage deed? If so, I will instruct a firm who offer conveyancing in Smethwick so that I can pop in to their offices if required.
Whereas this was necessary twenty years ago, most mortgage companies no longer require their conveyancing panel lawyer to witness the mortgagors signature. It will still be necessary for you to supply identification documents and there are still distinct benefits to instructing a locally based ayer, in your case a conveyancing solicitor in Smethwick.
I am expecting a OIP from Santander this week so we know how much we could potentially offer as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc). Do Santander recommend any Smethwick solicitors on the Santander conveyancing panel, or is it better to go independently?
You will need to appoint Smethwick solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Santander conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and Santander through the process.
I have today made my last payment due on my mortgage with Skipton. I assume I don't need a Smethwick property lawyer on the Skipton panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your Skipton mortgage, they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the Skipton mortgage from the register. Skipton, and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
- but are not moving to another property
- where Skipton has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- Skipton has instructed the Land Registry to do so
Having digested plenty of house buying guides, I note that they all recommend that you should get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my local Smethwick solicitor - who is on the Yorkshire BS conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Yorkshire BS will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Yorkshire BS will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey. You may wish to consider appointing your own Smethwick surveyor to carry out a survey or prepare a home buyers report on the property. It is up to you to satisfy yourself that the property is structurally sound before you buy it. If the survey or report reveals that building work is needed, you should tell your solicitor. You may wish to renegotiate with the seller.
How does conveyancing in Smethwick differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Smethwick approach us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the house is finished. This is because developers in Smethwick usually purchase the real estate, 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 conveyancers 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 Smethwick or who has acted in the same development.
I need to instruct a conveyancing lawyer in Smethwick for my home move. Is it possible to check a solicitor's complaints history with the profession’s regulator?
You can review published Solicitor Regulator Association (SRA) decisions arising from investigations commenced on or after 1 January 2008. Go to Check a solicitor's record. To find records about the period before 1 January 2008, or to check a firm's history, phone 0870 606 2555, 08.00 - 18.00 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 09.30 - 18.00 Tuesday. International callers, dial +44 (0)121 329 6800. The regulator sometimes recorded call for training purposes.