My wife and I changing mortgage lender for our maisonette in Somerset with Leeds Building Society. We have a son 19 who lives with us. Our solicitor requested us to identify any adults other than ourselves who lives in the flat. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, giving up any rights in the event that the property is forfeited by the lender. I have two concerns (1) Is this document specific to the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we remortgaged 3 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this extinguish his rights to inherit the property?
On the face of it your lawyer has done nothing wrong 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 Leeds Building Society. This is solely used to protect Leeds Building Society 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 Leeds Building Society 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.
I am close to exchanging contracts on the sale of our house in Somerset and according to the buyers it appears that there is a risk of it being built land that was not decontaminated. Any local lawyer would know this is not the case. It does beg the question why the purchasers are using a nationwide conveyancing firm rather than a conveyancing solicitor in Somerset. We have lived in Somerset for many years we know of no issue. Do we get in touch with our local Authority to obtain confirmation that there is no issue.
It sounds as though you may have a conveyancing firm already. Are they able to advise? You should enquire of your lawyer before you do anything. It is very possible that once the local authority has been informed of a potential issue it cannot be insured against (a bit like being diagnosed with a serious illness and then taking out health insurance to cover that same sickness)
The deeds to my house can not be found. The solicitors who handled the conveyancing in Somerset 4 years ago no longer exist. What are my options?
As long as the title is registered the details of your ownership will be documented by the Land Registry with a Title Number. It is easy to carry out a search at the Land Registry, find your house and obtain current copies of the Registered Entries for a small fee. If the property is Leasehold then the Land Registry will also normally retain a file copy of the Registered Lease and again, a copy can be ordered for a small fee.
I've recently found out that there is a flying freehold element on a house I put an offer in two weeks back in what was supposed to be a simple, no chain conveyancing. Somerset is where the house is located. Can you shed any light on this issue?
Flying freeholds in Somerset are not the norm but are more likely to exist in relation to terraced houses. Even though you don't necessarily need a conveyancing solicitor in Somerset you must be sure that your lawyer goes through the deeds diligently. Your bank may require your conveyancing solicitor to take out an indemnity policy. Some of the more diligent conveyancing solicitors in Somerset may determine that this is not enough and that the deeds be re-written to give you the most up to date legal protection. If so, the next door neighbour also had to sign up to the revised deeds.It is possible that your lender will not accept the situation so the sooner you find out the better. You should also check with your insurance broker as to whether they will insure a flying freehold residence.
What advice can you give us when it comes to choosing a Somerset conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a solicitor for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Somerset conveyancing practice) it is essential that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of work. We recommend that you speak with several firms including non Somerset conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then so much the better. The following questions could be of use:
What volume of lease extensions has the firm completed in Somerset in the last 12 months?
I bought a studio flat in Somerset, conveyancing having been completed in 2008. Can you give me give me an indication of the likely cost of a lease extension? Equivalent flats in Somerset with over 90 years remaining are worth £260,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £45 invoiced every year. The lease finishes on 21st October 2093
With just 75 years remaining on your lease the likely cost is going to span between £8,600 and £9,800 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The suggested premium range above a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we are not able to provide the actual costs in the absence of detailed due diligence. You should not use this information in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be taken into account and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not move forward based on this information without first seeking the advice of a professional.