We are purchasing a 2 bedroom apartment in St Annes Park with a mortgage. We have a St Annes Park conveyancer, but the bank advise she’s not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the bank panel solicitors or continue with our St Annes Park lawyer as well as pay for one of their panel firms to represent them. We regard this is inequitable; is there anything we can do?
Unfortunately,no. Your mortgage offer is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the bank’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your St Annes Park conveyancing solicitor to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
I am due to exchange contracts on my flat. I had a double glazing fitted in April 2007, but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My purchaser’s lender, Coventry BS are being pedantic. The St Annes Park solicitor who is on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel is happy to accept ‘lack of building regulation’ insurance but Coventry BS are requiring a building regulation certificate. Why do Coventry BS have a conveyancing panel if they don't accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that Coventry BS have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why Coventry BS may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing was correctly and safely installed. The indemnity insurance merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.
I've read lots of mortgage guides, I note that they all recommend that you should get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my local St Annes Park solicitor - who is on the Barclays conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
Barclays will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Barclays 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. Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by your St Annes Park postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Barclays, you could contact them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors in St Annes Park.
Nationwide have agreed my home loan in principle, my bid on a apartment in St Annes Park has been accepted, what are the next steps?
Your property agent will need to be informed of your conveyancer's details (ensure that the solicitors are on the bank’s approved list). Contact Nationwide or your broker and finish off any outstanding paperwork. Nationwide will instruct a valuer who will get in contact with the selling agent or owners to schedule an appointment. Once conducted (assuming no problems) it takes about a week for the mortgage offer to be issued. Nationwide will send the offer to you and your property lawyers. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in St Annes Park.
I am downsizing from our home in St Annes Park and according to the buyers it appears that there is a risk of it being constructed land that was not decontaminated. A local conveyancer would know that there is no such problem. For the life of me I don't know why the buyers are using a nationwide conveyancing practice as opposed to a conveyancing solicitor in St Annes Park. Having lived in St Annes Park for three years we know that this is a non issue. Should we contact our local Authority to obtain confirmation that there is no issue.
It would appear that you have a conveyancing solicitor already. Are they able to advise? You must 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)
Should I be concerned by estate agents that I am dealing with are recommending a nationwide conveyancing firm rather than a local St Annes Park conveyancing company?
As with many professional services, often referrals from family and friends can be worth their weight in gold. Nevertheless there are numerous people with a keen interest in a conveyancing matter; estate agents, mortgage brokers and mortgage companies may recommend lawyers to instruct. Sometimes these conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there might be a commercial relationship behind the recommendation. You are free to select your preferred conveyancer. You need to be aware that some mortgage providers specify a panel list of conveyancers you are obliged to use for the lender aspect of your home move.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in St Annes Park from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St Annes Park can be avoided where you get in touch lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors. If you hold a share in a the freehold, you should ensure that you are holding the original share certificate. Arranging a re-issued share certificate is often a lengthy process and slows down many a St Annes Park conveyancing deal. Where a duplicate share is required, do contact the company director and secretary or managing agents (where relevant) for this at the earliest opportunity. You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be advisable verify this via your conveyancers. A buyer’s conveyancer will be unlikely to recommend their client to where the lease term is less than 80 years. It is therefore important at an early stage that you identify whether the lease term for your property needs extending. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your home on the market for sale. In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s consent? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? Most leases in St Annes Park state that internal structural changes or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord consenting to such changes. Should you fail to have the consents in place you should not communicate with the landlord without checking with your lawyer in advance. If you have had any disputes with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are settled before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be nervous about purchasing a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You may have to bite the bullet and discharge any arrears of service charge or resolve the dispute prior to the buyers completing the purchase. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
St Annes Park Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - A selection of Questions you should consider before buying
Many St Annes Park leasehold properties will incur a service charge for maintenance of the block levied on behalf of the landlord. Should you buy the property you will have to pay this charge, usually quarterly throughout the year. This can vary from two or three hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for blocks with lifts and large communal areas. There will also be a rentcharge for you to pay annual, this is usually not a large amount, say approximately £25-£75 but you should to check as sometimes it could be surprisingly expensive. Is there a share of the freehold? You will want to discover as much as possible concerning the company managing the building as they will affect your use and enjoyment of the property. Being a leasehold owner you will be in the clutches of the managing agents from a financial perspective and when it comes to practical matters such as the upkeep of the communal areas. Ask prospective neighbours if they are happy with their service. In conclusion, be sure you understand the dates that the service charges are due to the appropriate party and precisely what you get for your money.