I am in the process of selling my flat in St George and the estate agent has just telephoned to warn that the buyers are switching solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that the lender will only work with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a major mortgage company only engage with specific law firms rather the firm that they want to select to handle their conveyancing in St George ?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms they are content to work with, but in the last few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for decades.
Lenders justify this action to a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Plenty of firms 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. Your purchasers are not going to have any impact on this.
It has been five months following my purchase conveyancing in St George took place. I have checked the Land Registry site which shows that I paid £200,000 when infact I paid £160,000. Why the discrepancy?
The price paid figure is taken from the application to register the purchase. It is the figure included in the Transfer (the legal deed which transfers the residence from one person to the other) and referred to as the 'consideration' or purchase price. You can report an error in the price paid figure using the LR online form. In most cases errors result from typos so at first glance the figure. Do report it so they can double check and advise.
How does conveyancing in St George differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build property in St George come to us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the house is completed. This is because new home sellers in St George typically purchase 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 conveyancing solicitors 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 St George or who has acted in the same development.
Due to the encouragement of my in-laws I had a survey completed on a property in St George before retaining solicitors. I have been advised that there is a flying freehold aspect to the house. Our surveyor advised that some banks will refuse to give a mortgage on such a premises.
It depends who your proposed lender is. Lloyds has different requirements for example to Nationwide. If you call us we can investigate further via the appropriate mortgage company. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in St George. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in St George to see if the conveyancing will be more expensive.
Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in St George from the perspective of expediting the sale process?
- A significant proportion of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in St George can be reduced if you get in touch lawyers the minute you market your property and ask them to put together the leasehold documentation needed by the buyers’ lawyers. If you have had conflict with your freeholder or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved before the property is marketed. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled ahead of the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You will still have to reveal particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is better to reveal the dispute as over as opposed to unsettled. If you have carried out any alterations to the premises would they have required Landlord’s permission? In particular have you laid down wooden flooring? St George leases often stipulate that internal structural changes or installing wooden flooring necessitate a licence issued by the Landlord approving such changes. Where you dont have the consents in place do not contact the landlord without contacting your solicitor in advance. The majority of landlords or managing agents in St George charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should enquire as to the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most usual cause of delay in leasehold conveyancing in St George. You may think that you are aware of the number of years remaining on your lease but it would be wise to verify this via your lawyers. A buyer’s lawyer will not be happy to advise their client to proceed with the purchase of a leasehold property the lease term is under 80 years. In the circumstances it is important at an as soon as possible that you identify whether the lease requires a lease extension. If it does, contact your solicitors before you put your property on the market for sale.
Leasehold Conveyancing in St George - Sample of Questions you should ask before Purchasing
What restrictions exist in the St George Lease? The answer will be useful as a) areas could result in problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate where services remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will wish to have all the details