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Find a Sunderland Conveyancing Solictior on Your Lender’s Panel

Ready to buy a new home in Sunderland? Failing to check that a lawyer is on your lender’s list of approved solicitors can put your Sunderland conveyancing at risk of delay or failure.

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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Sunderland

My husband and I intend to purchase a newly converted apartment in Sunderland with a residential mortgage from National Westminster Bank.We have a Sunderland conveyancing practitioner but National Westminster Bank informed us she’s not on their "panel". We have to appoint a National Westminster Bank panel firm or retain our high street solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to act for them. This seems very unfair; Can we not simply insist that National Westminster Bank use our lawyer?

No, not really. The loan offered to you contains various provisions, a common one being that lawyers needs to be on the National Westminster Bank conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of solicitors 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. Another option that might be available is for your lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for National Westminster Bank

The estate agent has sent us the confirmation of our purchase of a new build flat in Sunderland. Conveyancing is necessary evil at the best of times but I have never purchased a new build flat before. Can you give me some examples of some of the questions asked in new build conveyancing.

Set out below are examples of a few leasehold new build enquiries that you can expect your new-build leasehold conveyancing in Sunderland

    Where service of notices and proceedings can be at the property demised please confirm that this can be amended to include simultaneous services at the Lessees’ solicitors’ offices where the Lessee from time to time is not resident in the UK - such solicitors may be varied by notice in writing to the Landlord from time to time but otherwise will be as previously specified. Please provide evidence that the form of Lease proposed has been approved by the Land Registry. The Lease must contain a provision on behalf of the Vendor to pay the service charges in respect of unoccupied units in order to ensure that all services can be provided. Where there is an Undertaking being granted there is the risk of forfeiture of the Headlease subject to relief if one or more of the Underlessees are willing to accept the original Head Lessee’s obligations as otherwise relief will be denied to the Underlessees. The only alternatives are the Head Lessor agreeing not to forfeit the Headlease or the Head Lessee guaranteeing to the Underlessees that it will not be in breach of the Headlease.

I have been on the look out for a flat up to £305k and identified one close by in Sunderland I like with open areas and station in the vicinity, the downside is that it only has 61 years unexpired on the lease. There is not much else in Sunderland in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake buying a lease with such few years left?

If you require a mortgage the shortness of the lease will be a potential deal breaker. Reduce the price by the anticipated lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the existing proprietor has owned the premises for at least 2 years you can request that they start the process of the extension and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer regarding this matter.

I am looking for a conveyancing solicitor in Sunderland for my remortgage. Is it possible to review a firm’s complaints history with the legal regulator?

Anyone may see published Solicitor Regulator Association (SRA) determinations resulting from investigations from 2008 onwards. Go to Check a solicitor's record. For records Pre 2008, or to check a solicitors record, phone 0870 606 2555, 08.00 - 18.00 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 09.30 - 18.00 Tuesday. International callers, call +44 (0)121 329 6800. The regulator may recorded call for training reasons.

I am tempted by the attractive purchase price for a two apartments in Sunderland both have approximately forty five years remaining on the leases. Do I need to be concerned?

A lease is a legal document that entitles you to use the premises for a prescribed time frame. As the lease shortens the saleability of the lease reduces and it becomes more costly to acquire a lease extension. For this reason it is often a good idea to extend the lease term. More often than not it is difficulties arise selling premises with a short lease as mortgage lenders may be unwilling to lend money on properties of this type. Lease extension can be a protracted process. We recommend you get professional assistance from a conveyancer and surveyor with experience in this arena.

Leasehold Conveyancing in Sunderland - Examples of Questions you should ask before buying

    Most Sunderland leasehold properties will have a service charge for the upkeep of the building set by the management company. Should you purchase the apartment you will have to pay this charge, usually quarterly during the year. This could differ from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds for buildings with lifts and large communal areas. In all likelihood there will be a ground rent to be met annual, ordinarily this is not a large figure, say about £50-£100 but you need to check as occasionally it can be surprisingly expensive. Where a Sunderland lease has no more than 80 years it will impact the salability of the apartment. Check with your bank that they are content with the length of the lease. A short lease means that you will probably require a lease extension at some point and it is worth finding out how much this would cost. Remember, in most cases you would need to own the residence for two years before you are legally able to extend the lease. This question is useful as a) areas can cause problems for the block as the communal areas may start to deteriorate where services remain unpaid b) if the tenants have an issue with the running of the building you will wish to know about it

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