Me and my partner are buying a 1 bedroom flat in Thame with a mortgage. We like our Thame lawyer, but the mortgage company says he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the bank panel conveyancing practices or keep our Thame property lawyer and pay for one of their panel lawyers to represent them. This seems very unfair; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. Your mortgage offer is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’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 Thame conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
We see that you have a search directory listing firms on the HSBC conveyancing panel. Do companies pay you a referral fee if I instruct them for our conveyancing in Thame?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the HSBC conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint for your conveyancing in Thame.
My colleague advised me that where I am purchasing in Thame I should carry out a Neighbourhood, Planning and Local Amenity Search. Can you explain what the purpose of this search is?
A search of this type is sometimes included in the estimate for your Thame conveyancing searches. It is not a small report of about 40 pages, listing and setting out significant information about Thame around the property and the people living there. It includes an Aerial Photograph, Planning Applications, Land Use, Mobile Phone Masts, Rights of Way, the Thame Housing Market, Council Tax Banding, the demographics of People living in the area, the dominant type of Housing, the Average Property Price, Crime details, Thame Education with maps and statistics, Local Amenities and other useful data about Thame.
3 months have gone by following my purchase conveyancing in Thame completed. I have checked the Land Registry site which shows that I paid £150,000 when infact I paid £170,000. 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 premises 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.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Thame. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
Thame Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should consider Prior to buying
What is the name of the managing agents? What is the yearly maintenance fee and ground rent? How is the lease structured?