I am progressing with the sale of my ground floor flat in Torfaen and the estate agent has just text me to advise that the purchasers are swapping conveyancer. The excuse is that the bank will only deal with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a major lender only work with specific solicitors rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Torfaen ?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms they are content to work with, but in recent years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for more than 15 years.
Lenders justify this action to a rise in fraud by way of justification for the pruning – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Some 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. The buyers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
I'm the single recipient of my late mum's will with all property in now in my sole name, including the house in Torfaen. Conveyancing formalities meant that the Land Registry date was in January. I plan to dispose of the property. I do know about the Mortgage Lenders six month 'rule', meaning my proprietorship could be considered the same way as though I had purchased the house in January. Do I have to wait half a year to sell?
The CML handbook obliges conveyancers to: "report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months." By the strict wording you could be affected by that. How practical a view mortgage companies take of it, depend on the lender as this obligation is chiefly there to pick up on the purchase and immediately sell or the wholesaling and assigning of properties.
I have paid off my mortgage with Barclays. I assume I don't need a Torfaen solicitor on the Barclays panel to discharge the mortgage at the Land Registry. Please confirm.
If you have finished paying off your Barclays mortgage, they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the Barclays mortgage from the register. Barclays, and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
- but are not moving to another property
- where Barclays has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- Barclays has instructed the Land Registry to do so
The mortgage over my property is with Bank of Ireland for my property in Torfaen. Conveyancing has been completed 12 months ago. In the event that I decide to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform Bank of Ireland?
You must advise Bank of Ireland prior to renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Bank of Ireland’s mortgage conditions. It may be that Bank of Ireland will allow you to rent out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Bank of Ireland directly. You need not do this via a Bank of Ireland conveyancing panel firm.
Should commercial conveyancing searches disclose proposed roadworks that could impact a commercial estate in Torfaen?
Many commercial conveyancing solicitors in Torfaen will carry out a SiteSolutions Highways report as it reduces the time that conveyancers expend in investigating accurate data on highways that impact buildings and development assets in Torfaen. The report provides definitive data on the adoption status of roads, footpaths and verges, as well as the implication of traffic schemes and the rights of way surrounding a commercial development sites in Torfaen.
For every commercial conveyancing transaction in Torfaen it is critical to investigate the adoption status of roads surrounding a site. Failure to identify developments where adoption procedures have not been addressed adequately could cause delays to Torfaen commercial conveyancing transactions as well as pose a risk to future plans for the site. These searches are not conducted for residential conveyancing in Torfaen.
Do I need to be wary by estate agents that I am dealing with are suggesting a web based conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Torfaen conveyancing company?
As is the case with many professional services, often input from family and friends can be extremely useful or valuable. Nevertheless there are many people with a vested interest in a conveyancing matter; estate agents, financial adviser and lenders may put forward lawyers to choose. Sometimes the conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there exists a financial incentive behind the recommendation. You are at liberty to appoint your own conveyancer. However, bear in mind that most banks specify a panel list of solicitors you must use for the lender related work in your house move.
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Torfaen. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before my ownership?
In a situation 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. However, 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).
Torfaen Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
Who takes charge for maintaining and repairing the block? Its a good idea to discover as much as possible about the company managing the building as they will impact 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 day to day issues like the upkeep of the communal areas. You should not be afraid to ask other tenants whether they are happy with their service. Finally, be sure you understand the dates that the service charges are due to the relevant party and specifically what it includes.