We are buying a 1 bedroom flat in Totnes with a mortgage. We like our Totnes lawyer, but the lender says she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have no option but to use one of the bank panel firms or continue with our Totnes lawyer as well as pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. We regard this is unjust; can we not require that the bank use our Totnes conveyancing practitioner ?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you 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 Totnes conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
Would the conveyancing practitioners that you recommend carry out right to buy conveyancing in Totnes?
We work with a number of conveyancing firms carrying out right to buy conveyancing work You should contact us with a view to get a costs calculation.
Can you explain why leasehold purchase conveyancing in Totnes costs more?
In short, leasehold conveyancing in Totnes and elsewhere usually requires extra work compared to freehold conveyancing. This includes analysing the lease terms, corresponding with the landlord about the service of required notices, securing current service charge and management information, obtaining the freeholder’s consents and reviewing management accounts. The obligations on both the landlord and the tenant in the lease need to be studied by the buyer’s conveyancing team and read from beginning to end – no matter how many different leaseholders have owned the lease since it was first granted.
If you had a top tip for selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Totnes what would it be?
Do not opt for the cheapest Totnes conveyancing fees. You really do get what you’re paying for when it comes to conveyancing solicitors. A cheap quote may mean that the conveyancing solicitor is handling a lot of jobs at one time and you won’t get the quality of service and the attention that you need. It is, however, wise to use a conveyancer who has a fixed fee on a no sale, no fee basis. This way, you go into the conveyancing with your eyes wide open.
The mortgage over my property is with TSB for my property in Totnes. Conveyancing has been completed some time ago. In the event that I decide to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform TSB?
You must advise TSB prior to letting out your property as this is likely to be a breach of TSB’s mortgage conditions. It may be that TSB 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 TSB directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a TSB conveyancing panel solicitor.
Skipton have agreed my mortgage in principle, my offer on a property in Totnes has been accepted, what happens next?
Your property agent will want to know who your solicitors are (ensure that the lawyers are on the bank’s panel). Contact Skipton or the broker and finish off any outstanding paperwork. Skipton will sellect a valuer who will get in touch with the selling agent or vendor to schedule a slot for the valuation to happen. Once carried out (assuming no problems) it takes on average ten days for the mortgage offer to be issued. Skipton will send the offer to you and your conveyancing practitioners. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in Totnes.
I have justbeen informed that Wolstenholmes have closed. They conducted my conveyancing in Totnes for a purchase of a leasehold apartment 10 months ago. How can I establish that the property is not still registered in the name of the former proprietor?
The easiest way to check if the property is in your name, you can make a search of the land registry (£3.00). You can either do this yourself or ask a law firm to do this for you. If you are not registered you can seek help from one of a number of Totnes conveyancing specialists.