My partner and I are planning to buy a property in Totnes and are in fact using a Totnes conveyancing firm. Within the past 48 hours our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. The Mortgage Works have this evening contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Totnes conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. Please explain?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is normal for the purchasers' solicitors to also represent the purchaser's lender. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the bank's conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Totnes lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
The owners of the home we are looking to purchase have instructed a conveyancing firm in Totnes who has recommended a preliminary agreement with a non-refundable deposit two thousand pounds. Are such contracts recommended for Totnes conveyancing transactions?
There are a couple of main drawbacks with signing a lock out agreement (sometimes known as a no-shop agreement) is that it takes away the focus from progressing with the conveyancing process, so unless it requires limited or no negotiation then it could turn out to be a cause of frustration and delay. It is not particularly popular amongst Totnes conveyancing practitioners as a result. A further issue is the extent of the remedies available - an aggrieved buyer is not likely to be issued with an injunction to prohibit the owner selling to an alternative purchaser, so the only remedy available under the contract will be the reimbursement of abortive charges and, in limited circumstances, the additional payment of damages.
How does conveyancing in Totnes differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build residence in Totnes approach us having been asked by the builder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is completed. This is because new home sellers in Totnes typically buy 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 property lawyers 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 used to new build conveyancing in Totnes or who has acted in the same development.
Over the last few months I have been searching for a flat up to £245,000 and found one near me in Totnes I like with open areas and station in the vicinity, however it only has 61 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Totnes suitable, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error purchasing a lease with such few years left?
Should you need a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term will be an issue. Discount the offer by the anticipated lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the existing owner has owned the property for at least 2 years you could request that they commence the lease extension formalities 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 consult your conveyancing solicitor regarding this.
Back In 2002, I bought a leasehold house in Totnes. Conveyancing and Virgin Money mortgage went though with no issue. I have received a letter from someone saying they have taken over the reversionary interest in the property. Attached was a ground rent demand for rent dating back to 1992. The conveyancing solicitor in Totnes who acted for me is not around. Do I pay?
First make enquiries of the Land Registry to make sure that this person is in fact the new freeholder. There is no need to incur the fees of a Totnes conveyancing solicitor to do this as it can be done on-line for £3. Rest assured that regardless, even if this is the legitimate landlord, under the Limitation Act 1980 the limitation period for recovery of ground rent is six years.
Totnes Leasehold Conveyancing - Examples of Queries before buying
This information is useful as a) areas may result in problems for the block as the communal areas may start to deteriorate if repairs remain unpaid b) if the leasehold owners have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have complete disclosure How many years are left on the lease? Be sure to find out if the the lease includes any unreasonable restrictions in the lease. For instance it is reasonably common in Totnes leases that pets are not permitted in in a block in Totnes. If you like the propertyin Totnes however your cat is not allowed to live with you then you will be presented with a difficult compromise.