We are intending to acquire a 2 bedroom flat in Toton with a mortgage. We have a Toton lawyer, but the bank advise he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the bank panel firms or continue with our Toton conveyancing practitioner as well as pay for one of their panel firms to represent them. This seems very unfair; can we not require that the bank use our Toton lawyer ?
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 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 Toton conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
My partner and I have recently purchased a house in Toton. We have since encountered a number of problems with the property which we believe were omitted in the conveyancing searches. Do we have any recourse? Can you clarify the type of searches that should have been carried out for conveyancing in Toton?
The question is vague as to the nature of the problems and if they are unique to conveyancing in Toton. Conveyancing searches and investigations initiated as part of the legal transfer of property are supposed to help avoid problems. As part of the legal transfer of property, a seller answers a questionnaire referred to as a Seller’s Property Information Form. If the information ends up being misleading, you may have a misrepresentation claim against the owner for any losses that you have suffered. The survey should have identified any problems with the structure of the property. Assuming a detailed survey was carried out and the issues were not identified, you may have a claim against the surveyor. However, if you did not have a full survey, you may be responsible for fixing any defects that have now been noted. We would always encourage buyers to take every possible step to ensure they are completely aware of the condition of a property before purchase regardless of whether they are buying in Toton.
My wife and I have a terraced Victorian house in Toton. Conveyancing practitioner represented me and Platform Home Loans Ltd. I did a free Land Registry search last week and there are a couple of entries: one for freehold, the second leasehold under the exact same address. I thought I was buying a freehold how can I check?
You need to assess the Freehold register you have again and check the Charges Register as there may be mention of a lease. The best way to be sure that you are also the registered owner of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Toton and other areas of the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they sell they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with buyers. You can also question the position with your conveyancing practitioner who conducted the work.
How does conveyancing in Toton differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in Toton contact us having been asked by the seller to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the residence is ready to move into. This is because builders in Toton tend to acquire the land, 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 conveyancing solicitors 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 Toton or who has acted in the same development.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Toton conveyancing practice to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
When appointing a property lawyer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Toton conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We advise that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Toton conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. The following questions might be of use:
How many lease extensions have they completed in Toton in the last year?
Toton Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
Best to be warned if window replacement or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared by the leaseholders and could well dramatically impact the level of the service charges or result in a specific invoice. What restrictions exist in the Toton Lease?