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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Victoria Dock

Why do I have to pay up front when it comes to conveyancing in Victoria Dock?

If you are buying a property in Victoria Dock your lawyer will ask you place them with monies to cover the search fees. This will be the total of the cost of the Local Authority Search. When the down payment is payable against the total price then this will be required immediately ahead of exchange of contracts. Any further balance that is needed should be sent to your lawyer a few days ahead of the completion date.

I am about to put an offer on a leasehold property in Victoria Dock. The selling agents tell me that it is standard for flats in Victoria Dock to have less than 75 years left on the lease. I am expecting a loan with Nationwide Building Society. Will the property be mortgageable given that the lease has 70 years unexpired.

Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are obtaining a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. Nationwide Building Society have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 10/5/2021 the requirements read as follows :

- Our minimum unexpired lease term is 55 years.
- There must be at least 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term (regardless of the length of lease at the start).

Where the unexpired lease term is different to that recorded on the mortgage offer, the following clarifies if we need to be informed:

Second hand property:
- If the unexpired lease term on the offer is 85 years or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 85 years
- if the unexpired lease term on the offer is less than 85 years – advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported
- For equity share applications - advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

New build property:
- If the unexpired lease term stated on the offer is 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house) or more - only advise us if the actual lease term is less than 125 years (flat) / 250 years (house)
- For equity share applications - always advise us if the actual lease term is different than reported on the offer

Lease terms such as ground rent and event fees must be reasonable at all times during the term of the lease and adhere to our requirements below. If you’re unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable or onerous, please refer the details to us in plain English for Valuer consideration. If the potentially onerous terms are in relation to the ground rent please include the current ground rent figure per annum, how often it will be reviewed and the price structure it will be reviewed against. See the guidance below.

SECOND HAND PROPERTIES

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined):
- Unexpired lease term less than 55 years
- Less than 30 years remaining at the end of the mortgage term
- Ground Rent greater than 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI
- Ground Rent review period is less than or equal to 5 years

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Unexpired lease term is 55 to 85 years
- Ground Rent greater than 0.1% and less than or equal to 0.5% of the property value
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building*
- Ground Rent review period is greater than 5 and less than 10 years
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial, etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything that appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than 85 years
- Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than or equal to 10 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)

Unacceptable - advise Issuing Office (Will be declined)
- Unexpired lease term less than 125 years on a new build flat or less than 250 years on a new build house (does not apply to Shared Ownership)
- Starting Ground Rent greater than 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period less than or equal to every 5 years
- Ground Rent doubles less than every 20 years (e.g. doubles every 5, 10 or 15 years) - acceptable if doubles every 20 years or more
- Ground Rent is compounded RPI

Refer to Issuing Office (Valuer will consider any impact on valuation figure and marketability):
- Ground Rent is linked to any indices greater than RPI
- Ground Rent is linked to the value of the building*
- Event clauses exist for normal use e.g. changing the carpet, installing a TV aerial etc
- Estate Rent Charges greater than £500 p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Service Charges greater than 0.5% of property value p/a (please provide details of what the charges cover)
- Anything else appears onerous, unusual or out of the ordinary

Acceptable (no requirement to advise Issuing Office):
- Unexpired lease term greater than or equal to 125 years on a new build flat or greater than or equal to 250 years on a new build house
- Starting Ground Rent less than or equal to 0.1% of the property value
- Ground Rent review period greater than 5 years
- Ground Rent escalation less than or equal to RPI

* Where the Ground Rent escalation is linked to the value of the building, please provide the following:
- How is the value of the block/unit currently calculated and if the assessment relates to the block(s), how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned per property?
- The current valuation and Ground Rent for each unit
- What is the mechanism for future valuations of the block and how is the Ground Rent calculated/apportioned?
- What is the right of appeal? And is this a documented process within the lease?
- Who bears the cost of the valuation (and appeal) process?
- Confirmation the review period is not less than twenty years.

The estate agent has sent us the confirmation of our purchase of a new build flat in Victoria Dock. Conveyancing is daunting at the best of times but I have never purchased a new build flat before. What sort of enquires would be asked in new build conveyancing.

Set out below is a sample of a selection of leasehold new build enquiries that you may expect your new-build leasehold conveyancing in Victoria Dock

    Please supply a car parking plan. Will control of the Management Company (if any) be handed over to purchasers on completion of the last sale or earlier? Forfeiture - bankruptcy or liquidation must not apply under this provision. Investor purchasers must be able to freely grant unsecured tenancies at market rents without requiring any consents. The Landlord must covenant to assume the management if the Management Company goes into liquidation or otherwise defaults in running the management scheme.

Yesterday I discovered that there is a flying freehold issue on a property I have offered on a fortnight ago in what should have been a straight forward, no chain conveyancing. Victoria Dock is the location of the property. Can you shed any light on this issue?

Flying freeholds in Victoria Dock are rare but are more likely to exist in relation to terraced houses. Even where you use a solicitor outside Victoria Dock you would need to get your solicitor to go through the deeds diligently. Your mortgage company may require your conveyancing solicitor to take out an indemnity policy. Some of the more diligent conveyancing solicitors in Victoria Dock may determine that this is not enough and that the deeds be re-written to give you the most up to date legal protection. If so, the next door neighbour also had to sign up to the revised deeds.It is possible that your lender will not accept the situation so the sooner you find out the better. You should also check with your insurance broker as to whether they will insure a flying freehold residence.

What do I do if I am unhappy with the solicitor who undertook my conveyancing in Victoria Dock?

Occasionally the level of service you receive is not as you expect, and is is a fact of life that occasionally things do go wrong. However there is recourse where you were not happy with your conveyancing in Victoria Dock. This varies from trying to resolve matters directly with them, through to reporting a conveyancer to their governing body. If you remain unhappy you may consider enlisting the help of the Legal Ombudsman.

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Find out more about how flying freehold can affect your the value of a property.