My partner and I are hoping to acquire a house in West Barnes and have appointed a West Barnes conveyancing practice. Within the last couple of days our property lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Clydesdale have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our West Barnes lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is standard for the purchasers' solicitors to also represent the mortgage company. 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 Accreditation Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your mortgage company and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred West Barnes lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
Will my conveyancer be raising enquiries regarding flooding as part of the conveyancing in West Barnes.
The risk of flooding is if increasing concern for solicitors dealing with homes in West Barnes. Plenty of people will purchase a property in West Barnes, fully aware that at some time, it may suffer from flooding. However, leaving to one side the physical damage, if a house is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to get a mortgage, adequate insurance cover, or sell the property. Steps can be carried out as part of the conveyancing process to forewarn the purchaser.
Solicitors are not qualified to offer advice on flood risk, however there are a various checks that may be undertaken by the buyer or by their conveyancers which can give them a better appreciation of the risks in West Barnes. The conventional set of information sent to a purchaser’s conveyancer (where the solicitors are adopting what is known as the Conveyancing Protocol) contains a standard inquiry of the seller to discover if the property has suffered from flooding. In the event that the property has been flooded in past which is not notified by the owner, then a purchaser may bring a compensation claim resulting from an incorrect reply. The buyer’s conveyancers may also carry out an enviro search. This will reveal whether there is any known flood risk. If so, additional investigations will need to be made.
How does conveyancing in West Barnes differ for new build properties?
Most buyers of new build or newly converted property in West Barnes approach us having been asked by the seller to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is ready to move into. This is because new home sellers in West Barnes usually acquire 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 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 West Barnes or who has acted in the same development.
Over the last few months I have been searching for a ground for flat up to £245,000 and found one round the corner in West Barnes I like with open areas and transport links in the vicinity, the downside is that it only has 52 remaining years left on the lease. I can't really find anything else in West Barnes for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a short lease?
If you need a mortgage that many years will likely be a potential deal breaker. Discount the offer by the expected lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the existing owner has owned the premises for at least 2 years you can ask them to commence the lease extension formalities and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer concerning this matter.
Am I right to be wary by estate agents that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use a factory type conveyancing firm rather than a local West Barnes conveyancing company?
As with many service providers, often referrals from connections can be most helpful. Nevertheless there are lots of people with a keen interest in a conveyancing transaction; estate agents, financial adviser and banks may suggest conveyancers to choose. On occasion these solicitors might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but occasionally there behind the scenes financial incentive behind the recommendation. You are at liberty to choose your own conveyancer. However, bear in mind that some lenders operate an approved list of solicitors you must use for the mortgage aspect of your transaction.