How can I buy the freehold of the building in which I’m purchasing a flat?
When you buy a leasehold flat (usually for a lease lasting a long time), it means that you don’t own the building or the land on which it is built. If you want to buy the freehold of the building (either yourself or with other flat-owners), you’ll need to meet a few legal criteria before that can happen (such as the number of flats, the purpose to which the majority of the building is put to, and the number of flat-owners willing to by the freehold).
One additional point to note is that the shorter the lease on any flat, the greater the price of the freehold is likely to be.
You should talk to other residents about your plan as well as finding out how much the freehold will be and getting a professional valuation. Once you are in a position to move ahead, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor to manage the legal aspect of the planned purchase.
Homeward Legal's solicitors are well-versed in dealing with all types of freehold and leasehold purchases. So call us now on 0800 038 6699 and we'll guide you through the process and assign you to one of the best solicitors.
What will a Sandbanks property solicitor do when the home we hope to purchase is within a conservation area and has unsuitable stone cladding fitted?
A solicitor will confirm if the property is within a conservation area, and if so, whether any modifications have appropriate consents from the Poole council.
What length of time should the conveyancing process usually take, according to your estimates? I am purchasing a flat in Sandbanks.
The amount of time required to buy or sell a home will vary. This is based on a number of legal considerations including whether a mortgage lender requires particular searches. Nationwide, the average is around ten weeks, we however take a proactive approach, driving the sale or purchase to complete sooner.
The home I’m buying has been empty for two years; what questions should I be asking the solicitor, the estate agent, and the surveyor?
If a home has been empty for a considerable period (such as the two years mentioned here), there’s usually a reason for it. There is estimated to be around a quarter of a million properties in the country that have been empty for more than 6 months.
The primary reason is that the owner hasn’t the funds to renovate the property, or they’ve started gutting the place and run out of money to take it further, or perhaps there’s been a significant problem (e.g. fire or flood are common instances). Most likely, these properties will come up at auction.
Your estate agent will be aware of its history if the property is on their books, so you can find out a lot from them, the council will have an empty property officer, and the Land Registry will have information on the deeds. As far as the solicitor is concerned, they will establish the position on the property as part of the conveyancing, while the surveyor will have experience of checking out such properties, with the advice that you order a Building Survey (the most detailed of the options) to check out its structural integrity. Note that mortgage lenders will be more reluctant to offer a loan on such homes.
Ultimately, the ball is in your court and, if you want to pursue buying such a property, you need to be prepared to do the research, which can take up a lot of time.
The moving process can be bewildering and stressful. Let Homeward Legal look after the legal side of things for you and we'll guide you through the process from start to end. Call 0800 038 6699 to find out more.
Our estate agent has suggested a law firm that they have used before. Is it a good idea to use them?
Many estate agents have arrangements with solicitors where they refer clients to them. These referrals need to be weighed up against alternatives, as an agent may choose the firm which pays to the largest referral fee, not the best value for you.
For our lender, we have chosen Alliance and Leicester - what will we need to check?
Over the last two years, some lenders have reduced the number of firms on their approved panel, which may result in greater conveyancing costs for buyers. We can act for all large UK mortgage lenders so that the buyer will not have to pay any additional legal fees to your lender's solicitor.