You work for Tract and Co, Licensed Conveyancers of High Street, Northtown, Cornwall. You have an appointment with a new client, Miss Helen Troy.
At your meeting, she tells you that she would like to purchase Lilac Cottage on the edge of the picturesque village of Trepolpen. The price will be £125,000.
1. Briefly outline the matters which you will discuss with your client at this contact. (15 marks)
If not already known, I would request Miss Troy’s full name and address, and a photographic ID, in order to perform client due diligence tests, i.e. checking for conflicts of interest, and checking her identity as a precaution against potential mortgage fraud and money laundering. The date would be noted and full contact details (addresses, phone numbers, email etc) recorded for the seller(s) and estate agents, as well as Miss Troy.
We would discuss costs, and I would provide Miss Troy with Tract and Co’s Terms of Engagement, and a written document estimating our costs and disbursements regarding the transaction, and ask her to sign a copy to acknowledge receipt of it. A financial calculation would be done to ensure that she could afford the transaction. I would ask Miss Troy if she has paid any preliminary deposit, and if so, how much. If she has, this will be taken into account when calculating deposit on exchange, and the mortgage lender may need to be advised.
I would find out how she intends to fund the deposit, as she may need bridging finance, and the mortgage lender may need to be advised. If undertakings are to be given Miss Troy would need to give authority. I would also enquire as to how she will fund the balance of the price, if she has obtained a mortgage certificate or offer, and if she has an outstanding mortgage on another property. The reason for this is so advice can be given on sources of finance and/or tax relief on interest. The lenders may insist that any outstanding mortgages are repaid as a condition of a new loan. If she will not be having a mortgage, then instructions will be given to her in regard to custody of deeds.
I would ask Miss Troy whether this transaction would be dependant on the sale of another property, as details of this other sale would be needed to synchronise the timing of both. Concerning her present property, I would ask if there is a need to give notice to determine tenancy (if renting), and to check if her current lender has a mortgage redemption penalty.
The present and proposed use of the property would need to be discussed, to discover if Miss Troy wishes to change anything, and to identify the need to look at any planning aspects or restrictive covenants that might be in place.
I would question her about the situation of Lilac Cottage, for example if it is near to a footpath or river, in order to identify if there is a need for a plan, and/or any special searches. I would also ask if she expects the price to include any fittings and fixtures, and if there are any features of the house such as carpets or curtains that she wants and/or believes will remain, as these might not be fixtures and the seller might take them, or ask for additional prices for them. The tenure of the property (freehold or leasehold) and purchase price would need to be established.
I would also enquire about any details of tenancies for Lilac Cottage, and if possession will be vacant, as these details will be needed in contract, as will any terms Miss Troy may have agreed with the other party.
I would talk about her preferred time-scale and the urgency of the matter, and give advice on the likely duration of the transaction, coming up with an anticipated completion date. I would reinforce the fact that other parties in the property chain such as mortgage lenders, estate agents, and other conveyancers, may move slowly and impact on timing. The chain can only move as fast as its slowest part.
I would ask Miss Troy if anybody else will have an interest in...