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i took out a  mortgage in 1998 and the  mortgage offer stated my unexpired lease was 99 years, this was incorrect as the initial lease  was 99 years and over 40 years had expired, this led to my not being able to change  mortgage provider due to insufficient lease remaining and having to remortgage with Skipton when I married and then buy the freehold.

 

have I grounds for complaint, I have all the original paperwork

 

kev

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It sounds like a very serious lapse by somebody or other. I can't imagine that you can't take some action.

When did you discover this? Presumably you had the property conveyed by firm of solicitors. Who were the solicitors?

Do you have all the paperwork?


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I used Skipton for all the legal stuff 

yes I have the original mortgage offer paperwork 

 

 

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Thanks, but Skipton are not the solicitors who handled it? Also, did you suddenly realise this? I think having discovered you probably under a duty to act with a certain alacrity.

 

Thinking about this more, who did you buy the property from? How did they represent it to you? Presumably you didn't know that you are buying a property with only a 60 year lease on it. So who was it who initially told you that you were purchasing a property with a 99 year lease?

I'm trying to understand if it was the seller who was initially responsible – although of course, whoever did the conveyancing should have been careful to understand exactly what remained on the lease.

I think you are going to have a tricky problem because you are dealing with fairly powerful people and nobody will want to put their hands up


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I don’t know regarding solicitor then, I thought the society would do there own lease search.

 

no I believed it was 99 year lease based on mortgage offer, I only found it was less than 50 years when I tried to move supplier, as I wished to add my wife to mortgage, I couldn’t get a mortgage,I raised this with Skipton at the time and they agreed to  allow me to remortgage I had no choice to do so and buy freehold to enable a move away from Skipton 

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you haven't answered the question as to when that happened

 

Also, what did you pay for the property and what would you have paid if it had been a full 100 years lease?


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2003 was when I remortgaged

 

i paid £89K, I don’t know if that was a reduced amount due to lease, I think I may still have the sale listing advert, It was my first house and I was predominantly working in London and the house was around the corner from my parents

 

The house is in Manchester to explain my London comment, it’s only now I am cleaning out my office and found paperwork thought that Skipton should have advised on lease as I could have cancelled purchase

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I think that if you discover the problem in 2003 and have done nothing about it up to now, then I would say that any right of action you might have is probably time expired.


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Even if I raised it at time and they obviously admit guilt by allowing me to remortgage?

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Well I think I would make a formal complaint and require it to be sent to the ombudsman. I think also you need to start calculating what you might have lost


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so what is your financial loss as a result of all of this?

you cant sue a lender just because you didnt read things properly. If they had refused a mortgage would you have been happier?

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I did read the mortgage offer properly, it states unexpired lease 99 years, which is incorrect the houses initially had a 99 year lease and 1/2 had expired at the time

my financial loss besides being unable to move my mortgage due to insufficient lease available was the thousands it cost me buying the freehold so I had mortgage flexibility and could sell the house if I so wished as buyers were unable to get a mortgage 

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I think any financial loss is too long ago and your only possible avenue is to go to the Financial Ombudsman. But you would have to complain to the original mortgage lender first to give them a chance to resolve.

 

I would suggest that you send a data protection subject access request to the mortgage lender and specifically ask for copies of all documents related to the mortgage application and house buying process. You may also be able to complain to the original conveyancing company, if there was mistake made by them. However, they may no longer exist 

 

Whoever did the conveyancing should have read the leasehold documents to see whether there were any issues. If you used the mortgage lenders approved conveyancers, they may not have spent the time diligently going through information. Quite often in the past these large conveyancing companies offered a cheap fixed price, as part of a deal with the mortgage company. It was more about speed of doing the admin to avoid any delays and meet mortgage company targets. Your own Solicitors may have been more expensive, but more likely to spend the time to properly look through all important documents.

 

 

 

 

 


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I have initially complained to  Skipton the lender, skipton confirmed it as a 99 year lease, stating if I had evidence to contrary please supply and they would review, I have supplied evidence confirmation of them stating it as UNEXPIRED 99 years and pointed out that The lease was instigated at 99 years in the 50s. As a young single buyer I used their legal services, I have the original paperwork from 1998.

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