Posted on 2 January 2024
Happy New Year and welcome to my January News! I hope that you all managed to get an enjoyable and well rested Christmas break. I love this time of year – it’s great for reflection on the past, and to look forward on goals for the future. It can be a good time for a “rethink” about where you might be heading in your career, or life in generally.
December was a busy month. I was quieter on my social media and web content, as I was busy getting deals done before the end of the year.
January News – Commercial Property Refinancing
I successfully completed a refinancing for a borrower in Leicester in December.
There’s always more work involved in these jobs than borrowers might think. I worked hard to a challenging timescale, and am pleased to say managed to get this completed in the week before Christmas.
How Do Refinancings Work?
Where security is being taken over property, the lender’s valuer will prepare a valuation. This will ascribe a value to the premises (let’s say, for ease, £250k). It is then the solicitor’s job to do a Certificate of Title to the lender. This confirms that there are no issues affecting the property that would undermine that valuation.
For example, if the solicitor investigates the title and finds that there are no rights of way to the property, the valuation might drop from £250k to £0k (after all, who would buy a property that you are not legally entitled to access). There is often a solution (e.g. lack of easement indemnity insurance, or procuring a new right of way). However, that work needs to be investigated and completed before the Certificate of Title can be given to say to the lender that everything is ok.
If the solicitor signs off the Certificate without due diligence, there may then later be an issue for the lender. The lender will sue the solicitor for any losses arising. For example, if it cannot recover its lend from the sale of the property, because there is no right of way as above, it will sue for the lost £250k.
Accordingly, lots of work will go into a refinance – review of the title, searches and enquiries. If issues are identified, they either need to be resolved, or run past the valuer. If they affect his/her valuation, then some solution will need to be implemented.
A Pro-Active Approach
I like to take a pro-active approach with issues. If I identify them, then I’ll propose a solution too, and put the work in to obtain that. It makes it much easier liaising with the bank and/or their solicitor. If your solicitor doesn’t take that pro-active approach, you will be going backwards and forwards with the lender for ever. Lenders (as a general rule) don’t take risks, so it is simplest and easiest to present solutions to them.
Here’s a review from my happy client, on that refinancing job:
“John has been amazing. He assisted us with a challenging commercial remortgage within a tight timeline. Throughout he was always available, highly knowledgeable, and pulled out all the stops to get us over the line on time. I would have no hesitation recommending him.”
Darren Wynn, Director – Anicca Digital Ltd
There were no rights of way issues on this job, but there were some other items to sort out. I was pleased to be able to work through those with the client to a satisfactory conclusion.
January News – Other Activity
In my legal updates in December, I covered Restrictive Covenant Modification, with a fun little case involving Florence Nightingale’s childhood home. It serves as a reminder that if you are stuck with a restrictive covenant, you may be able to apply to the Tribunal to get it lifted. Equally if you are relying on restrictive covenants to protect your property, beware that the Tribunal has discretion to remove them.
I’m enjoying my “Literary Lawyer” themed posts, generally on a Friday afternoon on LinkedIn – have a look over on there to check them out. I ran a small series based on A Christmas Carol (what else, for Christmas) in December. It’s a bit of fun, mixing up the law with some classic literature.
I have had a number of meetings with solicitors who are looking for something different from their careers. I’m pretty evangelical about working for yourself, so I’m always happy to chat to lawyers looking to find out their options re consultancy. I’m delighted to be helping people make significant change for the better in their careers. If you want a chat, just drop me a DM on LinkedIn or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’m excited about the prospect of the new year. My business is maturing, and I’m looking at some exciting possibilities to help it to grow. I’m off work for another week until the children go back to school next week. I’ll be using that time to get my house in order, and do some planning for the new year. I’m excited to share the ideas and opportunities that are in the pipeline, but for now you’ll have to wait and see. Subscribe to my Newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything.
As always, if you have any queries, then do get in touch for a no-obligation, free, quotation via email@example.com or on 01384 872069 or via my Free Enquiry web page. All work is carried out through Nexa Law Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the SRA.
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I wish you all a healthy and happy 2024, and hope that it brings you closer to your goals, whatever they may be.
Picture Credit: Jess Bailey Designs, Pexel