I am 4 weeks into the sale of my apartment in Burnham and the estate agent has just called to say that the purchasers are switching solicitor. The reason given is that the bank will only work with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only engage with specific law firms rather the firm that they want to choose for their conveyancing in Burnham ?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms that can act for them, but in the past few years big names such as Nationwide, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for over 25 years.
Lending institutions blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to oversee. Banks tend not to reveal how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. The buyers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
My house in Burnham is up for sale and I have accepted an offer. Does the solicitor have to be on the RBS conveyancing panel in order to deal with repayment of my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the RBS conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. It might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their panel criteria fairly frequently in recent years.
What does a local search tell me about the property my wife and I buying in Burnham?
Burnham conveyancing often starts with the submitting local authority searches directly from your local Authority or through a personal search company for instance PSG The local search is essential in every Burnham conveyancing purchase; that is if you wish to avoid any nasty once you have moved into your property. The search should reveal information on, amongst other things, details on planning applications applicable to the premises (whether granted or refused), building control history, any enforcement action, restrictions on permitted development, nearby road schemes, contaminated land and radon gas; in all a total of thirteen subject headings.
Me and my brother purchased a semi-detached Georgian property in Burnham. Conveyancing solicitor represented me and Santander. I did a free Land Registry search last week and there are two entries: one for freehold, the second leasehold under the matching property. I thought I was buying a freehold how can I check?
You should review the Freehold register you have again and check the Charges Register as there may be mention of a lease. The best way to be sure that you are also the registered owner of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Burnham and other areas of the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they sell they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with purchasers. You can also check the position with your conveyancing practitioner who conducted the work.
Should one remove a departed person's name from the title deeds for a house in Burnham?
Where a Burnham property is co-owned and one of the proprietors passes away, their name will not immediately be removed from the title deeds. It is not necessary to remove their name as in the event of a sale your conveyancer would just need to evidence as to the reason the joint owner is missing from the contract, usually this takes the form of the probate documents.
With a view to making things smoother in the future you can arrange to have the deceased person removed from the title register by applying to HM Land Registry with proof of the death. There is no fee from the Registry for this service.