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Find a Cambridge Conveyancing Solictior on Your Lender’s Panel

Ready to buy a new home in Cambridge? Failing to check that a lawyer is on your lender’s list of approved solicitors can put your Cambridge home move at risk of delay or failure.

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Recently asked questions about conveyancing in Cambridge

My husband and I are planning to acquire a property in Cambridge and have instructed a Cambridge conveyancing firm. Within the past 48 hours our lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. Bank of Ireland have this evening contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our Cambridge conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. Please explain?

If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the purchaser's lender. In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Accreditation Scheme. Your solicitor should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Cambridge lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.

My wife and I buying a 3 bedroom semi in Cambridge. We would like to carry out a loft conversion at the property.Will legal conveyancing on the property involve checks to see if these works are permitted?

Your solicitor should check the registered title as conveyancing in Cambridge will sometimes identify restrictions in the title documents which prevent categories of changes or require the permission of another owner. Certain additions require local authority planning consent and approval in compliance with building regulations. Many areas are designated conservation areas and special planning restrictions apply which frequently prevent or affect extensions. You should check these things with a surveyor ahead of any purchase.

I am currently in the process of buying my council flat in Cambridge. I have a mortgage agreed with Clydesdale. Conveyancing is not something I have any knowledge of. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should have one. Any advice?

It is not advisable to proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event, if you are getting a mortgage with Clydesdale, you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel.

I recently had an offer agreed on an apartment in Cambridge. My mortgage broker suggested a conveyancing practitioner. I paid an on account payment of £175. A couple of days later, the solicitor contacted me to say that they were not on the Yorkshire BS conveyancing panel. Am I right in thinking that I should be due a refund?

You should be able to recover this from the law firm if they were not on the Yorkshire BS panel. They should have asked at the outset which lender you were obtaining a mortgage with. An important lesson to readers of this site is to check that the lawyers are on the appropriate lender panel.

Me and my brother own a renovated Georgian house in Cambridge. Conveyancing lawyer represented me and Virgin Money. I did a free Land Registry search last week and I saw a couple of entries: the first freehold, another for leasehold with the exact same property. If a house is not a freehold shouldn't I have been informed?

You should assess the Freehold register you have again and check the Charges Register for mention of a lease. The best way to be sure that you are also the registered proprietor of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Cambridge and other locations in the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they mortgage they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with buyers. You can also enquire as to the position with your conveyancing solicitor who completed the work.

I am looking for a ground for flat up to £245,000 and found one round the corner in Cambridge I like with a park and transport links in the vicinity, however it only has 51 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Cambridge suitable, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake purchasing a lease with such few years left?

Should you need a mortgage that many years may be an issue. Reduce the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current proprietor has owned the property for at least 2 years you may request that they commence the lease extension formalities and pass it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the existing lease with a zero ground rent applied. You should speak to your conveyancing lawyer concerning this.

Am I better off to instruct a Cambridge conveyancing lawyer based in the vicinity that I am hoping to buy? We have a good friend who can carry out the legal work however her office is approximately 350miles drive away.

The benefit of a high street Cambridge conveyancing firm is that you can attend the office to execute documents, present your ID and apply pressure on them if necessary. They will also have local intelligence which is a plus. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will do a good and efficient job. If you know people who used your friend and on the whole were impressed that should trump using an unfamiliar Cambridge conveyancing lawyer solely due to them being based in the area.

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