I am in the process of selling my home in Consett and the EA has just telephoned to advise that the buyers are swapping conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that the bank will only work with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a leading mortgage company only deal with certain solicitors rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Consett ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms that can represent them, but in recent years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for many years.
Banks attribute this action to a rise in fraud as the reason for the pruning – criteria have been stiffened as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. Banks tend not to disclose how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is being contacted daily by practices 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. Your purchasers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
I have 70 years remaining on my lease and need a lease extension for my apartment in Consett. Conveyancing solicitors on the Nationwide Building Society panel can deal with such extensions right?
Most leasehold conveyancing experts should be able to deal with a lease extension. if you are getting a mortgage then your lender may insist that the lease be extended before competition. Nationwide Building Society have specific requirements as set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook in relation to minimum unexpired lease terms. As of 12/2/2019 the requirements read as follows :
Report to the issuing office if the lease term is shorter than that stated on the offer and has less than 100 years remaining. (There is no requirement to report if the lease term is lower than that stated on the offer but still has 100 years or more to run, or if the lease term is longer than that stated on the offer).
NEW BUILD PROPERTIES (includes office conversions)
The following are not acceptable:
- The unexpired lease term is less than 125 years on a new build flat or 250 years on a new build house (does not apply to Shared Ownership)
- Starting ground rent is more than 0.1% of the property value
The lease must be amended to comply with the above. If not the case cannot proceed. Please advise us where the case cannot proceed.
Ground rents and event fees:
Ground rent and other event fees must be reasonable at all times during the lease term. For example, it is acceptable for ground rent escalation to be linked to RPI (Retail Price Index) or a similar index and where this is the case we do not need to be advised. However, unreasonable multipliers of ground rent will not be permitted, for example, doubling every 5, 10 or 15 years. These must be referred to us and we will advise if our mortgage offer remains valid. If you are unsure as to whether the terms of a lease are unreasonable, please refer the details to us.
I am helping my mother sell her flat in Consett. Will the solicitor arrange the energy assessment or do I organise this?
Following the abolition of Home Information Packs, energy performance certificates was maintained a mandatory component of moving property. An energy performance certificate must be commissioned before the property is marketed. This is not a task that lawyers ordinarily arrange. Where you are instructing a Consett conveyancing practitioner they may be willing to arrange EPC’s due to their contacts with long established local energy assessors
Is it the case that all Consett solicitor firms on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel are overseen by the SRA?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Clydesdale approved list of solicitors they would need to be governed by the SRA. The majority of mortgage companies do list licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such organisation would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
After months of negotiation I have agreed a price on a house in Consett. My mortgage broker pressured me to appoint their conveyancing practitioner. I paid an advanced payment of £150. Shortly after, the conveyancing practitioner called me sheepishly admitting that they were not on the Bank of Ireland 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 Bank of Ireland 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.
I used Wolstenholmes a few years ago for my conveyancing in Consett. I now require my file however cannot find the solicitor. What do I do?
Do contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to assist in tracing your conveyancing files. They can be contacted on please contact on 0870 606 2555. Alternatively, you should use their online form to make an enquiry. You will need to provide the SRA with as much information as possible to assist their search, including the name and address in Consett of the conveyancing firm of solicitors you previously used, the name of conveyancing solicitor with whom you had dealings, and the date on which you last had dealings with the firm.
I opted to have a survey done on a house in Consett ahead of instructing conveyancers. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold aspect to the property. The surveyor advised that some mortgage companies may not grant a mortgage on this type of home.
It varies from the lender to lender. Bank of Scotland has different instructions from Halifax. Should you wish to telephone us we can check via the appropriate bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can help as they are used to dealing with flying freeholds in Consett. Conveyancing can be more complicated and therefore you should check with your conveyancing solicitor in Consett to see if the conveyancing costs will increase in light of this.