I am selling my ground floor flat in Harlow and the EA has just e-mailed to advise that the buyers are changing their property lawyer. The excuse is that the mortgage company will only deal with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a big named mortgage company only work with specific law firms rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Harlow ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms they are content to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.
Banks blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the pruning – criteria have been stiffened as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. Banks tend not to reveal how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Plenty of firms 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.
Our conveyancer has identified a defect with the lease for the flat we are purchasing in Harlow. The seller’s lawyers have suggested defective title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will pay for it. Our solicitor says that he must ensure that the bank is content with this solution. Are we the client or is the mortgage company ?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the risk of a conflict of interest, you and the bank are the client. Your solicitor must comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects with the lease so that the mortgage company can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected. Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your solicitor will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
My wife and I have arranged the release of further funds on our mortgage from Aldermore as we intend to carry out alterations to our property in Harlow. Are we obliged to appoint a high street Harlow solicitor on the Aldermore conveyancing panel to handle the paperwork?
Aldermore would not normally instruct a member of their conveyancing panel to handle such a matter. If they do require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Aldermore panel.
I am expecting a OIP from Aldermore this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we only have online calculators to go by (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc). Do Aldermore recommend any Harlow solicitors on the Aldermore conveyancing panel, or is it better to find our own lawyer?
You will need to appoint Harlow solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Aldermore conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and Aldermore through the process.
My wife and I are spending time looking at houses in Harlow and I am about to put in an offer. Is it premature to have a solicitor in place? I will be getting a mortgage with Yorkshire BS.
It would be sensible to instigate your search sooner rather than later. After you have chosen your lawyer and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and forward their contact information on to the EA. As you are seeking a mortgage with Yorkshire BS, ask your prospective lawyers if they are on the Yorkshire BS conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.
I am looking for a flat up to £305k and identified one round the corner in Harlow I like with a park and railway links in the vicinity, the downside is that it's only got 61 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Harlow for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a lease with such few years left?
Should you require a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term may be an issue. Discount the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the existing owner has owned the property for at least twenty four months you could ask them to 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 regarding this matter.
Please can you clarify what my options are if my Harlow conveyancing searches reveals detrimental results?
On the whole, most adverse entries that arise in Harlow conveyancing search results can be addressed in advance of completion or indemnity insurance could possibly be taken. It is crucial to note that even though you are acquiring the property and might be willing to accept the search results, your building society or bank may not, and when all said and done the decision rests with them.