I am in the process of selling my ground floor flat in Lanchester and the estate agent has just called to warn that the purchasers are changing their solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that the bank will only deal with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a leading lender only work with certain solicitors rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Lanchester ?
UK lenders have always had panels of law firms that can represent them, but in the last few years big names such as Santander, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for more than 25 years.
Mortgage companies attribute this action to a rise in fraud by way of justification for the pruning – criteria have been tightened 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 hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Some are unaware that 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 unlikely to have any impact on this.
We are expecting a mortgage offer soon. The lender mentioned the loan came with free conveyancing. Is the implication that I have to appoint their panel solicitor as I would much rather use a Lanchester based conveyancing firm?
You should check but the the probability is that give you one of their panel conveyancers if you take up the "fee-free" offer. Speak to the bank to check if they allow a cash alternative. Some mortgage companies have previously offered a £250 cashback as a further option in which case you could put that amount towards the cost for your conveyancing solicitor near Lanchester.
What does a local search tell me regarding the house we're purchasing in Lanchester?
Lanchester conveyancing often commences with the ordering local authority searches directly from your local Authority or via a personal search company for example Searchflow The local search is essential in every Lanchester conveyancing purchase; that is if you don’t want any unpleasant once you have moved into your new home. The search should supply information on, amongst other things, details on planning applications relevant 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 sections.
My wife and I have a renovated Georgian property in Lanchester. Conveyancing practitioner acted for me and The Mortgage Works. I happened to do a free search for it on the Land Registry database and I saw two entries: the first freehold, the second leasehold with the exact same property. Is it worth asking The Mortgage Works to clarify?
You need to 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 proprietor of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Lanchester and other areas of the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they remortgage they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with mortgage companies. You can also enquire as to the situation with your conveyancing lawyer who conducted the work.
Would local authority consent be necessary to change a house into multiple flats in Lanchester? This has been done to a house opposite to my home in Lanchester and was ignorant of it happening until the works were finished.
Planning Consent yes. Building Regulations yes.