My partner and I are planning to buy a flat in North East London and have instructed a North East London conveyancing practice. Within the past 48 hours our lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. The Mortgage Works have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our North East London conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Please explain?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is usual for the purchasers' solicitors to also represent the mortgage company. 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 Quality Scheme. Your property lawyer 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 bank's conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred North East London lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
What is the first thing I need to know regarding purchase conveyancing in North East London?
Not many law firms or advisers will tell you this but conveyancing in North East London or throughout London is often a confrontational process. In other words, when it comes to conveyancing there is an abundance of opportunity for conflict between you and others involved in the ownership transfer. For example, the vendor, property agent and even potentially the lender. Choosing a lawyer for your conveyancing in North East London is a critical decision as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the ONE party in the transaction whose role it is to look after your best interests and to keep you safe.
We are witnessing a worrying creep of a "blame" culture- someone must be blamed for the process taking so long. You your first instinct should be to trust your lawyer above all other parties when it comes to the legal assignment of property.
We're in North East London, First timers purchasing with a mortgage (lender is RBS , and our lawyer is on the RBS conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the RBS conveyancing panel is a help. It would almost certainly delay matters if they were not. However, no lawyer should guarantee a timeframe for your conveyancing, due to third parties outside of your control such as delays caused by lenders,conveyancing search providers or by the other side’s solicitors. The time taken is often determined by the number of parties in a chain.
How does conveyancing in North East London differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build property in North East London approach us having been asked by the housebuilder to sign contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is completed. This is because house builders in North East London usually acquire the site, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct property lawyers as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are accustomed to new build conveyancing in North East London or who has acted in the same development.
I acquired a property in North East London last 10/3/2017 and to date it is still not recorded with HMLR. It is part of a development site and my property lawyer told me that it may take one year to complete the registration formalities. I have contacted HM Land Registry directly and they say that the original application was cancelled due to questions not being addressed in time. Do I need to be concerned?
Contact your solicitor - Where you are unsatisfied with the responses, enquire as to their firm’s complaints process and escalate your problem to a Complaints Manager. Registrations for North East London conveyancing are not known to be especially complex.