I am 3 weeks into the sale of my flat in Presteigne and the EA has just text me to warn that the buyers are swapping property lawyer. I am told that this is due to the fact that the mortgage company will only deal with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. Why would a major lender only deal with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to appoint for their conveyancing in Presteigne ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms they are content to work with, but in recent years big names such as Yorkshire Building Society, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for more than 15 years.
Banks justify this action to a rise in fraud as the reason for the pruning – criteria have been stiffened as a smaller panel is easier to keep an eye on. 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. Your buyers are not going to have any impact on this.
We are buying a newly converted flat in Presteigne with a homeloan from Alliance & Leicester .We would like to retain our Presteigne conveyancing practitioner but Alliance & Leicester says his firm is not on their approved list of member firms. It seems we have little choice but to instruct a Alliance & Leicester panel lawyer or keep our preferred solicitor and fork out for a Alliance & Leicester panel lawyer to act for them. We feel as though this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
Unfortunately,no. The home loan offered to you is subject to its various provisions, one of which will be that solicitors must be on the Alliance & Leicester approved list. Until recently, most mortgage companies had large numbers of solicitors on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Alliance & Leicester
I'm in the throws of looking at houses in Presteigne and I am about to put in an offer. Is it best to have my conveyancer on ‘stand by’? I will be getting a home loan with HSBC.
It would be sensible to start 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 pass their details on to the EA. Given that you are getting a mortgage with HSBC, make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the HSBC conveyancing panel.
I have paid off my mortgage with Co-operative. I assume I don't need a Presteigne conveyancing practitioner on the Co-operative panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your Co-operative mortgage, they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the Co-operative mortgage from the register. Co-operative, and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
- but are not moving to another property
- where Co-operative has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- Co-operative has instructed the Land Registry to do so
I can not fathom if my mortgage offer requires a lease extension. I have called into my local Presteigne bank branch on numerous occasions and was advised it wasn't an issue and they would lend. My Presteigne conveyancing solicitor - who is on the mortgage company conveyancing panel- called and was told they would not lend based on their published requirements. I simply don't know who is right.
Your solicitor must comply with the CML Handbook section two provisions for your lender. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that the lender will go ahead, your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask the mortgage company to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the number of years left on the lease.
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only 62 years left on my flat in Presteigne. I now want to extend my lease but my freeholder is absent. What are my options?
On the basis that you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can apply to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will mean that your lease can be lengthened by the Court. You will be obliged to demonstrate that you or your lawyers have used your best endeavours to locate the landlord. On the whole an enquiry agent should be helpful to carry out a search and to produce a report to be used as evidence that the landlord can not be located. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court overseeing Presteigne.
Leasehold Conveyancing in Presteigne - Sample of Queries before Purchasing
How much is the service charge and ground rent on the flat? This information is helpful as a) areas may result in problems in the block as the communal areas may begin to deteriorate if maintenance are not paid for b) if the tenants have an issue with the managing agents you will need to have full disclosure What restrictions are contained in the Presteigne Lease?
I cannot attend my Presteigne conveyancing practitioners office to sign documents for conveyancing in Presteigne – will this be an issue?
No. Presteigne conveyancing solicitors can deal with home moves for clients across the country. You are unlikely to be required to be present a Presteigne conveyancers office. Almost all conveyancing practitioner can handle all communications using post, email, telephone and fax.