I am not well enough to travel far from Rotherham. Is there a reason why all Rotherham lawyers are not on all bank panels?
Banks tend to restrict either the type or the number of conveyancing firms on their approved list of lawyers. A common example of such restriction(s) being that the practice is required to have two or more partners. In addition to restricting the type of firm, some lenders decided to limit the number of conveyancers they allow to act for them. You should note that building societies have no accountability for the standard of advice given by any Rotherham solicitor on their approved list. Increases in mortgage fraud was the primary trigger for the culling of solicitor panels in the last decade notwithstanding that there are differing points of view about the extent of solicitor involvement in some of that fraud. Data via HMLR indicates that thousands of conveyancing organisations only carry out a couple of conveyances a year. Those advocating conveyancing panel consolidation question why conveyancing firms should have any entitlement to be on a bank panel when it is evident that property law is not their primary expertise?
Is it correct that all Rotherham CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors are on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel?
Some major lenders now use CQS as the kick off point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the CML have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for solicitors wishing to join their panels.
I currently have a mortgage with Principality for my property in Rotherham. Conveyancing has been completed some time ago. If I am intending to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform Principality?
Principality must be informed of your intention before letting out your property as this is likely to be a breach of Principality’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will permit you to let out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Principality directly. You need not do this via a Principality conveyancing panel solicitor.
I recently had an offer agreed on a house in Rotherham. My financial adviser pressured me to appoint their property lawyer. I paid an upfront payment of £200. Shortly after, the conveyancing practitioner contacted me to say that they were not on the Nottingham 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 Nottingham 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.
Will our solicitor be asking questions regarding flooding as part of the conveyancing in Rotherham.
Flooding is a growing risk for solicitors carrying out conveyancing in Rotherham. Some people will purchase a house in Rotherham, fully aware that at some time, it may be flooded. However, leaving to one side the physical damage, if a house is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to get a mortgage, suitable insurance cover, or sell the premises. Steps can be carried out during the course of a house purchase to forewarn the buyer.
Solicitors are not qualified to give advice on flood risk, however there are a number of checks that may be carried out by the purchaser or on a buyer’s behalf which can give them a better understanding of the risks in Rotherham. The standard completed inquiry forms given to a buyer’s solicitor (where the Conveyancing Protocol is adopted) incorporates a standard question of the seller to find out whether the premises has historically flooded. If the property has been flooded in past which is not revealed by the vendor, then a purchaser could bring a legal claim for losses as a result of such an incorrect reply. The buyer’s lawyers will also commission an environmental report. This should disclose whether there is a recorded flood risk. If so, further investigations will need to be made.
I have been on the look out for a flat up to £195,000 and identified one round the corner in Rotherham I like with open areas and railway links in the vicinity, however it's only got 61 years on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Rotherham for this price, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a short lease?
Should you require a home loan the remaining unexpired lease term will likely be an issue. Reduce the price by the amount the lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current owner has owned the property for at least 2 years you may request that they commence the lease extension formalities and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term and have £0 ground rent by law. You should speak to your conveyancing solicitor regarding this.
Should I be concerned about estate agents that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use a nationwide conveyancing firm as opposed to a local Rotherham conveyancing company?
As is the case with many professional services, often recommendations from relatives can be most helpful. But there are lots of players in a conveyancing matter; estate agents, mortgage brokers and mortgage companies may recommend lawyers to choose. Sometimes the conveyancers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but sometimes there might be a commercial relationship behind the endorsement. You are at liberty to select your own conveyancer. You need to be aware that the majority of banks specify a panel list of lawyers you have to use for the lender aspect of your conveyancing.