I am in the process of selling my house in Royston and the estate agent has just e-mailed to advise that the purchasers are appointing a new conveyancer. The excuse is that the bank will only work with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a major mortgage company only work with specific solicitors rather the firm that they want to appoint to handle their conveyancing in Royston ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for many years.
Lending institutions point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – criteria have been narrowed 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 claims that it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels. Plenty of firms 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. The buyers are not going to have any impact on this.
Our conveyancer has uncovered a a problem with the lease for the property we are purchasing in Royston. The seller’s lawyers have put forward defective title insurance as a workaround. We are content with insurance and will pay for it. Our conveyancer says that he must be satisfied that the lender is happy with this solution. Are we the client or is the bank?
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 conveyancer must comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook specifications. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects with the lease so that the lender 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 conveyancing practitioner will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
I just acquired a property at auction in Royston. Conveyancing is needed. What are my next steps?
Having legally bound yourself to purchase you will need to choose a conveyancing practitioner soon as you now have a fast approaching a drop dead date to complete the conveyancing. An auction property will ordinarily have a bespoke auction pack. This will likely include the copy title deeds, local authority and drainage searches. If you have purchased leasehold property the legal pack may contain a copy of the lease, management information and a sellers leasehold information form and other conveyancing paperwork relating to leasehold premises. You should hand this to your appointed conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible. You also need to ensure that your finances are in place to complete on the date specified in the contract.
I have a mortgage with UBS for my property in Royston. Conveyancing was finalised a year ago. Should I wish to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform UBS?
UBS must be informed of your intention prior to renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of UBS’s mortgage conditions. It may be that UBS will allow you to rent 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 UBS directly. You need not do this via a UBS conveyancing panel lawyer.
The formalities of my purchase has taken place for my property in Royston. Conveyancing was satisfactory but I would like to complain about the lender. Who do I contact should I wish to lodge a complaint?
Almost all banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the lender’s branches or the Customer Services Team at head office. Ordinarily complaints to a lender are resolved very quickly. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is not resolved you can write to Financial Ombudsman Service who will take matters further.
Yesterday I discovered that there is a flying freehold issue on a house I have offered on last month in what was supposed to be a straight forward, no chain conveyancing. Royston is where the house is located. What do you suggest?
Flying freeholds in Royston are unusual but are more likely to exist in relation to terraced houses. Even though you don't necessarily need a conveyancing solicitor in Royston you would need to get your solicitor to go through the deeds diligently. Your bank may require your conveyancing solicitor to take out an indemnity policy. Some of the more diligent conveyancing solicitors in Royston may determine that this is not enough and that the deeds be re-written to give you the most up to date legal protection. If so, the next door neighbour also had to sign up to the revised deeds.It is possible that your lender will not accept the situation so the sooner you find out the better. You should also check with your insurance broker as to whether they will insure a flying freehold premises.
My wife and I hope to acquire our 1st home in Royston. Conveyancing solicitor already instructed. The financial consultant advised that a survey is not necessary as the house was only constructed 22 years ago.
You would be best advised to have a Home Buyer's Report. Given the premises is over 10 years old the property will not come with a warranty, so you would be well advised not to take a risk. For a property that age with no signs of problems a Home Buyer's report may be enough. The report should highlight any obvious problems and recommend additional investigation where relevant. Where there are any signs of material issues seek a comprehensive structural survey.