My wife and I are hoping to buy a house in Southwater and are in fact using a Southwater conveyancing firm. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with a view to exchanging next week. Chelsea Building Society have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Southwater conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. What do we do from here?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchasers' solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender. 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 solicitor should contact your mortgage company 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 don't have to instruct a firm on the bank's conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own Southwater solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
I am buying a brand new apartment in Southwater and my conveyancer is advising me that she is duty bound to the mortgage company to disclose incentives from the seller. I am under pressure to exchange contracts and I would rather not prolong the conveyancing. is my lawyer playing by the book?
You should not exchange unless you have been advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on a lender panel is to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook provisions. The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
How up to date is your database of Southwater solicitors on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel? Do Clydesdale send you an updated list?
Southwater conveyancing firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Clydesdale directly.
Will our conveyancer be making enquiries about flooding during the conveyancing in Southwater.
The risk of flooding is if increasing concern for lawyers dealing with homes in Southwater. There are those who acquire a property in Southwater, completely expectant that at some time, it may be flooded. However, leaving to one side the physical damage, if a property is at risk of flooding, it may be difficult to get a mortgage, satisfactory building insurance, or dispose of the property. There are steps that can be taken during the course of a house purchase to forewarn the buyer.
Conveyancers are not best placed to give advice on flood risk, but there are a various checks that can be carried out by the purchaser or on a buyer’s behalf which should give them a better appreciation of the risks in Southwater. The standard information given to a buyer’s conveyancer (where the solicitors are adopting what is known as the Conveyancing Protocol) includes a standard inquiry of the seller to discover whether the property has ever been flooded. If the property has been flooded in past and is not notified by the owner, then a buyer could issue a compensation claim as a result of such an misleading response. A purchaser’s lawyers may also commission an environmental report. This should disclose if there is a recorded flood risk. If so, further inquiries will need to be conducted.
Do I need to be suspicious that third parties that I am dealing with are encouraging me to use a national conveyancing firm rather than a High Street Southwater conveyancing company?
As with lots of service providers, often input from connections can be extremely useful or valuable. But there are numerous players in a conveyancing transaction; estate agents, financial adviser and lenders might all recommend conveyancers to appoint. On occasion the lawyers might be known to one of the organisations as one of the best in their field, but sometimes there exists a financial incentive behind the recommendation. You are at liberty to select your own conveyancer. Don't forget that many mortgage providers specify a panel list of lawyers you are obliged to use for the lender aspect of your house move.