I am nearing exchange of contracts for my house in Staffordshire and the estate agent has just text me to warn that the purchasers are swapping property lawyer. The excuse is that the lender will only engage with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. Why would a leading lender only deal with specific lawyers rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Staffordshire ?
Lenders have always had panels of law firms that can act for them, but in recent years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for many years.
Mortgage companies point to the increase in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to keep an eye on. Banks tend not to disclose 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. Some 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. The buyers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
We are purchasing a house and need a conveyancing solicitor in Staffordshire who is on the Santander approved panel. Can you recommend a local solicitor?
Our service is limited to being a directory service for firms who wish to be listed as being on the approved conveyancing panel for Santander . We don't recommend any particular firms conducting conveyancing in Staffordshire.
The Staffordshire conveyancing lawyers that just started acting on my house acquisition in Staffordshire have suddenly closed. I chose them because I needed a firm on the UBS conveyancing panel and my preferred Staffordshire lawyer was not. I paid them money in advance. What are my options?
If you have an estate agent involved then inform them immediately so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to the problems encountered. Hopefully they will be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You will need to appoint new lawyers that are on the UBS conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money, it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors may be able to help.
I have just appointed agents to market my basement apartment in Staffordshire. Conveyancing lawyers have not yet been instructed, however I have just had a quarterly service charge demand – should I leave it to the buyer to sort out?
The sensible thing to do is clear the maintenance contribution as normal as all ground rent and maintenance invoices should be apportioned as part of the financial calculations for completion monies, so you should recover the relevant percentage by the purchaser for the period running from after the completion date to the next payment date. Most management companies will not acknowledge the buyer unless the service charges have been paid and are up to date, so it is important for both buyer and seller for the seller to show that they are up to date. Having a clear account will assist your cause and will leave you no worse off financially.
Staffordshire Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Sample of Questions you should ask Prior to Purchasing
The prefered form of lease arrangement is a share of the freehold. In this situation the lessees enjoy being in charge if their destiny and notwithstanding that a managing agent is usually employed if the building is larger than a house conversion, the managing agent acts for the leaseholders themselves. Is anyone aware of any major works in the planning that will likely add a premium to the maintenance costs? Best to be warned whether changing the roof or some other significant cost is due shortly to be shared between the tenants and may well dramatically increase the the maintenance charges or necessitate a specific invoice.
I am looking to acquire a repossessed house in Staffordshire and the vendor would like to complete within a week. Can a lawyer complete in this timeframe? Am I best advised to instruct a local Staffordshire firm or an online firm that professes to complete quickly?
Attend your Staffordshire shopping parade. Go in to a couple of solicitor’s offices and ask to see a conveyancing solicitor for an estimate. Set out your situation and get a commitment on speed. Choose the firm that comes across as most efficient. Be sure to select a lawyer on the panel of conveyancing practitioners approved by your lender.