My partner and I are planning to purchase a flat in Stourbridge and have appointed a Stourbridge conveyancing practice. Within the past 48 hours our conveyancer has forwarded the sale agreement to be signed with a detailed report with the expectation that exchange is imminent. National Westminster Bank have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our Stourbridge conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is conventional for the purchasers' lawyers to also represent the mortgage company. 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 Accreditation Scheme. Your property lawyer should contact your lender and see if they can apply for membership of their conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable they will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the bank's conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Stourbridge lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
I have given 2 months notice to my existing landlord and must be out of my rented property in Stourbridge by 24/1/2023. Conveyancing on my purchase is underway. Can I complete in three weeks as I wish to avoid having to move into short term accommodation?
It is unwise to provide notice on a rental unless exchange of contracts has taken place. Assuming that you have not previously done so, update to your lawyer and ask them to they cajole the other lawyers, try to get a realistic time scale from them that everyone will aim to achieve
It is a dozen years since I acquired my house in Stourbridge. Conveyancing solicitors have just been instructed on the sale but I can't locate the deeds. Will this jeopardise the sale?
Don’t worry too much. First there is a chance that the deeds will be retained by your mortgage company or they may be in the possession of the lawyers who handled the purchase. Secondly the likelihood is that the property will be recorded at the land registry and you will be able to prove you own the property by your conveyancing solicitors procuring current official copies of the land registers. Almost all conveyancing in Stourbridge involves registered property but in the unlikely event that your property is unregistered it is more tricky but is resolvable.
Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to have a meeting at the offices of the solicitor to execute the legal charge? If so, I will choose one who does conveyancing in Stourbridge so that I can attend their offices if required.
Whereas this was necessary 12 years ago, almost all mortgage companies no longer oblige their conveyancing panel lawyer to witness the borrowers signature. You will still be obliged to hand over identification documents and there are still manifest advantages to instructing a local ayer, in your situation a conveyancing solicitor in Stourbridge.
I am the sole beneficiary of my late grandmother’s estate with all property in now in my sole name, including the house in Stourbridge. The Stourbridge property was put into my name in October. I plan to dispose of the house. I understand that there is a CML six month 'rule', meaning my property ownership may be considered the same way as if I'd bought the property in October. Will no one buy the property for half a year?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ handbook obliges solicitors to: "report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months." Technically you could be impacted by that. Most mortgage companies would take a pragmatic view as this obligation is chiefly there to capture the purchase and immediately sell or the flipping of property.
When it comes to mortgage companies such as Skipton, do Stourbridge solicitors incur a yearly amount to be on the conveyancing panel?
We are not aware of any mortgage company fees to register on their panel, although some do charge an administration fee to deal with the processing of the conveyancing panel application.
The mortgage over my property is with HSBC for my property in Stourbridge. Conveyancing was finalised some time ago. If I am intending to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform HSBC?
You must advise HSBC before renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of HSBC’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies 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 HSBC directly. You need not do this via a HSBC conveyancing panel lawyer.