My wife and I are planning to acquire a property in Waltham and are in fact using a Waltham conveyancing firm. Within the past 48 hours our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. The Mortgage Works have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our Waltham solicitor is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
When purchasing a property with mortgage finance it is normal for the purchasers' lawyers to also act for 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 Quality Scheme. Your solicitor 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 are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the lender’s conveyancing panel as you are at liberty to use your preferred Waltham lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
It is is a decade since I purchased my house in Waltham. Conveyancing lawyers have just been instructed on the sale but I can't find my title deeds. Is this a problem?
Don’t worry too much. Firstly there is a possibility that the deeds will be retained by the lender or they may be in the possession of the conveyancers who handled your purchase. Secondly in most cases the property will be recorded at the land registry and you will be able to establish that you own the property by your conveyancing lawyers obtaining current official copies of the land registers. Nearly all conveyancing in Waltham relates to registered property but in the rare situation where your property is unregistered it adds to the complexity but is not insurmountable.
After reviewing mumsnet.com for a high-quality solicitor in Waltham, many say that I must look for a CQS accredited solicitor. What is CQS?
Waltham Conveyancing Quality Scheme practices have been granted accreditation by the law Society The Law Society established CQS to establish evidence of quality standards in the in the legal transfer of properties. CQS enables house movers to recognise practices who provide a quality residential conveyancing. Waltham is one of locations in England and Wales in which CQS have a presence. The scheme requires practices to undergo a strict assessment, compulsory training, self-reporting, spot checks and yearly assessments in order to maintain CQS status. It is available to solicitors and not licensed conveyancers and has the support of the Association of British Insurers.
What will a local search tell me concerning the house my wife and I purchasing in Waltham?
Waltham conveyancing often starts with the applying for local authority searches directly from your local Authority or through a personal search organisations for instance Searchflow The local search plays an important part in many a Waltham conveyancing purchase; as long as you don’t want any unpleasant surprises after you move into your new home. The search will supply data on, amongst other things, details on planning applications relevant to the property (whether granted or refused), building control history, any enforcement action, restrictions on permitted development, nearby road schemes, contaminated land and radon gas; in all a total of thirteen subject areas.
I was pointed in your direction by a few property agents in Waltham to locate a property lawyer using your seach tool. Is there a financial advantage for Estate Agents to promote your services rather than another?
We refuse to offer any referral fee for directing people our way. We found it would be just too difficult a fee because members of the public would think, ‘Why is the agent getting a kickback? Why am I not getting any benefit too?’ So we decided to step away from that.