I am nearing exchange of contracts for my house in Woodbury and the estate agent has just e-mailed to say that the purchasers are changing their conveyancer. The excuse is that the mortgage company will only engage with solicitors on their approved list. On what basis would a big named lender only engage with specific law firms rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Woodbury ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms that can act for them, but in recent years big names such as Yorkshire Building Society, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for more than 15 years.
Lending institutions justify this action to a rise in fraud by way of justification for the cull – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to monitor. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that 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. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
We decided to purchase a newly converted flat in Woodbury with a loan from Skipton Building Society.We would like to retain our Woodbury conveyancing solicitor but Skipton Building Society advised that her practice is not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct a Skipton Building Society panel lawyer or keep our high street solicitor and fork out for one of their panel ones to act for them. We feel as though this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. The home loan issued to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that conveyancers needs to be on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could find one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. A further alternative is for your solicitors to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Skipton Building Society
I decided to have a survey completed on a property in Woodbury in advance of retaining lawyers. I have been informed that there is a flying freehold element to the property. The surveyor advised that some banks tend refuse to give a loan on this type of premises.
It depends who your proposed lender is. Santander has different instructions for example to Birmingham Midshires. Should you wish to call us we can investigate further with the relevant bank. If you lender is happy to lend one our lawyers can assist as they are accustomed to dealing with flying freeholds in Woodbury. Conveyancing will be smoother if you use a solicitor in Woodbury especially if they are familiar with such properties in Woodbury.
Should I go with a Woodbury conveyancing lawyer in close proximity to the house I am purchasing? I have an old university friend who can handle the legal work however they are based approximately 350miles away.
The primary upside of using a local Woodbury conveyancing practice is that you can pop in to sign documents, deliver your identification documents and apply pressure on them if necessary. They will also have local insight which is a benefit. However nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If if people you trust instructed your friend and the majority were impressed that should trump using an unfamiliar Woodbury conveyancing lawyer solely due to them being based in the area.
Do you have any advice for leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury with the aim of expediting the sale process?
- Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury can be reduced where you appoint lawyers as soon as you market your property and request that they start to collate the leasehold documentation needed by the purchasers’ solicitors. The majority of landlords or managing agents in Woodbury charge for providing management packs for a leasehold premises. You or your lawyers should discover the actual amount of the charges. The management information sought on or before finding a buyer, thus accelerating the process. The average time it takes to receive management information is three weeks. It is the most frequent reason for frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Woodbury. If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are resolved prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a property where there is an ongoing dispute. You will have to accept that you will have to discharge any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the buyers, but it is clearly preferable to present the dispute as over rather than unsettled. Some Woodbury leases require Landlord’s consent to the sale and approval of the buyers. If this applies to your lease, it would be prudent to place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are able to meet the annual service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their solicitors.
Woodbury Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Questions you should consider before Purchasing
Is anyone aware of any major works in the near future that could increase the maintenance charges? It is important to be aware if fixing the lift or some other significant cost is anticipated that will be shared amongst the leasehold owners and could well dramatically impact the level of the maintenance fees or necessitate a one time invoice.