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Find an Approved Solicitor on the Darlington Building Society Conveyancing Panel

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I am progressing with the sale of my apartment and the EA has just called to warn that the purchasers are switching property lawyer. The excuse is that Darlington Building Society will only work with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. Why would a big named mortgage company only work with specific law firms?
Lenders have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.

Banks point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. 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 buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.

My partner and I changing mortgage lender for our flat with Darlington Building Society. We have a son 19 who lives with us. The solicitor on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose any adults other than ourselves who lives in the flat. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, giving up any rights in the event that the apartment is repossessed. I have a couple of questions (1) Is this form unique to the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we bought 3 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this giving up his rights to inherit the property?
First, rest assured that your Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel solicitor is doing the right thing as it is established procedure for any occupier who is aged 17 or over to sign the necessary Consent Form, which is purely to state that any rights he has in the property are postponed and secondary to Darlington Building Society .This is solely used to protect the Darlington Building Society if the property were re-possessed so that in such circumstances, your son would be legally obliged to leave.

It does not impact your son’s right to inherit the apartment. Please note that if your son were to inherit and the mortgage in favour of Darlington Building Society had not been discharged, he would be liable to take over the loan or pay it off, but other than that, there is nothing stopping him from keeping the property in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy.

Are there any apps to help search for a local solicitor on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel? I have a car and am prepared to travel up to 10 kilometers to meet the lawyer.
You can use the find a conveyancing panel search on this website. Please choose the lender and your location and you will see a number of lawyer located nearest you. Alternatively you can type in the name of your proposed law firm and see if they are listed as being on the Darlington Building Society solicitor panel.
I am trying to get my former partner removed the mortgage deeds. Can Darlington Building Society really insist on which solicitor I can or can not use?
You can use any solicitor you like but Darlington Building Society then has the right to appoint a different solicitor to act for them at your expense. It might be more cost effective and quicker to instruct a lawyer who is on the Darlington Building Society solicitors panel
I had instructed online solicitors based in Bristol who are on the Darlington Building Society solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £195 for dealing with the Darlington Building Society mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee specified by Darlington Building Society?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by Darlington Building Society but by your lawyers. Some firms on the Darlington Building Society will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
How can we tell if a solicitor on the Darlington Building Society panel is any good?
seeking recommendations is a good start. Before you go ahead check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always advocate that you speak with the solicitor conducting your transaction
My wife and I have arranged a further advance on our mortgage from Darlington Building Society as we wish to carry out alterations or improvements our home. Do we need to appoint a solicitor on the Darlington Building Society conveyancing panel to deal with the paperwork?
Darlington Building Society would not normally instruct a member of their conveyancing panel to deal with such a matter. If they did require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Darlington Building Society list