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Ready to buy a new home? Failing to check that a lawyer is on the Ecology BS list of approved solicitors can put your transaction at risk of delay or failure.

Find an Approved Solicitor on the Ecology Building Society Conveyancing Panel

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I am in the process of selling my house and the estate agent has just texted me to warn that the purchasers are changing their solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that Ecology Building Society will only engage with property lawyers on their approved list. On what basis would a leading mortgage company only deal with certain solicitors?
Lenders have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for decades.

Lenders blame a rise in fraud by way of justification 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 hearing daily from firms 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.

I am due to complete my purchase next Friday. I have now been asked to send a copy of my building insurance schedule by my solicitor as as he informs me that he is duty bound to validate that it is in order for Ecology Building Society. What does the insurance need to cover?
Any lawyer on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel would need to check that the following risks are covered fire; lightning; aircraft; explosion; earthquake; storm; flood; escape of water or oil; riot; malicious damage; theft or attempted theft; falling trees and branches and aerials; subsidence; heave;landslip;collision;accidental damage to underground services;professional fees, demolition and site clearance costs; and public liability to anyone else. There are some other issues such as the level of excess that are set out in Ecology Building Society’s Part 2 requirements of the CML Handbook (last updated on Ecology Building Society). Being on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel your lawyer is expect to follow these instructions.
I have checked your search tool I can't find the lawyer I was hoping to instruct as being on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel. My lawyer has said that they are on the Ecology Building Society approved panel. How can I be sure given that they are not listed on your directory?
Not all firms are yet listed on our lender panel search tool which is still relatively new. Law firms are listing on a daily basis and it is probably the case that your lawyer is on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing lawyer and you should probably take them at their word. Please do feel free to suggest that they completing their listing on our site as it would only cost them £1 a month to list themselves as being on the Ecology Building Society solicitor panel.
My aunt passed away 10 months ago and as sole heir and executor was left the property. The house had a small mortgage remaining of approximately £4500. I want to have the title changed into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Ecology Building Society , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this possible?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Ecology Building Society will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel. Here is link to the Land Registry online guidance around what to do when a property owner dies. This will help you to understand the registration process behind changing the details re the registered title. in your case it would appear that you are effectively purchasing the property from the estate. Your Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel solicitor pays the new mortgage money into the estate, the estate pays off the old mortgage, the charge is released and you become the owner and the Ecology Building Society mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
My brother and I have agreed a price on a apartment I spoke to a lawyer recommended by my mum and he suggested instructing a property lawyers approved by Ecology Building Society. The estate agent recommended two local firms so I asked Ecology Building Society if the 2 suggested solicitors are approved, which they are not. Ecology Building Society suggested that either practice can fill out the appropriate forms to become approved. Do I (1) save myself the aggravation and use one of Ecology Building Society 's conveyancing panel solicitors (2) Use the local solicitor and accept there may be delays etc as they go through the approval process.
Enquire of Ecology Building Society for conveyancing panel firms in your area. Most banks have lawyers on their panel throughout the UK. You can also use our search tool at the top of this page to search for a lawyer on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel based on location. If you particularly like the sound of one of the local lawyers that you have spoken to ask them if they would go onto Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel as it may only take about 2-3 weeks. As long as they meet Ecology Building Society’s requirements it can be a very simple job for the solicitor. Other stuff will be going on in parallel (as you are at an early stage) so it may not delay matters.
Can I register a complaint to Ecology Building Society about the lawyers being on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel?
There is little point in complaining directly to Ecology Building Society. Every solicitor firm and conveyancer must have a complaints procedure. Usually one can find this information from the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s website or ask at their office. They must tell you about it if you ask.

The Legal Ombudsman will make sure that your complaint is addressed by the solicitor. It can also advise you how to complain.

If a licensed conveyancer does not have a complaints procedure or will not tell you about it, contact the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the conveyancer. Please see below for more information.

My offer on house has been accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties booked. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What should be my next step? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Ecology Building Society?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the Ecology Building Society conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with Ecology Building Society and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.