Find an Approved Solicitor on the Habito
Q and A’s regarding the Habito Solicitor Panel
My partner and I are novices when it comes to buying a property. Within the 48 hours our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with a view to exchanging next week. Habito have this evening contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our lawyer is not on their conveyancing panel. Please explain?
When purchasing a property with the benefit of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
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 solicitors should contact Habito and see if they can apply for membership of the Habito conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Habito will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Habito conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
I am purchasing a brand new flat and my solicitor is advising me that she is duty bound to reveal incentives from the builder as her practice is on the Habito conveyancing panel. I am on a tight deadline to exchange contracts and my preference is not to prolong matters. Is my lawyer right?
You should not exchange unless you have advised to do so by your lawyer. A precondition to being on the Habito approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Habito). The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
I am buying a house and require a conveyancing solicitor in London who is on the Habito solicitor. Could you point me in the right direction as regards a firm?
Our service is a directory service for firms who wish to be listed as being on the approved conveyancing panel for Habito . We don’t recommend any particular firm.
I am buying a right to buy flat and getting a mortgage with Habito. Can I do my own conveyancing?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing you will have to appoint a solicitor on the Habito conveyancing panel to look after their interests. Most people therefore find it easier to let the solicitor act for them and the lender. Furthermore there is minimal cost savings to made in you doing to conveyancing for yourself and another lawyer conducting the conveyancing for the lender. Please feel free to use the search tool to find a lawyer on the Habito conveyancing panel in your location.
We have a mortgage agreed in principle with Habito. Solicitors have been instructed? What is the average time that one could expect to receive a mortgage offer from Habito?
Some lenders take longer than others. Have Habito conducted the survey? Have you advised Habito as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Habito conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
I have instructed a lawyer having made sure that they are on the Habito conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having digested plenty of house buying,I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Habito conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
Habito will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Habito will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey.
You may wish to consider appointing your own surveyor to carry out a survey or prepare a home buyers report on the property. It is up to you to satisfy yourself that the property is structurally sound before you buy it. If the survey or report reveals that building work is needed, you should tell your solicitor. You may wish to renegotiate with the seller.
Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Habito you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.
Habito have agreed my mortgage in principle, my offer on house has been accepted, now what?
The estate agent will want to know who your solicitors are (make sure these solicitors are on the lenders panel). Call up Habito or your broker and complete any relevant paperwork. Habito will tell you what documents they want. Habito will instruct a valuer. The valuer will get in touch with the estate agent or seller to book an appointment. Once conducted (assuming no problems) it takes about week to get a mortgage offer. Habito will issue the offer to you and your lawyer. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing.