Find an Approved Solicitor on the Habito
FAQs for the Habito Conveyancing Panel
I am progressing with the sale of my flat and the EA has just called to say that the buyers are appointing a new solicitor. The excuse is that Habito will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a big named mortgage company only engage with certain law firms?
UK lenders have always had panels 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 more than 25 years.
Banks point to the increase 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.
Can you clarify something for me?. For no fault of my lawyer but, the conveyancing for my house purchase has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Habito was dated random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on 6. My lawyer has advised that as she is on the Habito conveyancing panel she needs to redo the searches as they are no longer acceptable to the lender.
One of the many conditions to being on the Habito approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook Part 2 obligations (last updated for this lender on Habito)which specifies that a local authority search be not more than half a year old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to Habito.
Do all mortgage companies provide you with an approved list of solicitors? How do you know who is on the Habito conveyancing panel?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Habito conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Habito directly.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my lawyer’s firm is expelled from the Habito Conveyancing panel before the completion date?
First, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
My fiance and I are in the process of viewing apartments and now considering a potential offer. Is it premature to have a solicitor in place? I intend to finance via a home loan with Habito
It would be sensible to have your start your search soon rather than later. Once you decide who you want to use and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and pass their details on the the EA. As you are getting a mortgage with Habito , ask your prospective lawyers check they are on the Habito conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.
I have a mortgage with Habito. My grandfather has just retired and wants to pay off the mortgage left on the property. After Habito is paid, I want to transfer the property to my mother's name; How long does the process take? Do we need two separate solicitors on the Habito conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the Habito mortgage is discharged.
Although you do need to retain the services of a lawyer they dont
need to be on the Habito panel.
You will need a solicitor to draw up the transfer and
to deal with the Land Registry formalities. The only thing you need to
consider is that by selling at an undervalue so ask your lawyer about
the implications. There could be an inheritance tax issue if you die
within 7 years of this. As the property is your main residence you need
not pay CGT but you should speak with your accountants in any event.
Planning on purchasing a flat with a mortgage with Habito. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Lender if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the Habito conveyancing panel. I wanted to make sure it means there will be no additional fees for dealing with the mortgage.
They are simply saying that the cost for acting for the lender is included in the fee being quoted. It is worth you checking that they are on the Habito conveyancing panel