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

Find an Approved Solicitor on the Habito Conveyancing Panel

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What is the rationale as to why all property lawyers are not on the Habito Solicitor panel?
Pre- 2008 most lenders had an appetite for risk which was higher than today. The Financial Services Authority in 2010 conducted a thematic review into mortgage fraud which concluded: know the conveyancing solicitors that you are dealing with. Consequently, lenders have regularly sought more information from law firms about their operations and the individuals who work for them and set certain criteria such a completing on a minimum number of transactions. Many firms that have been excluded from lender panels have 100% healthy track record, no complaints and no claims and didn't just 'dabble' in conveyancing. Such firms were never going to meet the criteria of volume of transactions the lenders required.
My fiance and I intend to remortgage our penthouse with Habito. We have a son approaching twenty who lives with us. The solicitor on the Habito 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, waiving any legal rights in the event that the property is repossessed. I have a couple of questions (1) Is this document specific to the Habito conveyancing panel as he never had to sign this form when we purchased 4 years ago (2) Does our son by signing this giving up his rights to inherit the property?
On the face of it your lawyer has done nothing wrong 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 Habito .This is solely used to protect the Habito 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 Habito 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.

Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to attend the offices of the Habito conveyancing panel solicitor to sign the legal charge? If so, I will choose one who does conveyancing in Newcastle so that I can attend their offices when needed.
Most conveyancing panel lawyers for Habito undertake all of the work via the post, internet or over the phone. This means that they can undertake your Conveyancing Transaction no matter where you live in England or Wales. However you should check if you can still book an appointment to go into appointed conveyancing lawyer if you prefer.
I was expecting to move into my first house last Friday. My lawyer’s firm is on the Habito solicitors panel but has changed address in the past couple of months and had not informed Habito of their new address. Habito has locked down the release of mortgage funds as the information from the solicitors isn't correct.
This is as unusual as it is unlucky. The majority of lender Terms of Conveyancing Panel Appointment specifically oblige the solicitor to inform the lender of an address change. Your solicitor needs to treat this with the utmost urgency. Do speak with or register your concern with the senior partner (assuming he or she is not your direct lawyer). Most lenders would be reasonable in this situation and expedite the resolution of this issue. It may be prudent to enlist the help of your local Habito branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can assist.
is it true that all solicitor firms on the Habito conveyancing panel regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Habito conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Many lenders do allow licenced conveyancers on their panel in which case such firms would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
My wife and I have arranged a further advance on our mortgage from Habito as we wish to carry out a loft conversion to our home. Do we need to appoint a solicitor on the Habito conveyancing panel to deal with the paperwork?
Habito would not normally appoint firms on their approved list of lawyers 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 Habito panel
For 5 years I had a mortgage with Habito. My godfather retired last week and wants to pay off my mortgage. 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.
You will need a solicitor but they need not be on the Habito conveyancing 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.