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FAQs for the Habito Solicitor Panel
My partner and I are novices when it comes to buying a property. Within the last couple of days our lawyer has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report with a view to exchanging next week. Habito have this morning contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. What do we do from here?
If you are buying a property with the assistance 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 Accreditation 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 as you are at liberty to use your preferred lawyers, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
Expecting to complete my purchase next Friday. My conveyancing lawyer has asked me to provide him with a copy of the building insurance for the house as he says that he has to check this in has capacity as lawyer for Habito. What risks do Habito expect the insurance to cover?
Any lawyer on the Habito 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 Habito’s Part 2 requirements of the CML Handbook (last updated on Habito). Being on the Habito conveyancing panel your lawyer is expect to follow these instructions.
I am buying a house and need a conveyancing solicitor in Birmingham who is on the Habito solicitor. Could you point me in the right direction as regards a conveyancing 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.
My grandfather passed away last year and as sole heir and executor was left the house. The house had a relatively small loan left on it of around £4500. I want to transfer the title deeds into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Habito , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Habito will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Habito 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 Habito 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 Habito mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
Are all Conveyancing Quality Solicitors on the Habito conveyancing panel?
It is true that some lenders now use the accreditation scheme as the starting point for Panel approval such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the Council of Mortgage Lenders have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their approved list of firms.
Do conveyancing lawyers on the Habito conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
There is generally no requirements by lenders for their firms to operate on a no-sale-no-fee basis. There a small number of lenders who operate a very restricted conveyancing panel managed by a third party company (often termed in the industry as a ‘gatekeeper’). That third party may impose certain conditions such as non-sale-no fee on the panel firms. If you require this as a condition of your conveyancing then you should check with the conveyancing firm that this is part of their service
Hi, thinking about buying a house off my mate. Once we agree a price, what’s the best way to proceed? I hope to get a mortgage with Habito. Is there anyway to cut out the solicitors to save us both money? My father said that years ago it was possible to take the documents into the local Land Registry office and they did the rest
If you are getting a mortgage with Habito involved you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Habito conveyancing panel. We would not encourage you to both use the same solicitors' firm. There are clear conflict of interest issues and it's not going to make a huge difference to the speed of the overall process. So as not to hold things us you should pass on your solicitors details to Habito. Feel free to use our search tool to look for a licensed conveyancer or solicitor on the Habito conveyancing panel.
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