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

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My wife and I are FTBs. Within the 48 hours our solicitor has forwarded the sale agreement to sign with a detailed report with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Hampden have this morning contacted us to advise us that they have now hit a problem as our conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. Is this a problem?
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 Hampden and see if they can apply for membership of the Hampden conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Hampden will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Hampden conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.

Can you clarify something for me?. My lawyer is not to blame but, my purchase conveyancing has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Hampden was date stamped random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on 10 days inc Day of week eg. Mon. My lawyer informs me that as she is on the Hampden conveyancing panel she needs to reorder the searches as they are now out of date.
A precondition to being on the Hampden approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Hampden)which states 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 Hampden.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Hampden conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Hampden?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Hampden conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Hampden directly.
My grandfather passed away six months ago and as sole heir and executor was left the property. The house had a small mortgage remaining of approximately £8000. I want to transfer the title deeds into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Hampden , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Hampden will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Hampden 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 Hampden 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 Hampden mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
Are all solicitor firms on the Hampden conveyancing panel regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As solicitors, in order to be on the Hampden 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).
I have today made my last payment due on mortgage with Hampden. I assume I don't need a solicitor on the Hampden panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Please confirm
If you have finished paying off your Hampden mortgage they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the Hampden mortgage from the register. Hampden,and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage: but are not moving to another property where the Hampden has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and the Hampden has instructed the Land Registry to do so The Land Registry will send you a letter confirming that your Hampden mortgage has been paid off.
I am currently in the process of buying my council flat. I have a mortgage offer with Hampden. Conveyancing is not something I have any knowledge of. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should use one. Any advice?
It is not advisable proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event if you are getting a mortgage with Hampden you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Hampden conveyancing panel.