Find an Approved Solicitor on the Pepper Homeloans
Frequently asked questions relating to the Pepper Homeloans Conveyancing Panel
My husband and I are FTBs. 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. Pepper Homeloans have this evening contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. What do we do from here?
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 property lawyers should contact Pepper Homeloans and see if they can apply for membership of the Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Pepper Homeloans will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it will likely delay the transaction as you are adding another lawyer into the mix.
I do hope you can help me. My lawyer is advising me that she is duty-bound to apply for a Local Authority search as the firm are on the Pepper Homeloans solicitor panel. Do I not have a choice here?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. Given that you are taking out a loan with Pepper Homeloans your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of Pepper Homeloans’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Pepper Homeloans. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your directory have online case tracking as I understood that this was a condition of being on the Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders or BSA do not require online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
I was supposed to complete on my dream home last Friday. My lawyer’s firm is on the Pepper Homeloans solicitors panel but has moved offices in the past couple of months and had not advised Pepper Homeloans of their new address. Pepper Homeloans is now refusing to release my 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 Pepper Homeloans branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can assist.
Is the case that all CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors on the Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel?
A selection of banks and building societies now use the accreditation scheme as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the CML have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their panels.
After shopping around on the internet I have found a solicitor having checked that they are on the Pepper Homeloans 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 Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. is that correct?
Pepper Homeloans will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Pepper Homeloans 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 Pepper Homeloans you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.
My offer on house has been accepted, but there is a chain. The vendors have offered on somewhere, but not been accepted yet, and have viewings of other properties booked. My conveyancing solicitor has been instructed. What do I do now? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Pepper Homeloans?
It is usual to have concerns where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to be too out of pocket too early (mortgage application is approx £1k, then survey/valuation, conveyancing search costs, etc). First you should check that your solicitor is on the Pepper Homeloans conveyancing panel. As to the next stages this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, desire for this property and on the state of the market. In a hot mortgage some buyers would pally for the mortgage with Pepper Homeloans and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.