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FAQs : The Saffron Building Society Conveyancing Panel

I am progressing with the sale of my maisonette and the EA has just texted me to advise that the purchasers are switching conveyancer. I am told that this is due to the fact that Saffron Building Society will only work with solicitors on their approved list. On what basis would a big named lender only work with specific lawyers?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Lloyds Banking Group, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.

Banks blame a rise 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 being contacted daily by practices 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.

I am due to complete my purchase next Monday. I have now been asked to send a copy of my building insurance schedule by my solicitor as as he informs me that he is duty bound to validate that it is in order for Saffron Building Society. What risks do Saffron Building Society expect the insurance to cover?
Any lawyer on the Saffron Building Society 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 Saffron Building Society’s Part 2 requirements of the CML Handbook (last updated on Saffron Building Society). Being on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel your lawyer is expect to follow these requirements.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Saffron Building Society?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Saffron Building Society directly.
My grandmother passed away six months ago and as sole heir and executor was left the property. The house had a relatively small loan left on it of around £5k. I want to transfer the title deeds into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Saffron Building Society , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Saffron Building Society will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Saffron Building Society 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 Saffron Building Society 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 Saffron Building Society mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
Is it the case that all conveyancing solicitors on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As solicitors, in order to be on the Saffron Building Society 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).
Last month we had a mortgage agreed in principle with Saffron Building Society. Solicitors have been chosen? How long does it take for Saffron Building Society to send the offer to our conveyancer
Some lenders take longer than others. Have Saffron Building Society completed the valuation? Have you advised Saffron Building Society as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Saffron Building Society conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
My ex -wife’s name is on the Saffron Building Society mortgage of my property but not on the land registry. The apartment was transferred to me on our divorce many years ago by way of a sealed court order. Does my ex still have a say on the sale even though the land registry showing the property in my name alone? Will I be required to take her name of the Saffron Building Society mortgage in order to sell?
As regards the Saffron Building Society mortgage, it is unusual that your ex-wife’s name remains on the mortgage but not on the title. It is conceivable that this is an oversight on the part of your conveyancers to ensure that her name was removed or even an administrative error on the part of Saffron Building Society in failing to update their data. In any event, it should cause difficulty providing her name no longer appears on the Land Registry title and you have a court order ordering that the property is transferred to you.