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Q and A’s regarding the Sainsburys Bank Solicitor Panel
We are hoping to buy a 3 bedroom apartment in Newcastle with a mortgage from Sainsburys Bank. We would like to retain our solicitor but Sainsburys Bank says she’s not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the Sainsburys Bank panel solicitors or keep our solicitor and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. We feel as though this is unjust; Can we not simply insist that Sainsburys Bank use our lawyer?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. Another option that might be available is for your solicitors to apply to be on the conveyancing panel for Sainsburys Bank
can you help? My lawyer is informing me me that she is duty-bound to apply for a Local Authority search as the firm are on the Sainsburys Bank solicitor panel. Do I not have a choice here?
You have limited options available to you. Given that you are taking out a loan with Sainsburys Bank 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 Sainsburys Bank’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Sainsburys Bank. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Do all the firms listed on your directory have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Sainsburys Bank 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 move into my flat last Thursday. My solicitor is on the Sainsburys Bank solicitors panel but has changed address 8 weeks ago and had not advised Sainsburys Bank of their new address. Sainsburys Bank 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. Most 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 Sainsburys Bank branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
We were going to get a DIP from Sainsburys Bank this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc).Do the Sainsburys Bank recommend a solicitor on the Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel, or is it better to find our own lawyer
You will need to appoint solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and the Sainsburys Bank through the process.
I currently have a mortgage with with Sainsburys Bank. Conveyancing has been completed some time ago. If I am intending to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform Sainsburys Bank?
Sainsburys Bank must be informed of your intention before renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of Sainsburys Bank’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will permit you to let out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Sainsburys Bank directly. You need not do this via a Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel lawyer.
After shopping around on the internet I have found a solicitor having checked that they are on the Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having digested plenty of house buying,I note that they all recommend that you should get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Sainsburys Bank conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Sainsburys Bank will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Sainsburys Bank 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 Sainsburys Bank you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.
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