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

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On what basis could a law firm be removed from the Skipton Building Society solicitor panel?
According to a recent survey report by the solicitors regulator three quarters of law firms had been removed from a lender panel. The most common reasons in order are :
  1. Low volume of transactions
  2. the lawyer is a sole practitioner
  3. as part of the HSBC panel reduction
  4. regulatory contact by SRA
  5. accidental removal. We are not aware of the specific or common criteria for removal by Skipton Building Society
Please help. My lawyer is advising me that he is legally obliged to order a Local Authority search stemming from the fact that the firm are on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. As you are taking a mortgage with Skipton Building Society 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 Skipton Building Society’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Skipton Building Society. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
Is it necessary during the course of the conveyancing process to have a meeting at the offices of the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel solicitor to sign the legal charge? If so, I will instruct a firm who offer conveyancing in Bristol so that I can pop in to their offices when needed.
Whereas this was necessary 15 years ago, most lenders no longer require their conveyancing panel solicitor to witness the borrowers signature. You will still be obliged to provide ID Documents and there are still distinct advantages to using a local solicitor, in your case a conveyancing solicitor in Bristol .
My aunt passed away last year and as sole heir and executor was left the property. The house had a relatively small loan left on it of around £8000. I want to have the title changed into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Skipton Building Society , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Skipton Building Society will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Skipton 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 Skipton 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 Skipton Building Society mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
Are all solicitor firms on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As a firm of solicitors, in order to be on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the SRA. 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 Skipton Building Society. Solicitors have been instructed? What is the average time that one could expect to receive a mortgage offer from Skipton Building Society?
There is no definitive answer here. Have Skipton Building Society completed the valuation? Have you advised Skipton Building Society as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
I am currently in the process of buying my council flat. I have a mortgage agreed with Skipton Building Society. Conveyancing is new to me. 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 Skipton Building Society you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Skipton Building Society conveyancing panel.