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

Find an Approved Solicitor on the Topaz Finance plc Conveyancing Panel

FAQs : The Topaz Finance Conveyancing Panel

I am progressing with the sale of my flat and the EA has just texted me to warn that the buyers are switching property lawyer. I am told that this is due to the fact that Topaz Finance will only deal with property lawyers 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 HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 15 years.

Banks point to the increase 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.

My partner and I intend to remortgage our apartment with Topaz Finance. We have a son 19 who lives with us. The solicitor on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel has asked us to disclose any adults other than ourselves who lives in the flat. Our lawyer has now e-mailed a document for our son to sign, waiving any legal rights in the event that the flat is repossessed. I have two concerns (1) Is this document specific to the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel as he did not need to sign this form when we remortgaged 5 years ago (2) In signing this form is our son in any way compromising his right to inherit the property?
First, rest assured that your Topaz Finance conveyancing panel solicitor is doing the right thing as it is established procedure for any occupier who is aged 17 or over to sign the necessary Consent Form, which is purely to state that any rights he has in the property are postponed and secondary to Topaz Finance .This is solely used to protect the Topaz Finance if the property were re-possessed so that in such circumstances, your son would be legally obliged to leave.

It does not impact your son’s right to inherit the apartment. Please note that if your son were to inherit and the mortgage in favour of Topaz Finance had not been discharged, he would be liable to take over the loan or pay it off, but other than that, there is nothing stopping him from keeping the property in accordance with your will or the rules of intestacy.

Whilst your website is a good idea there are many lawyers listed near Chelsea on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. Can you recommend a specific firm on the Topaz Finance approved panel?
We do not recommend specific firms as the right firm for you depends on where your priorities lie. For example you may require a local firm with local knowledge or you might be looking for the low cost conveyancing. Before you appoint your lawyer we advise you to speak to two or three of the firms listed to gain comfort as to which one is right for you..
I am attempting to get my former partner taken off the mortgage deeds. Can Topaz Finance really insist on which solicitor I can or can not retain?
You can use any solicitor you like but Topaz Finance then has the right to appoint a different solicitor to act for them at your expense. It might be more cost effective and quicker to instruct a lawyer who is on the Topaz Finance solicitors panel
I have instructed a lawyer having made sure that they are on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property? Or I've digested plenty of mortgage guides,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 Topaz Finance conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Topaz Finance will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Topaz Finance 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. or 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 Topaz Finance you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.
At last I have had an offer on an apartment accepted, the seller does however have a dependent purchase. 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 should be my next step? At what point should I appy for the mortgage with Topaz Finance?
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 Topaz Finance 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 Topaz Finance and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their solicitor to press on with searches.
Next month my fiance and I are buying a garden flat in Hendon. Conveyancing solicitors in Hendon are preferred to beretained. My fatherrecommended that we double-check that the conveyancer in Hendon is on the Topaz Finance list of approved conveyancing firms. Is this really necessary?
Not all Hendon conveyancing solicitors are on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel. 5 people a month use our search tool to search for a Hendon conveyancing firm on the on the Topaz Finance approved list of lawyers.