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

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FAQs : The Virgin Conveyancing Panel

A conveyancer my fiance and I had intended to instruct on a purchase said she would charge more if my mortgage is with Virgin because of their unusual legal requirements. Will I regret using Virgin? Is Virgin conveyancing so much more difficult?
Virgin conveyancing requirements for their panel are no better or no more complicated than most lenders. It is the case now the CML Handbook, the "bible" used by solicitors to establish lender requirements, is different for each lender. It is not clear if your lawyer is on the Virgin conveyancing panel. If they are not, this does add further risk of delay as Virgin will appoint their own solicitors to look after their interest.
I do hope you can help me. My solicitor is assuring me that he has to conduct a Local Authority search because the firm are on the Virgin solicitor panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
You have limited options available to you. Given that you are taking out a loan with Virgin 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 Virgin’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Virgin. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
How up to date is your search tool for the Virgin conveyancing panel? Do Virgin send you an updated list?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Virgin conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Virgin directly.
My lawyers in Leeds have advised me that they can not locate my conveyancing file. At the time of my purchase I took out a mortgage with Virgin. Is it case that being on the Virgin conveyancing panel they need to have retained the file for a number of years?
It very much depends from lender to lender but many of the Terms and Conditions of Conveyancing Panel Appointment require the file to be held for a period of 6 years. That being said we have not seen a copy of the Virgin Conveyancing Panel Terms. It might be worth you contacting Virgin directly.
We are getting a further advance on our mortgage from Virgin as we wish to carry out a loft conversion to our home. Do we need to appoint a solicitor on the Virgin conveyancing panel to deal with the legals?
Virgin would not normally appoint a member of their approved list of lawyers to deal with such a matter. If they did require any legal work then you would need to ensure that such a lawyer was on the Virgin list
We have agreed to purchase a house.One unusual aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Virgin be concerned
Given that you are obtaining a mortgage with Virgin your lawyer must to check the Virgin conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Virgin . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Virgin where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. Requirements for Scotland are due in the near future.
I am selling my house. I had a double glazing fitted in month 7 but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My purchaser’s mortgage company, Virgin are being a right pain. The solicitor who is on the Virgin conveyancing panel is happy to accept ‘lack of building regulation’ insurance but Virgin are insisting on a building regulation certificate. Why do Virgin have a conveyancing panel of they don’t accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that Virgin have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why Virgin may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing correctly and safely installed. It merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.