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approved by Whistletree

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

Find an Approved Solicitor on the Whistletree (a trading name of TSB Bank plc) Conveyancing Panel

Common questions asked concerning the Whistletree Solicitor Panel

I am progressing with the sale of my maisonette and the estate agent has just called to say that the buyers are swapping solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that Whistletree will only deal with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a leading lender only work with specific solicitors?
Lenders 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 decades.

Lenders blame a rise in fraud as the reason 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 nephew is purchasing a new build apartment with a mortgage from Whistletree. His conveyancer has advised him of a delay in receiving the ‘Disclosure of Incentive Form’. What is this document - I have never come across this before?
The document is intended to provide information to the main parties engaged in the purchase. Therefore, it will be provided to your son’s lawyer who should be on the Whistletree conveyancing panel as a standard part of the process, and to the surveyor when requested.

The Developer will be required to start the process by downloading the form and completing it.

The form will therefore need to be available for the valuer at the time of his or her site visit. The form should be sent to the Whistletree conveyancing panel solicitor as early as possible, in order to avoid any last minute delays, and no later than at exchange of contracts.

Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your search have online case tracking as I understood that this was a condition of being on the Whistletree solicitor 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 am purchasing a new build flat and getting a mortgage with Whistletree. Can I do my own conveyancing?
Leaving aside the complexities and merits of DIY conveyancing you will have to appoint a solicitor on the Whistletree conveyancing panel to look after their interests. Most people therefore find it easier to let the solicitor act for them and the lender. Furthermore there is minimal cost savings to made in you doing to conveyancing for yourself and another lawyer conducting the conveyancing for the lender. Please feel free to use the search tool to find a lawyer on the Whistletree conveyancing panel in your location.
Can I be sure that the solicitor on the Whistletree panel is any good?
seeking recommendations is a sensible start. Before you go ahead check if they offer a no sale no fee offer. Also you often get what you pay for - a firm which quotes more will often provide a better service than one which is cheap as chips. We would always recommend that you speak with the lawyer carrying out your conveyancing
My existing mortgage is with Whistletree. My grandfather retired last week and wants to pay off the mortgage left on the property. After Whistletree is paid, I want to transfer the property to my mother's name; How long does the process take? Do we need two separate solicitors on the Whistletree conveyancing panel? I do not intend to live at the property once the Whistletree mortgage is discharged.
You will need a solicitor but they need not be on the Whistletree conveyancing panel. You will need a solicitor to draw up the transfer and to deal with the Land Registry formalities. The only thing you need to consider is that by selling at an undervalue so ask your lawyer about the implications. There could be an inheritance tax issue if you die within 7 years of this. There's no capital gains tax for you as it is your main residence.
It is not clear whether my mortgage offer requires a lease extension . I have called Whistletree on numerous occasions and told it wasn't a problem and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Whistletree conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. I simply dont know who is right
Your lawyer has to follow the CML Handbook Part 2 requirements for Whistletree. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Whistletree will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask Whistletree to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.