Find an Approved Solicitor on the Zephyr Mortgages
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My fiance and I are first time buyers. Within the last couple of days our property lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with a view to exchanging next week. Zephyr Mortgages have this evening contacted us to inform me that they have now hit a problem as our solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. Is this a problem?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.
In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
Your solicitors should contact Zephyr Mortgages and see if they can apply for membership of the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Zephyr Mortgages will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.
Much to my surprise my property lawyer has requested from me ID documents stating that this forms part of his retainer as a solicitor on the Zephyr Mortgages Conveyancing panel. Can you confirm whether this is the case?
Due to Money Laundering Regulations your conveyancing lawyer is duty bound to confirm positively your identification when entering into a business relationship with you. It is a criminal offense if your lawyer not do this. If you do not provide ID early in the transaction the solicitor must refuse to act for you. It’s unlikely a lawyer will turn you away if you come to the first meeting without relevant ID but you will have to produce it at some point so you might as well bring it with you to the initial meeting so the lawyer can tick the ID verification box and start sorting out the conveyancing straight away. If you are getting a mortgage with Zephyr Mortgages your lawyer also has to check ID documents to satisfy Zephyr Mortgages
Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your directory have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Zephyr Mortgages solicitor panel?
No. There is no CML Part 2 or Building Society Association requirement relating to online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
We're in London, FTBs buying with a mortgage (lender is Zephyr Mortgages , but our solicitor is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel is a help. It would almost certainly delay matters if they were not. However, no conveyancer should guarantee a time-frame for your conveyancing due to third parties outside of our control such as delays caused by lenders,conveyancing search providers or by the other side’s solicitors. The time taken is often determined by the number of parties in a chain
We have a mortgage agreed in principle with Zephyr Mortgages. Solicitors have been instructed? How long does it take for Zephyr Mortgages to send the offer to our conveyancer
There is no definitive answer here. Have Zephyr Mortgages completed the survey? Have you advised Zephyr Mortgages as your lawyers details and checked that your lawyer is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through
I have instructed a lawyer having checked that they are on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having read lots of house buying,I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Zephyr Mortgages conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Zephyr Mortgages will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Zephyr Mortgages 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 Zephyr Mortgages you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.
My ex -wife’s name is on the Zephyr Mortgages mortgage of my property but not on the land registry. The apartment was transferred to me on our divorce many years ago by way of a sealed court order. Does my ex still have a say on the sale even though the land registry showing the property in my name alone? Will I be required to take her name of the Zephyr Mortgages mortgage in order to sell?
In terms of the Zephyr Mortgages mortgage, it is unusual that your ex-wife’s name remains on the mortgage but not on the title. It is conceivable that this is an oversight on the part of your conveyancers to ensure that her name was removed or even an administrative error on the part of Zephyr Mortgages in failing to update their data. In any event, it should cause difficulty providing her name no longer appears on the Land Registry title and you have a court order ordering that the property is transferred to you.