I am selling my maisonette in Audlem and the estate agent has just e-mailed to advise that the purchasers are swapping property lawyer. The excuse is that the bank will only deal with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a big named lender only engage with certain solicitors rather the firm that they want to select to handle their conveyancing in Audlem ?
Mortgage companies have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the past few years big names such as Yorkshire Building Society, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for many years.
Mortgage companies justify this action to a rise in fraud as the reason for the cull – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to monitor. 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. Some are unaware that they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyers' case. Your purchasers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
It is is a decade since I bought my house in Audlem. Conveyancing lawyers have just been instructed on the sale but I am unable to track down the title deeds. Is this a problem?
You need not be too concerned. First the deeds may be retained by the lender or they could still be with the solicitor who acted in the purchase. Secondly in all probability the property will be registered at the land registry and you will be able to prove you are the registered owner by your conveyancing solicitors procuring current official copies of the land registers. The vast majority of conveyancing in Audlem relates to registered property but in the unlikely event that your home is unregistered it is more problematic but is resolvable.
We're in Audlem, First time buyers purchasing with a mortgage (lender is TSB , and our solicitor is on the TSB conveyancing panel). How long should the conveyancing process take?
The fact that your lawyer is on the TSB conveyancing panel is a help. It would almost certainly delay matters if they were not. However, no conveyancer should guarantee a timeframe for your conveyancing, due to third parties outside of your 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.
I am assisting my aunt sell her flat in Audlem. Does the conveyancer arrange an energy performance certificate or do I organise this?
Following the demise of Home Information Packs, energy assessments was left as a mandatory element of moving house. An energy performance certificate must be commissioned prior to the property being advertised. It is not something that conveyancers normally organise. Where you are using a Audlem conveyancing lawyer they may help arrange energy performance certificates due to their contacts with long established local energy assessors
We had appointed conveyancing lawyers based in Audlem on the Santander solicitor approved list. They have just billed me a separate fee for handling the Santander mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee set by Santander?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your lawyer is entitled to charge a fee for this. The fee is not dictated by Santander but by your Audlem conveyancing practitioner. Some firms on the Santander panel will quote an ‘acting for lender’ fee but some practices include it on their overall fee.
After what feels like an age I have had an offer on a maisonette in Audlem agreed to, the vendors do however have a tied purchase. The vendors have offered on on an apartment, however it’s not yet tied up, and are looking at other properties booked. I have instructed a nearby conveyancing solicitor in Audlem. What do I do now? When should I get the mortgage application with HSBC started?
It is normal to have anxieties where there is a chain as you are unlikely to want to incur expenses prematurely (mortgage application is approx one thousand pounds, then survey, Audlem conveyancing search fees, etc). First, you must check that your solicitor is on the HSBC conveyancing panel. As to the subsequent steps this very much depends on the circumstances of your case, attraction to the property and on the state of the market. During a rising market some buyers will apply for the mortgage with HSBC and pay for the valuation and only if it comes back ok would they pay their conveyancer to proceed with searches.
I used Stirling Law several years past for my conveyancing in Audlem. Now, I need my files but cannot find the solicitor. What do I do?
Do call the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to help locate your conveyancing files. They can be contacted on please contact on 0870 606 2555. Alternatively, you should use their online form to make an enquiry. You will need to provide the SRA with as much information as possible to assist their search, including the name and address in Audlem of the conveyancing firm of solicitors you previously instructed, the name of conveyancing solicitor with whom you had dealings, and the date on which you last had dealings with the firm.
I have recently placed an offer on an apartment in Audlem and the mortgage adviser that we are dealing with suggested his conveyancing practitioner. They quoted £1000 excluding VAT and 3rd party costs. Does this sound reasonable?
Don't just go on 1 quote. You should seek like-for-like quotes for your conveyancing in Audlem. Then choose one that you trust and crucially, is on the approved panel of the bank that you have applied for a mortgage from.