I am nearing exchange of contracts for my flat in Barking and the estate agent has just called to advise that the purchasers are appointing a new solicitor. I am told that this is due to the fact that the mortgage company will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a leading mortgage company only deal with certain law firms rather the firm that they want to choose to handle their conveyancing in Barking ?
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 HSBC, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for many years.
Banks blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – criteria have been tightened as a smaller panel is easier to oversee. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society claims that it is hearing daily from firms 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. The buyers are unlikely to have any impact on this.
As someone not used to the Barking conveyancing process what is the number one tip you can give me concerning the ownership transfer in Barking
Not many law firms or advisers will tell you this but conveyancing in Barking and elsewhere in Essex is often a confrontational process. In other words, when it comes to conveyancing there exists an abundance of room for friction between you and others involved in the transaction. E.g., the vendor, selling agent and sometimes your lender. Choosing a law firm for your conveyancing in Barking an important selection as your conveyancer is your adviser, and is the SOLE party in the transaction whose responsibility is to look after your legal interests and to keep you safe.
On occasion a third party with a vested interest may try and sway you that it is in your interests to do things their way. For example, the selling agent may claim to be assisting by suggesting your solicitor is wrong. Or your mortgage broker may advise you to do something that is against your lawyers guidance. You should always trust your lawyer above all other parties when it comes to the legal transfer of property.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my lawyer’s firm is expelled from the UBS Solicitor panel ahead of completing my conveyancing in Barking?
The first thing to point out is that, this is a very rare occurrence. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have to instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by a regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
My wife and I own a renovated Victorian house in Barking. Conveyancing lawyer represented me and Britannia. I happened to do a free search for it on the Land Registry database and I saw two entries: one for freehold, the second leasehold with the matching address. I'd like to know for sure, how can I find out??
You need to read the Freehold register you have again and check the Charges Register for mention of a lease. The best way to be sure that you are also the registered owner of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Barking and other locations in the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they sell they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with purchasers. You can also enquire as to the situation with the conveyancing lawyer who conducted the purchase.
I have been on the look out for a ground for flat up to £305k and found one round the corner in Barking I like with open areas and railway links in the vicinity, however it's only got 49 years unexpired on the lease. I can't really find anything else in Barking suitable, so just wondered if I would be making a grave error acquiring a short lease?
If you require a mortgage the shortness of the lease may be a potential deal breaker. Discount the price by the anticipated lease extension will cost if it has not already been discounted. If the current proprietor has owned the premises for a minimum of twenty four months you could ask them to start the process of the extension and then assign it to you. An additional ninety years can be extended on to the current lease term with a zero ground rent applied. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer concerning this matter.
How do I use the search app to choose a conveyancing lawyer in Barking on the approved list for my mortgage?
First select a mortgage company such as Accord Mortgages Ltd, Virgin Money or TSB then type in your location for example Barking. Conveyancing organisations in Barking and beyond should be identified.