I am 3 weeks into the sale of my home in Belgravia and the estate agent has just e-mailed to advise that the purchasers are appointing a new solicitor. The reason given is that the bank will only deal with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a big named lender only deal with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to select to handle their conveyancing in Belgravia ?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms that can act for them, but in the last few years big names such as Santander, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for many years.
Lending institutions point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the reduction – criteria have been narrowed 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 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 purchasers are not going to have any sway in the decision.
Is it realistic for conveyancing in Belgravia to be finalised in less than 10 days?
Where the seller is applying pressure to sign contracts we would recommend that your lawyer is familiar with the area as they will make use of local relationships and know-how. It is possible that they could have conducted previoushomes in the same neighbourhood. You would be best advised to use a Belgravia conveyancing lawyer. In addition, double check that the conveyancing firm is on the lender panel. It is understood that 18% of Belgravia conveyancing transactions are suspended or derailed after finding out that a purchaser’s lawyer was not on their banks list of approved solicitors. This can often result in the buying process being frustrated by almost three weeks. It is understood that this issue affects in the region of 100,000 home moves every year. Many Belgravia conveyancing practices can not act for certain banks so do check at the outset.
I am being advised by my conveyancer that absentee landlord insurance is necessary on my purchase. What is the level of cover for Belgravia conveyancing?
The right level of absentee landlord indemnity insurance should be dictated by who who your lender is. It would differ for example between Lloyds TSB Bank and Chelsea Building Society. Conveyancing practitioners as opposed to borrowers take out such insurances.
Is there a list of Barclays panel solicitors in Belgravia on the Council of Mortgage Lender’s Website?
No. There is no such facility on the CML or Building Society Association websites. A small selection of lending institutions make their panel listings available over the internet. If you are seeking to appoint a Belgravia solicitor on the Barclays please make the most of our facility.
We had instructed solicitors locally in Belgravia on the Nottingham solicitor panel. They have just invoiced me a supplemental sum for dealing with the Nottingham mortgage. Is this an additional conveyancing fee set by Nottingham?
As unfair as it may seem, as long as it’s in their Terms of Engagement or Quote then yes your conveyancer may levy a fee for this. This fee is not dictated by Nottingham but by your Belgravia conveyancing practitioner. Some firms on the Nottingham panel will quote ’dealing with mortgage’ fee but some firms incorporate it on their overall fee.
I purchased a 4 bedroom Georgian house in Belgravia. Conveyancing practitioner represented me and Barnsley Building Society. I did a free Land Registry search last week and there are two entries: one for freehold, another for leasehold with the matching address. If a house is not a freehold shouldn't I have been informed?
You should assess 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 proprietor of the leasehold and freehold title as well is to check (£3). It is not completely unheard of in Belgravia and other locations in the country and poses no real issues for owners other than when they remortgage they have to account for both freehold and leasehold interests when dealing with purchasers. You can also check the position with the conveyancing practitioner who carried out the work.
I am looking for a conveyancing practitioner in Belgravia for my purchase. Can I see a firm’s complaints history with the legal regulator?
Anyone can find documented Solicitor Regulator Association (SRA) determinations stemming from investigations commenced on or after 1 January 2008. Visit Check a solicitor's record. To find details about the period before 1 January 2008, or to check a solicitors record, telephone 0870 606 2555, 08.00 - 18.00 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and 09.30 - 18.00 Tuesday. International callers, use +44 (0)121 329 6800. The regulator may recorded telephone calls for training purposes.
Our solicitor in Belgravia has informed me that he requires personal identification documents asserting that this is part of his requirements as a conveyancer on the mortgage company Solicitor panel. Can this be correct?
Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules require Belgravia conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers to verify the identity of the person or body they are dealing with before they can accept their conveyancing business. The Client Care letter that you need to sign will no doubt confirm this. Your lawyer is right that the bank also require certain documents to be viewed. If a you refuse to provide ID verification documents, your conveyancer would not be able to accept instructions from you. Your lawyer also has obligations to obtain certain documents in accordance with the lender's UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements