Me and my fiance are buying a 1 bedroom apartment in Croydon with a mortgage. We wish to retain our Croydon solicitor, however the mortgage company advise he's not on their "panel". We have to appoint one of the lender panel firms or keep our Croydon property lawyer and pay for one of their panel ones to represent them. This feels very unfair; is there anything we can do?
Unfortunately,no. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the lender’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. Another option that might be available is for your Croydon conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
My Solicitor in Croydon is not on the Halifax Conveyancing Panel. Is it possible for me to use my family solicitor notwithstanding that they are not on the Halifax panel of approved conveyancing solicitors?
Your options are as follows:
- Carry on with your preferred Croydon solicitors but Halifax will need to retain a lawyer on their list of acceptable firms. This will result in additional overall conveyancing fees as well as result in frustration.
- Choose an alternative practitioner to act in the conveyancing, not forgetting to check they are Halifax approved.
- Try to convince your Halifax based solicitor to seek to join the Halifax panel
Despite weeks of looking the Title Certificate and documents to my property are lost. The solicitors who handled the conveyancing in Croydon 10 years ago have long since closed. What are my next steps?
You no longer need to have the physical official documentation to establish that you own the land or property, as the Land Registry have everything they need in a digital format.
I am buying my first flat in Croydon with a mortgage from Godiva Mortgages Ltd. The developers would not move on the price so I negotiated £7000 of extras instead. The property agent told me not inform my lawyer about the side-deal as it could impact my loan with Godiva Mortgages Ltd. Is this normal?.
All lenders require a Disclosure of Incentives Form from the builder of any new build, converted or renovated property, It is available online from the Lenders’ Handbook page on the CML website. CML form is completed and handed to the lender's surveyor when the inspection is done.
Lenders have different policies on incentives. Some accept none at all, cash or physical, while others will accept cash incentives up to 5%.
Hard to understand why the representative of a builder would be suggesting you withold information from a solicitor when all this will be clearly visible on forms the builder has to supply to its solicitor, the buyer's solicitor and the surveyor.
Over the last few months I have been searching for a ground for flat up to £245,000 and found one close by in Croydon I like with open areas and railway links nearby, however it's only got 52 remaining years left on the lease. There is not much else in Croydon in this price bracket, so just wondered if I would be making a mistake purchasing a short lease?
If you require a mortgage that many years may be problematic. Reduce the offer by the amount the lease extension will cost if not already taken into account. If the current owner has owned the property for a minimum of 2 years you may request that they start the process of the extension and pass it to you. You can add 90 years to the existing lease and have £0 ground rent by law. You should consult your conveyancing lawyer concerning this.
Our solicitor in Croydon has uncovered a defect with the lease for the property we are buying in Croydon. The seller’s lawyers have put forward defective title insurance as a workaround. We are content with insurance and will cover the costs. Our solicitor says that as he is on the bank conveyancing panel he must be satisfied that the lender is happy with this solution. Are we the client or is the bank?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the potential for a conflict of interest, you and the mortgage company are the client. A precondition to being on the lender approved panel is to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects will the lease so that the mortgage company can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected . Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.