I am progressing with the sale of my house in Erith and the estate agent has just text me to advise that the buyers are appointing a new property lawyer. I am told that this is due to the fact that the lender will only engage with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. On what basis would a big named mortgage company only work with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Erith ?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms they are content to work with, but in the last few years big names such as Santander, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.
Lenders point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the reduction – criteria have been stiffened 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 claims that it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Some do not even realise 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 unlikely to have any impact on this.
What does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in Erith? Why is this being asked of me?
Erith conveyancing solicitors as well as nationwide property practitioners accross the UK have an obligation under money laundering regulations to check the ID of any client in order to ensure that clients are who they say they are.
Conveyancing clients are required to provide two forms of certified ID; proof of ID (typically a Passport or Driving Licence) and evidence of address (usually a Bank Statement less than 3 months old).
Confirmation of source of funds is also required in compliance with the money laundering statutes as conveyancers are required to investigate that the monies you are utilising to buy a property (be it the exchange deposit or the full purchase amount where you are buying without a mortgage) has come from legitimate source (such as an inheritance) rather than the proceeds of illegitimate behaviour.
The Erith conveyancing lawyers that I appointed last week on my house acquisition in Erith have without warning closed. They were on acting for me because I had to have a solicitor on the Principality conveyancing panel and my preferred Erith lawyer was not. I gave my credit card details for them to take one hundred and fifty pounds for searches. What should be my next steps?
Assuming that you have an Estate Agent in the equation then let them know immediately so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Hopefully they will be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You will need to appoint new lawyers that are on the Principality conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money, it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors should be in a position to help.
If you had a top tip for selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Erith what would it be?
It would be unwise to be seduced by the cheapest Erith conveyancing fees. You really do get what you’re paying for when it comes to property lawyers. A cheap quote may mean that the conveyancing solicitor is handling a lot of jobs at one time and you won’t get the quality of service and the attention that you need. It is, however, wise to use a conveyancer who has a fixed fee on a no sale, no fee basis. This way, you go into the conveyancing with your eyes wide open.
We have a mortgage agreed in principle with Coventry BS. Erith conveyancing solicitors were chosen. How long does it take for Coventry BS to send the offer to the conveyancing practitioner?
There is no definitive answer here. Have Coventry BS completed the survey? Have you informed Coventry BS as to your lawyers' details and checked that your lawyers are on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel? It is not unusual for a mortgage offer to take a month to come through.
Leeds Building Society have agreed my home loan in principle, my offer on a flat in Erith has been accepted, what happens next?
The property agent will need to know who your solicitors are (ensure that the solicitors are on the lender’s panel). Contact Leeds Building Society or your broker and complete any outstanding documentation. Leeds Building Society will appoint a valuer who will get in touch with the selling agent or vendor to book a slot for the valuation to happen. Once carried out (assuming no problems) it takes on average a fortnight to get a mortgage offer. Leeds Building Society will issue the offer to you and your conveyancing practitioners. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing in Erith.
Will commercial conveyancing searches reveal planned roadworks that may impact a commercial estate in Erith?
Its becoming the norm that commercial conveyancing solicitors in Erith will execute a SiteSolutions Highways report as it reduces the time that conveyancers invest in sourcing accurate data on highways that impact buildings and development assets in Erith. The report provides definitive data on the adoption status of roads, footpaths and verges, as well as the implication of traffic schemes and the rights of way surrounding a commercial development sites in Erith.
For every commercial conveyancing transaction in Erith it is crucial to investigate the adoption status of roads surrounding a site. Failure to identify developments where adoption procedures have not been dealt with adequately could result in delays to Erith commercial conveyancing deals as well as present a risk to future plans for the site. These searches are not carried out for residential conveyancing in Erith.
I used Arc property Solicitors several years past for my conveyancing in Erith. I now require my file but the law firm has closed. What do I do?
Do contact the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to assist in tracking down 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 Erith 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.