I am progressing with the sale of my ground floor flat in Locks Heath and the estate agent has just e-mailed to warn that the purchasers are swapping property lawyer. The reason given is that the mortgage company will only deal with solicitors on their conveyancing panel. Why would a leading lender only engage with certain lawyers rather the firm that they want to select to handle their conveyancing in Locks Heath ?
Banks have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as Santander, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for more than 15 years.
Mortgage companies blame a rise in fraud as the reason 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 says it is hearing daily from firms that have been removed from panels. Plenty of firms 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 not going to have any sway in the decision.
In what way does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in Locks Heath? What am I being asked for?
Locks Heath conveyancing solicitors and indeed property lawyers accross the UK have a duty under money laundering regulations to check the identity of any client with a view to ensure that clients are who they say they are.
Conveyancing clients are required to produce two forms of certified ID; proof of ID (typically a Passport or Driving Licence) and proof of address (typically a Bank Statement less than 3 months old).
Evidence of source of monies is also required under the money laundering regulations as solicitors are required to investigate that the monies you are utilising to acquire a property (be it the exchange deposit or the total purchase amount where you are buying mortgage free) has originated from an acceptable source (such as an inheritance) rather than the proceeds of criminal activity.
I am planning to acquire a property and require a conveyancing solicitor in Locks Heath who is on the Barclays Direct solicitor. Could you point me in the right direction as regards a conveyancing firm?
Our service is limited to being a directory service for firms who wish to listed as being on the approved conveyancing panel for Barclays Direct in certain locations such as Locks Heath. We dont recommend any particular firm.
I am purchasing a detached bungalow in Locks Heath. Our aim is to an extension at the rear at the property.Will the conveyancing process involve checks to ascertain if these alterations were previously refused?
Your property lawyer should check the deeds as conveyancing in Locks Heath will on occasion reveal restrictions in the title deeds which prohibit certain works or require the permission of a 3rd party. Some additions require local authority planning permissions and approval in accordance building regulations. Some areas are designated conservation areas and special planning restrictions apply which often prevent or impact extensions. You should check these things with a surveyor ahead of any purchase.
I am buying a property in Locks Heath. A rare aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Virgin Money have issued a mortgage offer so presumably this is not a concern to them. Why is my solicitor raising questions about the panel?
As your lender is Virgin Money your lawyer must comply with the formal instructions contained in Section two of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Virgin Money. The CML Handbook stipulates minimum provisions for solar panel roof-space leases, and conveyancing practitioners are required to report to Virgin Money where a lease fails to satisfy these specifications. The conditions relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales and is not restricted to Locks Heath.
I had an offer accepted on an apartment in Locks Heath on 8/12/2020, valuation was booked 2 days after, all came back fine. Solicitor appointed, so all that was missing was my mortgage offer. Having made daily calls to Coventry BS and chasing them on my offer, I have now been told that my offer will not be issued unless the lawyer is on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel. Can the lender hold off the offer?
Mortgage companies tend not to not issue a mortgage until they have details of a lawyer on their panel. It can take a few weeks for Coventry BS to deal with your lawyer's application to be on the Coventry BS conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitor will be accepted.
How does conveyancing in Locks Heath differ for newly converted properties?
Most buyers of new build premises in Locks Heath come to us having been asked by the developer to exchange contracts and commit to the purchase even before the property is built. This is because house builders in Locks Heath typically purchase the site, plan the estate and want to get the plots sold off as they are building the properties. Buyers, therefore, will have to exchange contracts without actually seeing the house they are buying. To reduce the chances of losing the property, buyers should instruct conveyancing solicitors as soon as the property is reserved and mortgage applications should be submitted quickly. Due to the fact that it could be several months and even years between exchange of contracts and completion, the mortgage offer may need to be extended. It would be wise to use a lawyer who specialises in new build conveyancing especially if they are used to new build conveyancing in Locks Heath or who has acted in the same development.
Am I best advised to appoint a Locks Heath conveyancing lawyer who is local to the property I am purchasing? We have a good friend who can perform the legal formalities however they are based approximately 350miles drive away.
The primary upside of using a high street Locks Heath conveyancing firm is that you can visit the firm to execute paperwork, present your identification documents and pester them if necessary. Having local Locks Heath know how is a benefit. However it's more important to get someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If other friends have used your friend and on the whole were content that should trump using an unknown Locks Heath conveyancing solicitor solely due to them being local.