I can't travel far from North London. Can you please spell out why all North London conveyancing practitioners are not on all bank panels?
A decade ago most lenders demonstrated an approach to risk which differs from the current day. The Financial Services Authority in 2010 conducted a thematic review into mortgage fraud which concluded: know the lawyers on your panel. Accordingly, lenders have since soughtmore data from law firms concerning their operations and the staff employed by them and set certain criteria such as completing a minimum amount of transactions. Hundreds of firms have found themselves excluded from lender panels even though they had an exemplary disciplinary record, no complaints and no claims and didn't just 'dabble' in conveyancing. Such firms found it impossible meet the minimum amount of transactions the lenders required.
I am purchasing a new build apartment in North London and my solicitor is informing me that she has to the bank to reveal incentives from the builder. I am nearing the developer’s deadline to exchange contracts and I don't want to delay deal. is my lawyer playing by the book?
You should not exchange unless you have been advised to do so by your property lawyer. A precondition to being on a lender panel is to comply with the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook provisions. The CML Conveyancing Handbook requires that your lawyer have the appropriate Disclosure of Incentive form completed by the developer and accepted by your lender.
In what way does my ID and proof of funds have anything to do with my conveyancing in North London? Is this really warranted?
To satisfy the Money Laundering Regulations any North London conveyancing firm will require proof of identity in all conveyancing matters. This is normally dealt with by provision of a passport and an original bank statement or utility account showing where you live.
In accordance with Money Laundering Regulations, conveyancers are required to ascertain not only the ID of conveyancing clients but also the source of fund that they receive in respect of any matter. An unwillingness to disclose this may lead to your conveyancer cancelling their retainer with you, as clearly this will cause a conflict between the set Regulations and a refusal to disclose.
Your property lawyers will have an obligation to make a disclosure to the appropriate authorities should they believe that any amounts received by them may contravene the Anti-terror and anti-money-laundering rules.
I have decided to exercise my right to buy my property in North London off the council. I have a mortgage offer with Skipton. Conveyancing is new to me. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should have one. Any advice?
It is not advisable to proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event, if you are getting a mortgage with Skipton, you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Skipton conveyancing panel.
I currently have a mortgage with RBS for my property in North London. Conveyancing was finalised 12 months ago. If I am intending to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform RBS?
Your original mortgage agreement with RBS will provide that you need their approval prior to renting your property as this is likely to be a breach of RBS’s mortgage conditions. In many cases banks or building societies will allow you to rent out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact RBS directly. It should not be necessary to do this via a RBS conveyancing panel firm.
I am selling my flat. I had a double glazing fitted in February 2007, but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My purchaser’s lender, Co-operative are being problematic. The North London solicitor who is on the Co-operative conveyancing panel is happy to accept ‘lack of building regulation’ insurance but Co-operative are insisting on a building regulation certificate. Why do Co-operative have a conveyancing panel if they don't accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that Co-operative have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why Co-operative may not want to accept indemnity insurance is because it does not give them any reassurance that the double glazing was correctly and safely installed. The indemnity insurance merely protects against enforcement action which is very unlikely anyway.
I am buying a new build apartment in North London. Conveyancing is daunting at the best of times but I have never purchased a new build flat before. What sort of enquires would be asked in new build legal work.
Set out below are examples of a few leasehold new build enquiries that you may expect your new-build leasehold conveyancing in North London
The Lease must contain a provision on behalf of the Vendor to pay the service charges in respect of unoccupied units in order to ensure that all services can be provided. The Vendor must covenant to keep unsold units in good repair until long leases are granted therefore. Please provide evidence that the form of Lease proposed has been approved by the Land Registry. Investor purchasers must be able to freely grant unsecured tenancies at market rents without requiring any consents.
Is it best to appoint a North London conveyancing practitioner in close proximity to the house I am purchasing? An old friend can perform the legal formalities but her office is 400kilometers drive away.
The benefit of a local North London conveyancing practice is that you can pop in to sign documents, hand in your identification documents and pester them if necessary. Having local North London know how is a bonus. That being said nothing is more important than finding someone that will pull out all the stops for you. If you know people who instructed your friend and on the whole were content that should trump using an unknown North London conveyancing lawyer just because they are local.