I am selling my maisonette in Northam and the EA has just called to advise that the purchasers are changing their solicitor. The reason given is that the mortgage company will only work with solicitors on their approved list. Why would a major mortgage company only engage with certain law firms rather the firm that they want to select for their conveyancing in Northam ?
UK lenders have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the past few years big names such as Yorkshire Building Society, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for decades.
Banks justify this action to a rise in fraud as the reason for the pruning – criteria have been stiffened 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. 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. Your buyers are not going to have any impact on this.
The property market in Northam is heating up. What can be done to hasten the buying process?
In a situation where you are under time constraints for your conveyancing it is advisable to make sure that your lawyer is familiar with the area as they will benefit local contacts and insight. It is possible that they may have transacted previousproperties in the same road. Therefore consider using a Northam conveyancing firm. Second, check that the lawyer is on the on the approved list for your mortgage company. It is claimed that 18% of Northam conveyancing deals are delayed or jeopardised after discovering a buyer’s solicitor was not on their banks member panel. In many cases this discovery resulted in the home move being held up by an average of three weeks. It is understood that this issue affects approximately 100,000 home moves annually. Most Northam conveyancing practices can not act for certain mortgage companies so do check at the outset.
My Solicitor in Northam is not listed on the Nationwide Building Society Approved Panel. Can I still use my prefered solicitor even though they are not on the Nationwide Building Society list of approved lawyers?
Your options are as follows:
- Carry on with your existing Northam lawyers but Nationwide Building Society will need to use a conveyancer on their list of acceptable firms. This will result in additional total legal fees and cause delays.
- Get a new practitioner to act in the conveyancing, obviously checking they are on the Nationwide Building Society panel
Is it the case that all Northam solicitor practices on the Nottingham conveyancing panel are governed by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority?
As solicitors, in order to be on the Nottingham conveyancing panel they would need to be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Many mortgage companies do list licenced conveyancers on their panel and in that case the practice would be regulated by the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.
We have agreed to purchase a house in Northam. A rare aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Kent Reliance be concerned?
As you are obtaining a mortgage with Kent Reliance your lawyer must comply with the formal instructions set out in Part two of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Kent Reliance. The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Handbook sets out minimum specifications for solar panel roof-space leases, and lawyers are required to report to Kent Reliance where a lease does not satisfy these conditions. The provisions relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales and is not restricted to Northam.
I was told two weeks ago that my mortgage has been agreed to by Santander. Is it usual for Santander to only issue the offer once my solicitor in Northam is approved on their conveyancing panel? Santander have asked my solicitor to see a copy of their PI Insurance.
A lender would not issue an offer until they have details of a lawyer on their panel. It can take a few weeks for Santander to deal with your lawyer's application to be on the Santander conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitor will be accepted.
Despite weeks of looking the Title Certificate and documents to my house can not be found. The solicitors who handled the conveyancing in Northam 10 years ago no longer exist. What do I do?
Gone are the days when you need to hold title deeds to evidence that you are the registered proprietor of land or property, given that the Land Registry hold details of all registered land or property electronically.
I am employed by a long established estate agency in Northam where we have witnessed a number of leasehold sales put at risk as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given inconsistent advice from local Northam conveyancing solicitors. Could you clarify whether the owner of a flat can commence the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser can avoid having to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment has to be done before, or simultaneously with completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to agree the lease extension with the freeholder either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
Northam Leasehold Conveyancing - A selection of Queries before buying
What is the the remaining lease term? What restrictions are there in the Northam Lease?