I am nearing exchange of contracts for my house in Pratt's Bottom and the estate agent has just text me to say that the purchasers are changing their law firm. The reason given is that the bank will only work with property lawyers on their approved list. Why would a major mortgage company only engage with specific solicitors rather the firm that they want to choose for their conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom ?
Banks have always had an approved set of law firms that can represent them, but in the past few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have acted for them for many years.
Banks blame a rise in fraud by way of justification for the reduction – criteria have been narrowed as a smaller panel is easier to monitor. Banks tend not to disclose 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 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 Pratt's Bottom conveyancing firm that I appointed last week on my purchase in Pratt's Bottom have suddenly closed. They were on acting for me because I needed a solicitor on the Lloyds conveyancing panel and my family Pratt's Bottom lawyer was not. I paid them 275 plus VAT in advance. What are my options?
If you have an estate agent involved then let them know straight away so that they advise the vendors that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the Lloyds 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 lawyers should be in a position to help.
Is it the case that all Pratt's Bottom CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) solicitors are on the Skipton conveyancing panel?
A selection of banks and building societies now utilise the accreditation scheme as the starting point for Panel approval such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. Nevertheless,the Council of Mortgage Lenders have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their panels.
I have today made my last payment due on my mortgage with Leeds Building Society. I assume I don't need a Pratt's Bottom solicitor on the Leeds Building Society panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your Leeds Building Society mortgage, they may send you evidence showing that you have paid it off. Alternatively they may notify the Land Registry directly. The Land Registry need to see this evidence before they will remove the Leeds Building Society mortgage from the register. Leeds Building Society, and any evidence they send you, will determine the action you need to take. In cases where no conveyancer is acting for you and you have paid off your mortgage:
- but are not moving to another property
- where Leeds Building Society has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- Leeds Building Society has instructed the Land Registry to do so
I am due to exchange contracts on my apartment. I had a double glazing fitted in June 2006, but did not receive a FENSA certificate or Building Regulation Certificate. My buyer's mortgage company, Clydesdale are being difficult. The Pratt's Bottom solicitor who is on the Clydesdale conveyancing panel is saying indemnity insurance will be fine but Clydesdale are requiring a building regulation certificate. Why do Clydesdale have a conveyancing panel if they don't accept advice from them?
It is probably the case that Clydesdale have referred the matter to their valuer. The reason why Clydesdale 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've recently found out that there is a flying freehold issue on a house I put an offer in a fortnight ago in what was supposed to be a simple, no chain conveyancing. Pratt's Bottom is where the house is located. Can you offer any guidance?
Flying freeholds in Pratt's Bottom are rare but are more likely to exist in relation to terraced houses. Even though you don't necessarily need a conveyancing solicitor in Pratt's Bottom you must be sure that your lawyer goes through the deeds thoroughly. Your mortgage company may require your conveyancing solicitor to take out an indemnity policy. Some of the more diligent conveyancing solicitors in Pratt's Bottom may ascertain that this is not enough and that the deeds be re-written to give you the most up to date legal protection. If so, the next door neighbour also had to sign up to the revised deeds.It is possible that your lender will not accept the situation so the sooner you find out the better. You should also check with your insurance broker as to whether they will insure a flying freehold premises.
What does commercial conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom cover?
Pratt's Bottom conveyancing for business premises incorporates a broad range of advice, offered by regulated solicitors, relating to business property. By way of example, this type of conveyancing can cover the sale or purchase of freehold business premises or, more usually, the assignment of existing business tenancies or the drafting of new leasing arrangements. Commercial conveyancing solicitors can also offer advice on the sale of business assets, commercial mortgages and the termination of leases.
Me and my wife have recently had an offer accepted on our first home in Pratt's Bottom, and need to get solicitors appointed. I have made use of the various comparison based websites and the results are from all over the England and Wales. Is it advisable to have a Pratt's Bottom solicitor local to our prospective property? I am willing to do all the communicating over email, but I am thinking at some stage we may need to physically go into the conveyancer's office to sign documents?
There is no requirement to physically visit the office of your lawyer, they can send any relevant contracts to you, which you can sign and send back. Many buyers and sellers prefer to instruct a locally based solicitor, but it is not essential for conveyancing in Pratt's Bottom.