I am nearing exchange of contracts for my flat in West Smithfield and the estate agent has just e-mailed to warn that the purchasers are swapping conveyancer. The reason given is that the mortgage company will only engage with property lawyers on their conveyancing panel. Why would a major mortgage company only deal with certain solicitors rather the firm that they want to appoint for their conveyancing in West Smithfield ?
UK lenders have always had panels of law firms that can act for them, but in recent years big names such as Nationwide, have considered and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have represented them for over 25 years.
Lending institutions point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the reduction – criteria have been stiffened as a smaller panel is easier to maintain. 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 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 not going to have any sway in the decision.
I purchased a freehold residence in West Smithfield yet charged rent, why is this and what is this?
It’s unusual for properties in West Smithfield and has limited impact for conveyancing in West Smithfield but some freehold properties in England (particularly common in North West England) pay an annual sum known as a Chief Rent or a Rentcharge to a third party who has no other legal interest in the land.
Rentcharge payments are usually between £2.00 and £5.00 per year. Rentcharges date back many centuries, but the Rent Charge Act 1977 barred the establishment of new rentcharges post 1977.
Previous rentcharges can now be redeemed by making a lump sum payment under the Act. Any rentcharges that are still in existence after 2037 is to be dispensed with completely.
The West Smithfield conveyancing solicitors that just started acting on my house acquisition in West Smithfield have suddenly shut down. I only went with them because I had to have a solicitor on the Barclays conveyancing panel and my family West Smithfield lawyer was not. I cut them a cheque for £250 in advance. What do I do now?
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. 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 Barclays 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 may be able to help.
The deeds to our property can not be found. The conveyancers who did the conveyancing in West Smithfield 5 years ago have long since closed. What are my options?
Assuming you have a registered title the details of your ownership will be documented by HMLR with a Title Number. It is easy to perform a search at the Land Registry, locate your house and get up to date copies of the property title for less than a fiver. Where the property is Leasehold then the Land Registry will also normally retain a certified copy of the Registered Lease and again, a copy can be ordered for twenty pounds.
Taking into account that I will soon spend 450k on a property in West Smithfield I would like to talk to a lawyer about myconveyancing in advance of appointing the firm. Is this something that you can arrange?
Absolutely - it is our preference to talk to you we do not take any clients on without you first talking to the lawyer due to be conducting your conveyancing in West Smithfield.There is no ‘factory style conveyancing’ - each client is an important individual, not a matter number. The solicitors that we put you in touch with believe that the fees you are quoted for residential conveyancing in West Smithfield should be the amount on the final invoice that you end up paying.
I require the services of a lender panel solicitor in West Smithfield. Could you help me?
Unfortunately it’s not apparent why you need a West Smithfield panel solicitor but in any event, if you can not find one on our search tool you will need to speak directly to the bank to find out which solicitors in West Smithfield are on their panel . If you do find such a firm in West Smithfield not listed please direct them to our site to list. At a fee of one pound per month it is not expensive to register on the site