Me and my partner are buying a 2 bedroom flat in Westminster with a mortgage. We would like to retain our Westminster conveyancer, however the mortgage company says she’s not on their "panel". It seems we have little choice but to instruct one of the bank panel solicitors or retain our Westminster conveyancing practitioner as well as pay for one of their panel firms to act for them. We regard this is unjust; is there anything we can do?
No, not really. The mortgage offered to you is subject to its terms and conditions, one of which will be that lawyers will on the bank’s conveyancing panel. Until recently, most lenders had large numbers of law firms on their panels: a borrower could choose one for themselves, as long as it was on the lender's panel. The lender would then simply instruct the borrower's lawyers to act for the lender, too. You can use your lender's panel lawyers or you could borrow from another lender which does not restrict your choice. Another option that might be available is for your Westminster conveyancing lawyer to apply to be on the conveyancing panel.
I'm the sole beneficiary of my late mum's estate and I have everything in my name now, including the house in Westminster. Conveyancing formalities meant that the Land Registry date was in December. I now wish to sell up. I do know about the Mortgage Lenders 6 month 'rule', meaning my proprietorship will be considered the same way as if I'd bought the property in December. Will no one buy the property for half a year?
The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ handbook obliges solicitors to: "report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months." Technically you could be affected by that. How sensible a view banks take of it, depend on the lender as this requirement chiefly exists to capture subsales or the quick reselling of property.
I have paid off my mortgage with Kent Reliance. I assume I don't need a Westminster conveyancer on the Kent Reliance panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your Kent Reliance 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 Kent Reliance mortgage from the register. Kent Reliance, 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 Kent Reliance has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and
- Kent Reliance has instructed the Land Registry to do so
I was told two weeks ago that my mortgage has been agreed to by RBS. Is it usual for RBS to only issue the offer once my solicitor in Westminster is approved on their conveyancing panel? RBS 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 RBS to deal with your lawyer's application to be on the RBS conveyancing panel. There's no guarantee that your solicitor will be accepted.
I am intent on selling our property in Westminster and according to the buyers it appears that there is a risk of it being constructed land that was not decontaminated. A high street Westminster conveyancer would know that there is no such problem. For the life of me I don't know why the buyers used a web based conveyancing outfit as opposed to a conveyancing solicitor in Westminster. Having lived in Westminster for 5 years we know that this is a non issue. Should we contact our local Authority to get clarification that there is no issue.
It would appear that you have a conveyancing solicitor currently acting for you. Are they able to advise? You must enquire of your lawyer before you do anything. It is very possible that once the local authority has been informed of a potential issue it cannot be insured against (a bit like being diagnosed with a serious illness and then taking out health insurance to cover that same ailment)
Are there restrictive covenants that are commonly identified during conveyancing in Westminster?
Restrictive covenants can be picked up when reviewing land registry title as part of the process of conveyancing in Westminster. An 1874 stipulation that was seen was ‘The houses to be erected on the estate are each to be of a uniform elevation in accordance with the drawings to be prepared or approved by the vendor’s surveyor…’
We're first time buyers - agreed a price, but the property agent informed us that the seller will only issue a contract if we use their preferred lawyers as they want a ‘quick sale’. Our preferred option is to instruct a family solicitor accustomed to conveyancing in Westminster
It is unlikely the owners are behind this. Should the vendor desire ‘a quick sale', taking such a hostile approach to a serious purchaser is going to damage their objectives. Speak to the owners direct and make sure they comprehend that (a)you are motivated purchasers (b)you are ready to go, with finances in place © you have nothing to sell (d) you wish to move quickly (e)but you are going to appoint your own,trusted Westminster conveyancing lawyers - as opposed tothose that will give the estate agent a kickback or meet his conveyancing thresholds demanded by corporate headquarters.
Is it true that a Westminster conveyancing company has court proceedings brought against them by clients for failing to conduct the right conveyancing investigations?
We are not aware of such a Westminster conveyancing matter but according to a recent report, clients buying a property elsewhere in England successfully sued their conveyancer due to development permission to construct a wind farm not being picked up in conveyancing searches.
If you are purchasing in Westminster It is important that your lawyer carry out all Westminster conveyancing searches necessary making sure that you have relevant and up to date information ahead of buying a property.