Astra Mortgages Conveyancing Panel Information

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by Astra Mortgages and to assist in remaining on the Astra Mortgages Conveyancing Panel.

Astra Mortgages Conveyancing Panel Information:

What are the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel arrangements?
Unlike the CML the Building Society Mortgage Instructions deal with this. Section A.12 states ‘In order to act on our behalf your firm or company must be a member of our conveyancing panel provided we are a society that operates one – see specific requirements for details of our arrangements. The Special Requirements state:

To be a member of our conveyancing panel you must be CQS accredited, must have submitted an application form, be registered on, produced your current Practising Certificate together with evidence of professional indemnity insurance cover for a minimum of £2m (£3m if the firm is a Limited Liability Partnership or a company). Any panel application is subject to individual assessment and approval.

You must also comply with the terms and conditions of your Astra Mortgages solicitor panel appointment.

Do Astra Mortgages or the BSA run training seminars for the Astra Mortgages approved conveyancing panel akin to the way that CQS do?
No such training is arranged by the BSA although they do organise a number of useful legal related conferences which are attended by firms on the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel. We do intend to run specific lender focused seminars in the coming months including a webinar on Astra Mortgages’s requirements . Solicitors on the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel will be invited . Further details will be communicated as part of the LENDERmonitor Alerts .
Does the fact that my firm has signed up to LENDERmonitor Alerts assist in my application to join the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel?
The requirements to join the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel is likely to be fairly detailed and is unlikely to include signing up to LENDERmonitor alerts.
What type of firms do building societies allow to be on their approved solicitor panel?
In the same way that there is a unique Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel most building societies, operate a conveyancing panel for solicitors and other conveyancers that the lender will instruct. Terms and Conditions and criteria for inclusion on a building society conveyancing panel vary from lender-to-lender. Having CQS accreditation may be a requirement.

Institutional lenders, such as a building society, is a client and is entitled to instruct the solicitor or conveyancer of its choosing (who, in turn, is free to accept or refuse instructions). Therefore, if lender and borrower cannot agree which solicitor or conveyancer should represent them jointly, they would usually proceed on a separate representation basis.

We had our Astra Mortgages panel membership revoked but we have not yet been given an explanation yet . I am completing a CQS renewal form what details should I report?
In the circumstances please clarify on the form what steps you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your Astra Mortgages panel status . In particular please provide details if you have received communications from the lender. E.G. before cessation of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender informing you as to why they reached this decision?
Can the BSA assist me in an appeal having not been accepted onto the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel?
If you have not been accepted or indeed been removed from the Astra Mortgages conveyancing panel then the BSA will not have any part to play in influencing Astra Mortgages in changing their mind. Please contact us here at Lexsure so that we can put you in touch with a consultant who may be able to assist. At the very least it’s worth a call to us.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook contains conveyancing instructions for a roof with a solar panel. Astra Mortgages do not set out obligations via the BSA Mortgage Instructions. Is this right?
The BSA Mortgage Instructions don't specifically deal with Solar Panels but it would be prudent as approved solicitors for Astra Mortgages to raise the issue with them (as you would if the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook applied). In any event you need to raise the appropriate questions for your buyer client.
What lender panels do you receive the most questions about?
BSA lenders do not come within the top 20 lenders in terms of frequency of questions. The most popular lender panels in terms of questions are as follows:

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Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Astra Mortgages
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
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* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor