Rooftop Mortgages Conveyancing Panel Information

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

Rooftop Mortgages Conveyancing Panel: Recently Asked Questions

Am I obliged, being on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel, to carry out a flood search?
Rooftop Mortgages make no specific obligation to carry out any of the searches listed. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook simply states that ‘you must ensure that any other searches which may be appropriate to the particular property, taking into account its locality and other features are carried out’.

Please note that most ‘less usual searches’ (as described in the Law Society’s Conveyancing Handbook) are not optional as far as Rooftop Mortgages are concerned if they are ‘appropriate’. Most lenders will not require environmental searches (you should Check Part 2 of UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook to be sure), but you are obliged to explain risks and availability to the borrower.

Ground stability, Plansearch,flood searches as well as the searches listed in the question are optional – but only to the extent that you have allowed the borrower client to make an informed choice. Regardless of whether there is a mortgage, If you have not advised the client that these (and other) searches are available and what risks they cover, then you will be liable if the client suffers loss through not conducting one. Does your ROT and Ts and Cs cover this?

A leading search supplier lists over 72 property searches – do you know what all of them are and when they may be relevant? If you are unsure as to which searches are appropriate based on location call your search provider or call one of the leading search companies such as Searchflow.

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Do lenders such as Rooftop Mortgages operate detached conveyancing panel for buy to let mortgages?
The majority of lenders do not operate a specific buy to let conveyancing panel but we are hearing about a few that do. We do not know what the position is with Rooftop Mortgages as at todays date. If you're about to receive instructions from a client on a buy to let purchase with a mortgage from Rooftop Mortgages we suggest that you call Rooftop Mortgages to check the position.
As the Compliance Officer for Legal Practice are there regulatory implications that I should be considering if my firm is suspended off the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel?
The answer to this question really depends on the reason that your firm has been removed off the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel. The top 3 reasons are as follows:
  1. lack of transactions
  2. the lawyer is a sole practitioner
  3. as part of the HSBC panel reduction.
In these three circumstances it is unlikely that you would expected to take any action. Disclosure and other compliance considerations are more likely to be relevant if the reason for removal is due to breaches of lender requirements or allegations of fraud or negligence. Whether the reasoning should trigger a disclosable 'material' breach will depend on the firm and the circumstances around possible failures to comply with the SRA Authorisation Rules, and the SRA will judge each case on its own merits. Factors such as the detriment or risk of detriment to clients, the scale of the issue and overall impact on the firm will need to be considered in deciding whether a failure is 'material'. As the compliance officer you will need systems to identify patterns of breaches. Even if you don't consider there to be regulatory implications the firms COFA should give some thought to whether she/he needs to take any action as result of being removed from the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel.
My firm is on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel. I am dealing with Rooftop Mortgages mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to disclose an issue to Rooftop Mortgages. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both Rooftop Mortgages and borrower there is potential for conflicts to arise. You owe duties to both clients. All information received by you from your client is confidential and cannot be disclosed without the client’s consent. In the situation you find yourself in if the purchaser will not consent to the information being passed on to the lender the solicitor must cease to act for the Rooftop Mortgages and it may well be prudent you to cease to act for the purchaser as well. You can not tell the Rooftop Mortgages the reason for termination of the retainer over and above the fact that a conflict has arisen. The fact that you can no longer act should alert even the most somnambulistic of lenders that something is wrong with the borrower and/or purchase. The fact that you have disinstructed yourself should not affect your Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel status.
Are there any specific Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel obligations or Transfer of Equity Conveyancing?
Rooftop Mortgages approved panel lawyers have to comply with the Part II instructions relating to Transfer of Equity. These are set out in Section 16.3. First, your firm must approve the form of Transfer of Equity (which should be in the Land Registry's standard form) and, if Rooftop Mortgages require, the deed of covenant on their behalf. You will need to check Rooftop Mortgages CML Part 2 conditions to see if Rooftop Mortgages have standard forms of transfer and deed of covenant. Please note that this requirement can change from one transaction to another so do check! Second,When drafting or approving a transfer, you should bear in mind that: although the transfer should state that it is subject to the mortgage (identified by date and parties), it need give no details of the terms of the mortgage; the transfer need not state the amount of the mortgage debt. If it does, the figure should include both principal and interest at the date of completion, which you must check ; there should be no statement that all interest has been paid to date. Further obligations are set out in the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook which have to be followed by all firms on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel
We had our Rooftop Mortgages panel membership terminated but we have not yet been given an explanation yet. I am completing a CQS application questionnaire what information must I report?
In the circumstances please clarify on the application what action you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your Rooftop Mortgages panel membership. 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 advising you as to their reasons?
Our practice is on the Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel and all set to complete a remortgage within the next week. My papers do not include a Legal Charge for the client to execute. Who do I contact at Rooftop Mortgages to get a duplicate Deed?
You need to get in touch with Rooftop Mortgages to obtain standard documents. The CML Handbook includes a specific question for lenders to set out who to contact to obtain standard documents. Rooftop Mortgages in their Part 2’s state:
Always remember to disclose the firm’s Rooftop Mortgages conveyancing panel reference.

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