Frequently asked questions relating to the Accord Mortgages Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
Am I correct in assuming that the fact that my solicitor is not isted on the Accord Mortgages Solicitor panel that there is a problem with the standard of the firm’s work?
That would more than likely be a wrong assumption to make. There are all sorts of perfectly reasonable explanations. A recent report by the solicitors regulator indicated 76% of law firms surveyed had been removed from at least one lender panel. The most common reasons for removal are: (1) lack of transactions (2) the lawyer is a sole practitioner (3) as part of the HSBC panel reduction (4) regulatory contact by SRA (5) accidental removal. If you are concerned you should simply call the firm and ask them why they are no longer on the approved list for Accord Mortgages.
Please help. My solicitor is advising me that he has to apply for a Local Authority search stemming from the fact that the firm are on the Accord Mortgages solicitor panel. The searches cost a lot of money. Can this be avoided?
Unfortunately both you and your lawyer have little choice here. Given that you are taking out a loan with Accord Mortgages your lawyer has to comply with their conditions as set out in their version of the CML Conveyancing Handbook. Your lawyer would have previously signed the Terms and Conditions of Accord Mortgages’s conveyancing panel appointment which obliges them to follow the CML Handbook requirements last updated Accord Mortgages. even if you were a cash buyer you would be ill advised not to carry out a local authority search.
I am planning to acquire a flat and need a conveyancing solicitor in Liverpool who is on the Accord Mortgages solicitor. Could you point me in the right direction as regards a conveyancing firm?
Our service is a directory service for firms who wish to be listed as being on the approved conveyancing panel for Accord Mortgages . We don’t recommend any particular firm.
Can you clarify what the consequences are if my solicitor is removed from the Accord Mortgages Conveyancing panel in advance of the moving date as agreed at exchange of contracts?
The first thing to point out is that, this is very unlikely to happen. In most cases even where a law firm is removed off of a panel the lender would allow the completion to go ahead as the lender would appreciate the difficulties that they would place you in if you have ti instruct a new solicitor days before completion. In a worst case scenario where the lender insists that you instruct a new firm then it is possible for a very good lawyer to expedite the conveyancing albeit that you may pay a significant premium for this. The analogous situation is where a buyer instructs a lawyer, exchanges contracts and the law firm is shut down by the regulator such as the SRA. Again, in this situation you can find lawyers who can troubleshoot their way to bring the conveyancing to a satisfactory conclusion - albeit at a cost.
The mortgage over my property is with Accord Mortgages. Conveyancing was finalised months ago. In the event that I decide to rent out the flat and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage or inform Accord Mortgages?
Your original mortgage agreement with Accord Mortgages will provide that you need their approval prior to letting out your property as this is likely to be a breach of Accord Mortgages’s mortgage conditions. It may be that Accord Mortgages will permit you to let out your former home without needing to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage but some lenders will add a surcharge to your mortgage rate to reflect the higher risk. You should contact Accord Mortgages directly. You need not do this via a Accord Mortgages conveyancing panel firm.
I can not work out if my mortgage offer obliges me to make sure the lease term for the flat is extended prior to the completion date . I have called Accord Mortgages on various occasions and was told they are content with the situation and they would lend. My solicitor - who is on the Accord Mortgages conveyancing panel- telephoned and was told not they would not lend in accordance with their CML Handbook minimum lease term requirements. Who do I believe?
As long as the conveyancer is on the Accord Mortgages panel she or he must comply with the CML Handbook requirements for Accord Mortgages. Unless your lawyer obtains specific confirmation in writing that Accord Mortgages will go ahead your lawyer has no choice but to refrain from exchanging contract and committing you to the purchase. We would suggest that you ask Accord Mortgages to contact your lawyer in writing confirming that they will accept the remaining number of years left on the lease.
Accord Mortgages have agreed my mortgage in principle, my offer on house has been accepted, now what?
The estate agent will want to know who your solicitors are (make sure these solicitors are on the lenders panel). Call up Accord Mortgages or your broker and complete any relevant paperwork. Accord Mortgages will tell you what documents they want. Accord Mortgages will instruct a valuer. The valuer will get in touch with the estate agent or seller to book an appointment. Once conducted (assuming no problems) it takes about week to get a mortgage offer. Accord Mortgages will issue the offer to you and your lawyer. The transaction will then take it’s course according the nature and complexity of the conveyancing.