Halifax Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

COMPLETIONmonitor is an online pre- and post-completion checklist for property lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and professional indemnity insures. It is a unique risk management tool.

This system optimises the way you can demonstrate to lender panels that you are, and can remain fully compliant with their requirements, with automatic updates on Halifax’s changes. Even though using COMPLETIONmonitor is not a condition for acceptance on the Halifax panel, demonstrating you can remain up to date with Halifax’s Handbook requirements is an excellent support to your panel application and, more importantly, safeguard your firm’s panel status.

COMPLETIONmonitor generates real-time alerts, automatically produces regulatory and CQS reports, and will enhance your firm's efficiency. In addition it is user friendly, cost-effective and, for some firms, results in reduced PII premiums.

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Mortgage companies often vary their requirements. The UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook requirements from Halifax are not guidelines, they are instructions from a client. As with many clients, instructions can change - and they do change, frequently:

A Timeline of Policy Changes


Since 2008, Halifax has made 364 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 7.5 days. In total, 39% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Halifax have been changed since 15/12/2008.

To find out more about lender panel compliance,

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
16.3.7a 30/03/2020 CML
6.7.1 21/06/2019 CML
3.2.4 05/06/2018 CML
17.2.1a 15/03/2018 CML
16.5.3c 16/01/2018 CML
10.2b 28/04/2017 CML
6.11.1 28/04/2017 CML Obstruction of Access Indemnity Insurance
6.10.2 18/04/2017 CML
6.8.1 18/04/2017 CML Adoption of Road or Sewer Indemnity Insurance
10.11 12/01/2017 CML

Last update 02/04/2020

Frequently asked questions relating to the Halifax Solicitor Panel from members of the public

My husband and I are FTBs. Within the last couple of days our solicitor has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with a view to exchanging next week. Halifax have this evening contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Please explain?
If you are buying a property with the assistance of a mortgage it is usual for the purchaser's solicitors to also act for the purchaser's lender.

In order to act for a bank or building society a law firm has to be on that lender's conveyancing panel. An application has to be made by the law firm to the lender to become a member of the lender's panel and there are increasingly strict criteria which the firm has to satisfy and indeed some lenders now require their panel members to be part of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. Your solicitors should contact Halifax and see if they can apply for membership of the Halifax conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Halifax will instruct their own solicitors to act. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Halifax conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case it will likely add costs, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.

Our lawyer has identified a legal deficiency with the lease for the apartment we are purchasing. The seller’s lawyers have offered defective title insurance as a workaround. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our solicitor says that as he is on the Halifax conveyancing panel he must check that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Halifax?
Just because you have a mortgage offer from Halifax does not mean to say that the property will be meet their requirements for the purposes of a mortgage. Your lawyer has to ensure that the lease has to comply with the CML Handbook Requirements. You and Halifax are the client. The appropriate lender requirements must be adhered to by the Halifax conveyancing panel who has to balance acting for you and Halifax
Do all the licensed conveyancers and solicitor practices listed on your search have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Halifax conveyancing panel?
No. There is no CML Part 2 or Building Society Association requirement relating to online case tracking. Some law firms operate such technology and some don't.
Please explain the implications if my solicitor is suspended from the Halifax Solicitor panel in advance of completion?
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 for a fee.
We have agreed to purchase a house.One unusual aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Halifax be concerned
As your lender is Halifax your lawyer must to check the Halifax conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Halifax . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Halifax where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. Requirements for Scotland are due in the near future.
I am about to exchange contracts on a purchase with a mortgage from Halifax. The report from my solicitor mentions that Halifax could withdraw their offer before completion. Is this right?
Banks and Building Societies such as Halifax can revoke their mortgage offer although this is unusual. If Halifax withdraw their offer they may or may not inform you or the lawyer as to the reasons why. There are various possible reasons but here are a number of examples:
  • Where information comes to Halifax ‘s attention regarding the customers or the security that they were not aware of prior to offer that affects their original decision to lend
  • If the financial circumstances of the borrower have changed to the detriment and the Halifax has been notified
  • If the borrower informs Halifax of a change in security address
  • Where to proceed with the Mortgage offer would be unlawful
  • If the solicitor on the Halifax conveyancing panel acting for the applicant, borrower, mortgagor or guarantor cannot comply with Halifax ‘s instructions
I am currently in the process of buying my council flat. I have a mortgage offer with Halifax. Conveyancing is not something I have any knowledge of. Can I proceed without a solicitor easily? I think we can but we keep being told I should use one. Any advice?
It is not advisable proceed with a house purchase without a solicitor. The council's solicitor are not acting for you. You need a solicitor for a number reasons. One of which is to verify what plans the Council have for repairs and refurbishment for the next five years. Many leaseholders have been stung for contributions of thousands of pounds. In any event if you are getting a mortgage with Halifax you will need to appoint a solicitor on the Halifax conveyancing panel.