Halifax Conveyancing Lender Panel Compliance Tool

COMPLETIONmonitor is web-based pre- and post-completion checklist for residential conveyancing lawyers. Supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and PI insurers. COMPLETIONmonitor is a unique risk management tool.

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

The software creates real-time alerts, automatically produces SRA and CQS reports, and will improve your firm's efficiency. In addition it is simply to use, cost-effective and, for some firms, results in reduced PII premiums.

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Mortgage companies often change 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, over time:

A Timeline of Policy Changes

Since 2008, Halifax has made 354 revisions or additions to sections of their version of the CML Handbook.
That equates to a section change every 7.7 days. In total, 39% of the sections of P2 of the UK Finance Lenders’ Handbook for Halifax have been changed since 15/12/2008.

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Recent Changes Include

# Date Assoc. Changes Related To
6.7.1 13/08/2018 CML
1.11a 05/06/2018 CML
16.1.1 05/06/2018 CML
6.7.1 07/03/2018 CML
16.5.3c 16/01/2018 CML
6.11.1 28/04/2017 CML Obstruction of Access Indemnity Insurance
6.10.2 18/04/2017 CML
10.10 12/01/2017 CML
10.11 12/01/2017 CML
5.1.1 24/10/2016 CML

Last update 22/05/2019

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

My wife and I are first time buyers. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Halifax have this afternoon contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our lawyer 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 your legal fees may increase, and it will likely delay the transaction as you have another set of people involved.

We are due to exchange on the purchase a house but as a result of damage from the recent storms I have agreed compensation from the seller of £3k approx by way of a reduction in the price. This was going to be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process but my mortgage company Halifax will not agree to this. Why was Halifax even consulted?
Your lawyer being on the Halifax conveyancing panel is duty bound to inform Halifax of any changes to the purchase price. If you were to refuse your lawyers to disclose the reduction to Halifax then they would have to discontinue acting for you and Halifax.
Do all mortgage companies provide you with an approved list of solicitors? How do you know who is on the Halifax conveyancing panel?
The law firm practices themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Halifax conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Halifax directly.
I am selling my house. Does my solicitor have to be on the Halifax conveyancing panel in order to deal with redeeming my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Halifax conveyancing panel they can still act for you on your sale. it might be that the lender will not release the original deeds (if applicable and increasingly irrelevant) until after the mortgage is paid off. You should speak to your lawyer directly before you start the process though to ensure that there is no problem as lenders are changing their requirements fairly frequently at the moment.
I have paid off my mortgage with Halifax. I assume I don't need a solicitor on the Halifax panel to remove the mortgage at the Land Registry. Am I right?
If you have finished paying off your Halifax 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 Halifax mortgage from the register. Halifax,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 the Halifax has sent the Land Registry the discharge electronically, and the Halifax has instructed the Land Registry to do so The Land Registry will send you a letter confirming that your Halifax mortgage has been paid off.
The mortgage over my property is with Halifax. Conveyancing has been completed some time ago. In the event that I decide to rent out my property and do not currently have a buy-to-let mortgage do I need to remortgage to a BTL mortgage or inform Halifax?
Halifax must be informed of your intention in advance of letting out your property as this is likely to be a breach of Halifax’s mortgage conditions. It may be that Halifax will allow you to rent 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 Halifax directly. You need not do this via a Halifax conveyancing panel firm.
Planning on purchasing a house with a mortgage with Halifax. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Building Society if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the Halifax conveyancing panel. I wanted to make sure it means there will be no additional fees for dealing with the mortgage.
They are simply saying that the cost for acting for the lender is included in the fee being quoted. It is worth you checking that they are on the Halifax conveyancing panel