Q and A’s regarding the Holmesdale Building Society Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
My fiance and I are novices when it comes to buying a property. Within the last couple of days our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Holmesdale Building Society have this afternoon contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our lawyer is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
When purchasing a property with the benefit 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 Holmesdale Building Society and see if they can apply for membership of the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Holmesdale Building Society will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel and you may continue to use your own solicitors, in which case your legal fees may increase, and it may delay matters as you have another set of people involved.
Can you clarify something for me?. My lawyer is not to blame but, the conveyancing for my house purchase has been going on for months. The Local Authority Search from Holmesdale Building Society was dated random date and we have agreed a date for me to move into the property on Tues etc. My solicitor informs me that as she is on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel she needs to redo the searches as they are now out of date.
A precondition to being on the Holmesdale Building Society approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Holmesdale Building Society)which specifies that a local authority search be not more than 6 months old. You should nevertheless ask your lawyer to check whether something called ‘search validation’ indemnity insurance is acceptable to Holmesdale Building Society.
Do all the firms listed on your directory have online case tracking as I was under the impression that this was a precondition of being on the Holmesdale Building Society 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.
My grandfather passed away last year and as sole heir and executor was left the house. The house had a relatively small loan remaining of approximately £4500. I want to transfer the title deeds into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Holmesdale Building Society , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Holmesdale Building Society will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel. Here is link to the Land Registry online guidance around what to do when a property owner dies. This will help you to understand the registration process behind changing the details re the registered title. in your case it would appear that you are effectively purchasing the property from the estate. Your Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel solicitor pays the new mortgage money into the estate, the estate pays off the old mortgage, the charge is released and you become the owner and the Holmesdale Building Society mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
My fiance and I are at the point of looking at apartments and am about to put in an offer. Should I already have a conveyancer appointed at this stage? I I am planning to take a home loan with Holmesdale Building Society
It would be sensible to have your start your search soon rather than later. Once you decide who you want to use and once your offer is accepted you can instruct them to work for you and pass their details on the the estate agent. As you are getting a mortgage with Holmesdale Building Society , make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel.
I have not been happy with the level or service received from my lawyer. Is there a Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel complaints department or do I complain directly to the law firm?
Complaining to Holmesdale Building Society about their conveyancing panel is unlikely to yield much of a response. All solicitors and conveyancer must have a complaints procedure. Usually one can find this information from the solicitor’s or conveyancer’s website or ask at their office. They must tell you about it if you ask.
The Legal Ombudsman will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the solicitor. It can also advise you how to complain.
If a licensed conveyancer does not have a complaints procedure or will not tell you about it, contact the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which will make sure that your complaint is properly dealt with by the conveyancer. Please see below for more information.
After shopping around on the internet I have found a solicitor having checked that they are on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
I've digested plenty of mortgage guides,I note that it is considered advisable to get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Holmesdale Building Society conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Holmesdale Building Society will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Holmesdale Building Society will appoint their own surveyor to do this, and you will have to pay for it. Remember that this is a valuation for mortgage purposes and not a survey.
You may wish to consider appointing your own surveyor to carry out a survey or prepare a home buyers report on the property. It is up to you to satisfy yourself that the property is structurally sound before you buy it. If the survey or report reveals that building work is needed, you should tell your solicitor. You may wish to renegotiate with the seller.
Your lawyer will not organise the survey but they may be able to put you in touch with a local one that they recommend. RICS offers a find a surveyor service (just google it) where you can search for a qualified surveyor by postcode. As you are getting a mortgage with Holmesdale Building Society you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.