Common questions asked concerning the Leeds Building Society Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
I am selling my maisonette and the estate agent has just texted me to say that the buyers are changing their law firm. I am told that this is due to the fact that Leeds Building Society will only deal with property lawyers on their approved list. Why would a major mortgage company only deal with specific law firms?
Mortgage companies have always had panels of law firms they are willing to work with, but in the past few years big names such as HSBC, have reviewed and reduced their conveyancing panel– in some cases removing conveyancing firms who have worked with them for more than 25 years.
Lenders point to the increase in fraud as the reason for the cull – criteria have been tightened and a smaller panel should be easier to keep an eye on. No lender will say how many solicitors have been dropped, claiming the information is commercially sensitive, but the Law Society says it is being contacted daily by practices that have been removed from panels, or have other concerns about them. Some do not even realise they have been dropped until contacted by a borrower who has instructed them as might be the situation in your buyer’s case. Your purchasers are unlikely to have any sway in the decision.
We are getting closer to an exchange and my mum and dad having transferred the 10% deposit to my lawyer. I am now advised that as the deposit has not come from me my lawyer needs to disclose this to my lender Leeds Building Society. I am advised that, being on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel and acting on their behalf he must inform Leeds Building Society if the balance of the mortgage advance is not just from me. I informed the bank about my parent’s contribution when I applied for the mortgage so is it really necessary for this now to be an issue?
Your lawyer is obliged to check with Leeds Building Society to make sure that they are aware that the balance of the purchase price is not from your own funds. Your solicitor can only report this to Leeds Building Society if you agree, failing which, your lawyer must cease to continue acting.
Are the lawyers identified as being on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel, together with their details provided by Leeds Building Society?
The firms themselves provide us confirmation that they are on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel as opposed to being supplied with a list from Leeds Building Society directly.
My grandfather passed away six months ago and as sole heir and executor was left the property. The house had a relatively small loan remaining of approximately £5k. I want to transfer the title deeds into my name whilst I re-mortgage to Leeds Building Society , pay off the mortgage etc. Is this allowed?
If you intend to re-mortgage then Leeds Building Society will insist on your using a conveyancer on the Leeds 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 Leeds 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 Leeds Building Society mortgage is registered as a charge at the Land Registry.
I am buying a property where the roof has a solar panel. Leeds Building Society have issued a mortgage offer so presumably this is not a concern to them. Why is my solicitor raising questions about the panel?
Given that you are obtaining a mortgage with Leeds Building Society your lawyer must to check the Leeds Building Society conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Leeds Building Society . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Leeds Building Society where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. The CML are developing guidance for Northern Ireland and Scotland.
We expect to receive a DIP from Leeds Building Society this week so we can work out what to offer on a property we like as otherwise we are dependent on web based calculators (which aren't taking into account credit checks etc).Do the Leeds Building Society recommend a solicitor on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel, or is it better to find our own lawyer
You will need to appoint solicitors independently although you'll need to choose one on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel. The solicitor represents both you and the Leeds Building Society through the process.
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 intend to finance via a home loan with Leeds Building Society
It would be sensible to have your start your search soon rather than later. After you have chosen your lawyer 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 Leeds Building Society , ask your prospective lawyers check they are on the Leeds Building Society conveyancing panel otherwise they can't do the mortgage legal work.