FAQs for the Metro Bank Solicitor Panel
from members of the public
Is the fact that my conveyancer is not identified on the Metro Bank Conveyancing 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 Metro Bank.
Our solicitor has discovered a legal deficiency with the lease for the property we are buying. The other side have suggested defective title insurance as a solution. We are happy with insurance and will cover the costs. Our lawyer says that as he is on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel he must be satisfied that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Metro Bank?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the potential for a conflict of interest, you and Metro Bank are the client. A precondition to being on the Metro Bank approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Metro Bank). The CML Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects will the lease so that Metro Bank can be afforded the opportunity to check with their valuer as to the extent that the value of the property is affected . Should you refuse to allow your lawyer to make the appropriate notification then your lawyer will have no choice but to discontinue acting for you.
How do I find a local solicitor on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel? I have a car and am prepared to travel up to 25 kilometers to meet the conveyancer.
Feel free to make use of the find a conveyancing panel tool on this website. Please choose the lender and your location and you will see a number of lawyer located nearest you. Alternatively you can type in the name of your proposed law firm and see if they are listed as being on the Metro Bank solicitor panel.
The firm that just started acting on my purchase in Brighton has without warning closed. They were on acting for me because I needed a lawyer on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel and my previous lawyer was not. I paid them £200 on account. What do I do now?
If you have an estate agent involved then let them know straight away so that they can let the sellers know that there may be a slight delay due to reasons beyond your control. Most sellers would be sympathetic and urge their lawyer to send a new set of papers to your new solicitors. You should appoint new lawyers that are on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel and notify the lender. If you have paid over any money it will hopefully be held by the SRA as money in an intervened firm's bank accounts is transferred to the SRA. Then, the SRA or the intervention agent looks at the intervened firm's accounts to work out who the money belongs to. To claim your money you will need to contact the SRA. If the SRA cannot return money you are owed from the firm's bank accounts, or if they can only return part of the money, you can apply to the Compensation Fund for a grant. Your new solicitors should be in a position to assist
Are all Conveyancing Quality Solicitors on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel?
It is true that some banks and building societies now use CQS as the starting point for Panel membership such as HSBC and Santander. The Law Society’s CQS accreditation however gives no guarantee to lender panel acceptance. That being said,the CML have indicated that it is likely to become a pre-requisite for firms wishing to remain on their approved list of conveyancing solicitors.
Is it the case that all conveyancing solicitors on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
On the whole there are no requirements by lenders for their firms to operate on a no-sale-no-fee basis. There a small number of lenders who operate a very restricted conveyancing panel managed by a third party company (often termed in the industry as a ‘gatekeeper’). That third party may impose certain conditions such as non-sale-no fee on the panel firms. If you require this as a condition of your conveyancing then you should check with the conveyancing firm that this is part of their service
I have instructed a lawyer having checked that they are on the Metro Bank conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having digested plenty of house buying,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 Metro Bank conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Metro Bank will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Metro Bank 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 Metro Bank you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.