Frequently asked questions relating to the Newbury Mortgage Services Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
My wife and I are first time buyers. Within the 48 hours our conveyancer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Newbury Mortgage Services have this morning contacted us to inform me that there is now an issue as our solicitor is not on their conveyancing panel. What do we do from here?
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 Accreditation Scheme.
Your property lawyers should contact Newbury Mortgage Services and see if they can apply for membership of the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Newbury Mortgage Services will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Newbury Mortgage Services 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 solicitor has identified a problem with the lease for the apartment we are buying. The seller’s lawyers have offered defective title insurance as a workaround. We are content with insurance and will cover the costs. Our lawyer says that as he is on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel he must check that the lender is happy with this solution. Who is the client here, us or Newbury Mortgage Services?
The short answer to your last question is that, notwithstanding the potential for a conflict of interest, you and Newbury Mortgage Services are the client. A precondition to being on the Newbury Mortgage Services approved panel is to comply with the CML Handbook requirements (last updated for this lender on Newbury Mortgage Services). The CML Handbook conditions require your lawyer to disclose issues such as defects will the lease so that Newbury Mortgage Services 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.
I see that you have a search directory identifying firms on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel. Do firms pay you a referral fee if I instruct them for my house purchase?
We are a listing service only for law firms wishing to communicate if they are on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel or other lender panels. We do not charge referral fees to the any conveyancer that you subsequently appoint.
I was due to move into my first house last Friday. My lawyer’s firm is on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel but has moved offices 8 weeks ago and had not informed Newbury Mortgage Services of their new address. Newbury Mortgage Services has locked down the release of mortgage funds until such time as their systems are up to date with the correct details.
This is a rare situation indeed. Most lender Terms of Conveyancing Panel Appointment specifically oblige the solicitor to inform the lender of an address change. Your solicitor needs to treat this with the utmost urgency. Do speak with or register your concern with the senior partner (assuming he or she is not your direct lawyer). Most lenders would be reasonable in this situation and expedite the resolution of this issue. It may be prudent to enlist the help of your local Newbury Mortgage Services branch or your mortgage broker to see if they can help.
I had instructed online solicitors based in Cardiff who are on the Newbury Mortgage Services solicitor panel. They are now charging me a separate fee of £175 for dealing with the Newbury Mortgage Services mortgage. Is this a supplemental conveyancing fee specified by Newbury Mortgage Services?
Unfortunately, as long as it is in their Terms and Conditions or Quote then yes your solicitors can charge a fee for this. This fee is not set by Newbury Mortgage Services but by your lawyers. Some firms on the Newbury Mortgage Services will charge an ‘acting for lender’ fee but plenty of firms include it on their overall fee.
Planning on purchasing a house with a mortgage with Newbury Mortgage Services. I have received an online quote from a licensed conveyancer, which states: "There will be no charge for dealing with the Lender if you are obtaining a mortgage". I take this to mean that there will be no additional fee if the solicitor is on the Newbury Mortgage Services 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 Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel
I have instructed a lawyer having checked that they are on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel. Does my lawyer arrange the survey of the property?
Having digested plenty of mortgage guides,I note that they all recommend that you should get your house surveyed prior to buying it. When I asked my solicitor - who is on the Newbury Mortgage Services conveyancing panel - on this she said they don't do this and I need to contract an independent surveyor. Is that normal?
Newbury Mortgage Services will need an independent valuation of the property. Your lawyer will not arrange this. Usually Newbury Mortgage Services 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 Newbury Mortgage Services you could contact your them to see if they have a list of approved surveyors.