Topaz Finance Conveyancing Panel : Questions and Answers
from members of the public
My husband and I are FTBs. Within the 48 hours our lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through in anticipation of exchanging contracts shortly. Topaz Finance have this morning contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our conveyancer is not on their conveyancing panel. 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 property lawyers should contact Topaz Finance and see if they can apply for membership of the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Topaz Finance will instruct their own lawyers to represent them. You are not legally obliged to appoint a law firm on the Topaz Finance 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.
My conveyancing solicitor has requested from me identification documents asserting that this forms part of his retainer as a solicitor on the Topaz Finance Solicitor panel. Can this be correct?
Due to Money Laundering Regulations your conveyancing lawyer is duty bound to confirm positively your identification when entering into a business relationship with you. It is a criminal offense if your lawyer not do this. If you do not provide ID early in the transaction the solicitor must refuse to act for you. It’s unlikely a lawyer will turn you away if you come to the first meeting without relevant ID but you will have to produce it at some point so you might as well bring it with you to the initial meeting so the lawyer can tick the ID verification box and start sorting out the conveyancing straight away. If you are getting a mortgage with Topaz Finance your lawyer also has to check ID documents to satisfy Topaz Finance
I require the services of a Topaz Finance panel solicitor in Stirling. Can you assist?
Unfortunately it’s not apparent why you need a Topaz Finance panel solicitor but in any event, if you can not find one on our search tool you will need to speak directly to Topaz Finance to find out which solicitors in Topaz Finance are on their panel. If you do find such a firm not listed please direct them to our site to list. At a fee of one pound per month it is not expensive to register on the site
I am selling my house. Does my solicitor have to be on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel in order to deal with paying off my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Topaz Finance 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.
Do conveyancing solicitors on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel work on a no sale no fee basis?
In the main 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 package
I am buying a property where the roof has a solar panel. Solicitors conducting should look into this right? Will my lender Topaz Finance be concerned
As your lender is Topaz Finance your lawyer must to check the Topaz Finance conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Topaz Finance . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Topaz Finance where a lease does not meet these requirements. The requirements relate to the installation of panels on properties in England and Wales. Requirements for Scotland are due in the near future.
My fiance and I are in the throws of looking at flats and now considering a potential offer. Is it best to have a conveyancer on ‘stand by’? I will be getting a mortgage with Topaz Finance
You should start obtaining conveyancing quotes from solicitors ASAP. 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 Topaz Finance , make sure you remember to check that your lawyer is on the Topaz Finance conveyancing panel.