Common questions asked concerning the Whistletree Conveyancing Panel
from members of the public
My fiance and I are FTBs. Within the last couple of days our property lawyer has sent a preliminary report and documents to look through with the expectation that exchange is imminent. Whistletree have this morning contacted us to advise us that there is now an issue as our solicitor is not on their approved list of lawyers. Is this a problem?
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 solicitors should contact Whistletree and see if they can apply for membership of the Whistletree conveyancing panel, but if that is not viable Whistletree will instruct their own solicitors to act. You don't have to instruct a firm on the Whistletree 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 are adding another lawyer into the mix.
Much to my surprise my lawyer has requested from me ID documents stating that this is part of his legal duty as a solicitor on the Whistletree Solicitor panel. Can you confirm whether this is the case?
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 Whistletree your lawyer also has to check ID documents to satisfy Whistletree
I require the services of a Whistletree panel solicitor in Stirling. Could you help me?
It is not clear why you need a Whistletree panel solicitor but in any event, if you can not find one on our search tool you will need to speak directly to Whistletree to find out which solicitors in Whistletree are on their panel. If you do find such a firm not listed please direct them to our site to list. After all the cost is only one £1 a month
My house is up for sale and I have a buyer. Does my solicitor have to be on the Whistletree conveyancing panel in order to deal with redeeming my mortgage?
Ordinarily, even if your lawyer is not on the Whistletree 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.
Can you point me to a directory of Whistletree panel solicitors on the CML Handbook Website?
No. There is no such tool on the Council of Mortgage Lenders or Building Society Association websites. Very few lenders make their panel listings available online.
We have agreed to purchase a house.One unusual aspect is that the roof has a solar panel. Whistletree have issued a mortgage offer so presumably this is not a concern to them. Why is my solicitor raising questions about the panel?
As your lender is Whistletree your lawyer must to check the Whistletree conveyancing instructions contained in the Part of CML Handbook for Whistletree . The CML Handbook contains minimum requirements for solar panel roof-space leases, and solicitors are required to report to Whistletree 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.
The for formalities of my purchase has taken place with a mortgage from Whistletree. Conveyancing was satisfactory but I feel I should register my dissatisfaction about Whistletree. Who do I contact should I wish to lodge a complaint?
Almost all banks and building societies have complaints procedures. Your first port of call should be one of the Whistletree branches or the Customer Services Team at Whistletree head office. We understand that complaints to Whistletree are sorted out very quickly. However if you are not satisfied that the matter is resolved you can write to the
Financial Ombudsman Service at South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London E14 9SR who will take matters further.