Could you please help. To what degree is the solicitor acting on behalf of the purchaser who has instructed them and to what degree on the behalf of the mortgage lender. ie Is it reasonable for the purchaser to ask to review questions before they are submitted to the seller? Is it then acceptable to ask that some of those are not submitted if they are clearly daft. ie the solicitor requesting indemnity against a loft 'conversion' undertaken over 200 years ago or planning/ indemnity for garden sheds built in 1820? Is this really an obligation 'because the mortgage lender expects it' ? Why is the purchaser obliged to pay for questions to be raised that they didn't agree with or want asked?
Thanks for your enquiry.
Where a client is having a Mortgage on their Purchase, the Solicitor owes a duty to both the client and the Lender, as he acts for both.
It would not be normal for a client to preview the enquiries to be raised with the Seller's Solicitors, and the client relies on the professional to do the job correctly.
Concerning our duty to a Lender, these are set by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
One of these instructions is that we should check, wherever possible, that all necessary planning consents for extensions or alterations have been obtained.
If such consents are not forthcoming, we have to decide if the Lender's security is affected and disclose it to the Lender if we feel it is. Most Lenders would then allow us to proceed provided an indemnity policy is taken out.
So, in the normal course of things, requesting Building Regulations for a loft conversion would be normal. However, (and all Solicitors are different) I would not normally pursue and request an indemnity policy if the extension/conversion was carried out over 20 years ago. Most Solicitors take this view. Asking for B Regs for a conversion 200 years? or do you mean 20 years ago? If 200 years, all I can say, is that I would laugh to receive such an enquiry! Likewise, if the shed has been there since 1820, this is quite unbelievable.
I would, however, hope that these enquiries have not delayed the process too much.
I hope I have assisted, and answered your question.
Fair enough, then I have been unreasonable in asking for the visibility of questions sent out in my name. When I am dealing with Commercial Lawyers, it obviously works differently as I am usually as involved as they are. So I find some of those questions slightly embarassing.
Yes, I mean 200 years ago! The elm boards in the attic are two foot wide and taper. They have been cut and planed from a single tree so they have to be laid in opposite directions to get some semblance of square!
I'm glad you think it is unbelievable.
Thank you so much for your prompt reply on a Sunday