How can I hurry the solicitors for the final documents after completing on my new home?

Our lawyer Fiona McNulty answers your questions
Question: I completed on my new home in November. Despite repeated prompts to my solicitor I still don't have the final documents. They say they are awaiting confirmation of the seller's discharge of their mortgage. I want to build an extension and will need these documents. How can I pressure the solicitor to speed things up?

Answer: You can apply for planning permission even though there has been a delay with registration of your title to the property at the Land Registry. On completion of the sale the seller's solicitors should have redeemed the mortgage and requested evidence of discharge. Usually the lender writes to the seller's solicitors acknowledging receipt of the funds and confirming that an electronic discharge has been sent to the Land Registry. That written confirmation should have been sent by the seller's solicitors to your solicitor.

After completion your solicitor should have paid any stamp duty that was due and applied to register your title at the Land Registry. If the seller's mortgage has not been redeemed, your solicitor should know as the Land Registry will either cancel the application as it cannot be processed without evidence of discharge; raise a requisition in respect of the outstanding mortgage, or register your title to the property without removing the seller's lender's charge, in which case your solicitor would have been told.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the residential real estate team at Thring LLP (

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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