Satisfy the lender to seal the deal

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty, advises on the importance of keeping the mortgage lender happy
Legal cartoon
© Merrily Harpur
Question: We are buying a leasehold flat and our solicitors seem more concerned about the requirements of our building society than our questions about the property. Why?

Answer: Although some lenders like to have their own solicitors and not use the same ones as the borrower, your lender has clearly instructed your solicitors to act for them as well. This is usually less expensive as you will not have to pay the costs of two sets of solicitors, but your solicitors have to ensure your interests and those of the lender are properly protected.

Your lender will have certain requirements which must be satisfied before your solicitors can submit a certificate of title to the lender requesting the mortgage funds.

The requirements of the lender are found in different places. Your solicitors will have received a copy of your mortgage offer and mortgage instructions from your lender, and these will contain the lender’s specific instructions regarding your loan.

In addition, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association publish general instructions to which lenders adhere. Your lender is likely to be a member of one of these organisations and so your solicitors must ensure that those instructions are satisfied in addition to the conditions in the mortgage instructions.

Your solicitor should of course deal with and answer all your own queries relating to the flat, but I hope you can also see how important it is for your solicitors to be able to satisfy your lender — because if they don’t you will not get your mortgage!


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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the residential real estate team at Thring LLP www.thrings.com.



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