- UK Finance Mortgage Lenders' Handbook for conveyancers
- England and Wales
England and Wales
Part 1: England and Wales
Last modified: 01/07/2017
- 1. General
- 2. Communicating with the Lender
- 3. Safeguards
- 4. Valuation of The Property
- 5. Title
- 5.1. Length of Ownership
- 5.2. Seller Not The Owner or Registered Proprietor
- 5.3. Conflict of Interest
- 5.4. Searches and Reports
- 5.5. Planning and Building Regulations
- 5.6. Good and Marketable Title
- 5.7. Flying Freeholds and Freehold Flats
- 5.8. Other Freehold Arrangements
- 5.9. Commonhold
- 5.10. Restrictions on Use and Occupation
- 5.11. Restrictive Covenants
- 5.12. First Legal Charge
- 5.13. Balance of Purchase Price
- 5.14. Leasehold Property
- 5.15. Management Company
- 5.16. Insolvency Considerations
- 5.17. Powers of Attorney
- 5.18. The Guarantee
- 5.19. Affordable Housing: Shared Ownership and Shared Equity
- 5.20. Energy Technologies Installed on Residential Properties
- 6. The Property
- 6.1. Mortgage Offer and Title Documents
- 6.2. Boundaries
- 6.3. Purchase Price
- 6.4. Incentives
- 6.5. Vacant Possession
- 6.6. Properties Let at Completion
- 6.7. New Properties - Building Standards Indemnity Schemes
- 6.8. Roads and Sewers
- 6.9. Easements
- 6.10. Release of Retentions
- 6.11. Neighborhood Changes
- 6.12. Rights of Pre-emption and Restriction on Resale
- 6.13. Improvements and Repair Grants
- 6.14. Insurance
- 7. Other Occupiers
- 8. Circumstances Requiring Independent Legal Advice
- 9. Indemnity Insurance
- 10. The Loan and Certificate of Title
- 11. The Documentation
- 12. Instalment Mortgages and Mortgage Advances Released in Instalments
- 13. Mortgage Indemnity Insurance or Higher Lending Charge
- 14. After Completion
- 15. Legal Costs
- 16. Transactions During the Life of the Mortgage
- 17. Redemption
Part 1 - Instructions and Guidance
Those lenders who instruct using the UK Finance Mortgage Lenders' Handbook certify that these instructions have been prepared to comply with the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA's) Code of Conduct 2011 and the CLC Code of Conduct 2011.
1.12.1 Our instructions are personal to the firm to whom they are addressed and must be dealt with solely by that firm. You must not sub-contract or assign our instructions to another firm or body, nor may you accept instructions to act for us from another body, unless we confirm in writing otherwise.
- identify the relevant Handbook provision and the extent to which the issue is not covered by it.
- provide a concise summary of the legal risks.
- provide your recommendation on how we should protect our interest.
3.1.1 This sub-section relates to solicitors and those working in practices regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority only.
3.1.2 You must follow the rules and guidance of your professional body relating to money laundering and comply with the current money laundering regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to the extent that they apply and you must follow other relevant guidance, for example, the Law Society of England and Wales mortgage fraud practice note; the Council for Licensed Conveyancers’ Acting for Lenders and Prevention of Mortgage Fraud Code and Guidance, and take account of relevant regulatory warning notices.
3.1.3 If you are not familiar with the seller's regulated legal representatives (as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007 Schedule 4 and Schedule 2 paragraph 5), you must verify that they are currently on record with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Council for Licensed Conveyancers or other legal regulatory body as practising at the address they have provided to you. Check part 2 to see whether we require you to notify us of the name and address of the regulated legal representatives (as defined above) acting for the seller.
3.1.4 If the seller does not have legal representation you should check part 2 to see whether or not we need to be notified so that a decision can be made as to whether or not we are prepared to proceed.
Unless you personally know the signatory of a document, you must ask the signatory to provide evidence of identity, which you must carefully check. You should check the signatory's identity against one of the documents from list A or two of the documents in list B: List A
3.1.6 You should check that any document you use to verify a signatory’s identity appears to be authentic and current, signed in the relevant place. You should take a copy of it and keep the copy on your file. You should also check that the signatory’s signature on any document being used to verify identity matches the signatory’s signature on the document we require the signatory to sign and that the address shown on any document used to verify identity is that of the signatory.
3.2.1 This sub-section applies to licensed conveyancers practices only.
3.2.2 You must follow the professional guidance of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers relating to money laundering and comply with the current money laundering regulations and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to the extent that they apply and you must follow all other relevant guidance issued by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers.
3.2.3 If you are not familiar with the seller's regulated legal representatives (as defined by the Legal Services Act 2007 Schedule 4 and Schedule 2 paragraph 5), you must verify that they are currently on record with the Law Society or Council for Licensed Conveyancers or other legal regulatory body as practising at the address they have provided to you. Check part 2 to see whether we require you to notify us of the name and address of the regulated legal representatives (as defined above) acting for the seller.
3.2.4 If the seller does not have legal representation you should check part 2 to see whether or not we need to be notified so that a decision can be made as to whether or not we are prepared to proceed.
3.2.5 Unless you personally know the signatory of a document, you must ask the signatory to provide evidence of identity, which you must carefully check. You must satisfy yourself that the person signing the document is the borrower, mortgagor or guarantor (as appropriate). If you have any concerns about the identity of the signatory you should notify us immediately.
3.2.6 You should check that any document you use to verify a signatory's identity appears to be authentic and current, signed in the relevant place. You should take a copy of it and keep the copy on your file. You should also check that the signatory's signature on any document being used to verify identity matches the signatory's signature on the document we require the signatory to sign and that the address shown on any document used to verify identity is that of the signatory.
5.1.1 Please report to us immediately if the owner or registered proprietor has been registered for less than six months.
Please report to us immediately if the person selling to the borrower is not the owner or registered proprietor unless the seller is:
5.3.1 If any matter comes to your attention which you should reasonably expect us to consider important in deciding whether or not to lend to the borrower (such as whether the borrower has given misleading information to us or the information which you might reasonably expect to have been given to us is no longer true) and you are unable to disclose that information to us because of a conflict of interest, you must cease to act for us and return our instructions stating that you consider a conflict of interest has arisen. This does not apply if acting in accordance with Part 3 - Separate Representation Standard Instructions.
5.4.1 In carrying out your investigation, you must ensure that all usual and necessary searches and enquiries have been carried out. You must report any adverse entry to us but we do not want to be sent the search itself. We must be named as the applicant in the Land Registry search.
5.4.2 In addition, you must ensure that any other searches which may be appropriate to the particular property, taking into account its locality and other features are carried out.
5.4.3 All searches except where there is a priority period must not be more than six months old at completion.
5.4.4 You must advise us of any contaminated land entries revealed in the local authority search. Check part 2 to see if we want to receive environmental or contaminated land reports (as opposed to contaminated land entries revealed in the local authority search). If we do not, you do not need to make these enquiries on our behalf.
5.4.5 Check part 2 to see if we accept personal searches.
5.4.6 Check part 2 to see if we accept search insurance.
If we accept personal searches or search insurance you must ensure that:-
5.4.8 You are satisfied that you will be able to certify that the title is good and marketable unless stated otherwise in our specific requirements listed in part 2.
You must by making appropriate searches and enquiries take all reasonable steps (including any further enquiries to clarify any issues which may arise) to ensure:
5.5.2 If there is such evidence and all outstanding conditions will not be satisfied by completion, where you are not able to provide an unqualified certificate of title, you should report this to us in accordance with 2.3.
5.5.3 Check part 2 to see if copies of planning permissions, building regulations and other consents or certificates should be sent to us.
5.5.4 If the property will be subject to any enforceable restrictions, for example under an agreement (such as an agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) or in a planning permission, which, at the time of completion, might reasonably be expected materially to affect its value or its future marketability, you should report this to us (see part 2).
5.5.5 If different from 1.11, contact point if the property is subject to restrictions which may affect its value or marketability.
5.6.1 The title to the property must be good and marketable free of any restrictions, covenants, easements, charges or encumbrances which, at the time of completion, might reasonably be expected to materially adversely affect the value of the property or its future marketability (but excluding any matters covered by indemnity insurance) and which may be accepted by us for mortgage purposes. Our requirements in respect of indemnity insurance are set out in section 9. If, based on your professional judgment, you are able to provide an unqualified certificate of title, we will not require indemnity insurance. You must also take reasonable steps to ensure that, on completion, the property will be vested in the borrower.
Good leasehold title will be acceptable if:
5.6.3 A title based on adverse possession or possessory title will be acceptable if the seller is or on completion the borrower will be registered at the Land Registry as registered proprietor of a possessory title. In the case of lost title deeds, the statutory declaration must explain the loss satisfactorily;
5.6.4 We will also require indemnity insurance where there are buildings on the part in question or where the land is essential for access or services;
5.6.5 We may not need indemnity insurance in cases where such title affects land on which no buildings are erected or which is not essential for access or services. In such cases, you must send a plan of the whole of the land to be mortgaged to us identifying the area of land having possessory title. We will refer the matter to our valuer so that an assessment can be made of the proposed security. We will then notify you of any additional requirements or if a revised mortgage offer is to be made.
5.7.1 If any part of the property comprises or is affected by a flying freehold or the property is a freehold flat, check part 2 to see if we will accept it as security.
If we are prepared to accept a title falling within 5.7.1:
If our requirements in the first bullet under 5.7.2 are not satisfied, indemnity insurance must be in place at completion (see section 9).
5.8.1 Unless we indicate to the contrary (see part 2), we have no objection to a security which comprises a building converted into not more than four flats where the borrower occupies one of those flats and the borrower or another flat owner also owns the freehold of the building and the other flats are subject to long leases.
If the borrower occupying one of the flats also owns the freehold, we will require our security to be:
5.8.3 If another flat owner owns the freehold of the building, the borrower must have a leasehold interest in the flat the borrower is to occupy and our security must be the borrower's leasehold interest in such flat.
5.8.4 The leases of all the flats should contain appropriate covenants by the tenant of each flat to contribute towards the repair, maintenance and insurance of the building. The leases should also grant and reserve all necessary rights and easements. They should not contain any unduly onerous obligations on the landlord.
Where the security will comprise:
5.9.1 If any part of the property comprises of commonhold, check part 2 to see if we will accept it as security.
If we are prepared to accept a title falling within 5.9.1, you must:
5.10.1 You must check whether there are any material restrictions on the occupation of the property as a private residence or as specified by us (for example, because of the occupier's employment, age or income), or any material restrictions on its use. If there are any restrictions, you must report details to us (see part 2). We may accept a restriction, particularly if this relates to sheltered housing or to first-time buyers.
5.11.1 You must enquire whether the property has been built, altered or is currently used in breach of a restrictive covenant. We rely on you to check that the covenant is not enforceable. If you are unable to provide an unqualified certificate of title as a result of the risk of enforceability you must ensure (subject to paragraph 5.11.2) that indemnity insurance is in place at completion of our mortgage (see section 9).
5.11.2 If there is evidence of a breach and, following reasonable enquiries, you are satisfied that the title is good and marketable; you can provide an unqualified certificate of title and the breach has continued for more than 20 years without challenge, then we will not insist on indemnity insurance.
5.12.1 On completion, we require a fully enforceable first charge by way of legal mortgage over the property executed by all owners of the legal estate. All existing charges must be redeemed on or before completion, unless we agree that an existing charge may be postponed to rank after our mortgage. Our standard deed or form of postponement must be used.
5.13.1 You must ask the borrower how the balance of the purchase price is being provided. If you become aware that the borrower is not providing the balance of the purchase price from his own funds or is proposing to give a second charge over the property, you must report this to us if the borrower agrees (see part 2), failing which you must return our instructions and explain that you are unable to continue to act for us as there is a conflict of interest. You should also have regard to 6.3.1 with regard to any implications on the purchase price.
5.14.1 Our requirements on the unexpired term of a lease offered as security are set out in part 2.
5.14.2 There must be no provision for forfeiture on the insolvency of the tenant or any superior tenant.
5.14.3 The only situations where we will accept a restriction on the mortgage or assignment (whether by a tenant or a mortgagee) of the lease is where the person whose consent needs to be obtained cannot unreasonably withhold giving consent. The necessary consent for the particular transaction must be obtained before completion. If the lease requires consent to an assignment or mortgage to be obtained, you must obtain these on or before completion (this is particularly important if the lease is a shared ownership lease). You must not complete without them.
You must take reasonable steps to check that:
You should ensure that responsibility for the insurance, maintenance and repair of the common services is that of:
5.14.6 Where the responsibility for the insurance, maintenance and repair of the common services is that of one or more of the tenants the lease must contain adequate provisions for the enforcement of these obligations by the landlord or management company at the request of the tenant.
5.14.7 In the absence of a provision in the lease that all leases of other flats in the block are in, or will be granted in, substantially similar form, you should take reasonable steps to check that the leases of the other flats are in similar form. If you are unable to do so, you should effect indemnity insurance (see section 9). This is not essential if the landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the main structure.
5.14.8 We do not require enforceability covenants mutual or otherwise for other tenant covenants.
5.14.9 We have no objection to a lease which contains provision for a periodic increase of the ground rent provided that the amount of the increased ground rent is fixed or can be readily established and is reasonable. If you consider any increase in the ground rent may materially affect the value of the property, you must report this to us (see part 2).
5.14.10 You should enquire whether the landlord or managing agent foresees any significant increase in the level of the service charge in the reasonably foreseeable future and, if there is, you must report to us (see part 2).
5.14.11 If the terms of the lease are unsatisfactory, you must obtain a suitable deed of variation to remedy the defect. We may accept indemnity insurance (see section 9). See part 2 for our requirements.
5.14.12 You must obtain on completion a clear receipt or other appropriate written confirmation for the last payment of ground rent and service charge from the landlord or managing agents on behalf of the landlord. Check part 2 to see if it must be sent to us after completion. If confirmation of payment from the landlord cannot be obtained, we are prepared to proceed provided that you are satisfied that the absence of the landlord is common practice in the district where the property is situated, the seller confirms there are no breaches of the terms of the lease, you are satisfied that our security will not be prejudiced by the absence of such a receipt and you provide us with a clear certificate of title.
5.14.13 Notice of the mortgage must be served on the landlord and any management company immediately following completion, whether or not the lease requires it. Please ensure that you can provide either suitable evidence of the service of notice on the landlord or management company or a receipt of notice. Check part 2 to see if a receipted copy of the notice or evidence of service must be sent to us after completion.
5.14.14 We will accept leases which require the property to be sold on the open market if re-building or reinstatement is frustrated provided the insurance proceeds and the proceeds of sale are shared between the landlord and tenant in proportion to their respective interests.
5.14.15 You must report to us (see part 2) if it becomes apparent that the landlord is either absent or insolvent. If we are to lend, we may require indemnity insurance (see section 9). See part 2 for our requirements.
5.14.16 You must check a certified or official copy of the original lease. In the case of a registered lease where the original lease is now lost, or destroyed by Land Registry, we are prepared to proceed provided you have checked an official copy of the lease from the Land Registry.
In paragraphs 5.15.1 to 5.15.2 the following meanings shall apply:
5.15.2 You should make a company search and verify that the company is in existence and registered at Companies House. You should also obtain the management company's last three years' published accounts (or the accounts from inception if the company has only been formed in the past three years). Any apparent problems with the company should be reported to us (see part 2). If the borrower is required to be a shareholder in the management company, check part 2 to see if you must arrange for the share certificate, a blank stock transfer form executed by the borrower and a copy of the memorandum and articles of association to be sent to us after completion (unless we tell you not to). If the management company is limited by guarantee, the borrower (or at least one of them if two or more) must follow the procedure necessary to become a member after completion.
5.16.1 You must obtain a clear bankruptcy search against each borrower (and each mortgagor or guarantor, if any) providing us with protection at the date of completion of the mortgage. You must fully investigate any entries revealed by your bankruptcy search against the borrower (or mortgagor or guarantor) to ensure that they do not relate to them.
Where an entry is revealed that may relate to the borrower (or the mortgagor or guarantor):
5.16.3 If you are aware that the title to the property is subject to a deed of gift or a transaction at an apparent undervalue completed within five years of the proposed mortgage then you must be satisfied that we will acquire our interest in good faith and will be protected under the provisions of the Insolvency (No 2) Act 1994 against our security being set aside. If you are unable to give an unqualified certificate of title, you must arrange indemnity insurance (see section 9).
5.16.4 You must also obtain clear bankruptcy searches against all parties to any deed of gift or transaction at an apparent undervalue.
5.17.1 If any document is being executed under power of attorney, you must ensure that the power of attorney is, on its face, properly drawn up, that it appears to be properly executed by the donor and that the attorney knows of no reason why such power of attorney will not be subsisting at completion.
5.17.2 Where there are joint borrowers the power should comply with section 25 of the Trustee Act 1925, as amended by section 7 of the Trustee Delegation Act 1999, or with section 1 of the Trustee Delegation Act 1999 with the attorney making an appropriate statement under section 2 of the 1999 Act.
5.17.3 In the case of joint borrowers, neither borrower may appoint the other as their attorney.
5.17.4 A power of attorney must not be used in connection with a regulated loan under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Check part 2 to see if:
5.18.1 Whilst we recommend that a borrower should try to obtain a full title guarantee from the seller, we do not insist on this. We, however, require the borrower to give us a full title guarantee in the mortgage deed. The mortgage deed must not be amended.
5.19.1 Housing associations, other social landlords and developers sometimes provide schemes under which the borrower will not have 100% ownership of the property and a third party will also own a share or will be a taking a charge over the title. In these cases you must check with us to see if we will lend and what our requirements are unless we have already provided these (see part 2).
5.20.1 Where a property is subject to a registered lease of roof space for solar PV panels we require you to check that the lease meets the UK Finance minimum requirements. Where you consider it does not, check part 2 to see whether you must report this to us and for details of any additional requirements.
5.20.2 If, after completion, the borrower informs you of an intention to enter into a lease of roof space relating to energy technologies, you should advise the borrower that they, or the energy technology provider on their behalf, will need to seek consent from us.
5.20.3 UK Finance has issued a set of minimum requirements where a provider/homeowner is seeking lender consent for a lease of roof space for solar PV panels. See part 2 for our additional requirements relating to these leases.
Check part 2 to see whether we require you to disclose the details of any existing Green Deal Plan(s) on a property
Check part 2 to see whether we require you to disclose the details of any existing Green Deal Plan(s) on a property
6.1.1 The loan to the borrower will not be made until all relevant conditions of the mortgage offer which need to be satisfied before completion have been complied with and we have received your certificate of title.
6.1.2 You must check your instructions and ensure that there are no discrepancies between them and the title documents and other matters revealed by your investigations.
6.1.3 You should tell us (see part 2) as soon as possible if you have been told that the borrower has decided not to take up the mortgage offer.
6.2.1 These must be clearly defined by reference to a suitable plan or description. They must also accord with the information given in the valuation report, if this is provided to you. You should check with the borrower that the plan or the description accords with the borrower's understanding of the extent of the property to be mortgaged to us. You must report to us (see part 2), if there are any discrepancies.
6.3.1 The purchase price for the property must be the same as set out in our instructions. If it is not, you must tell us (unless we say differently in part 2).
6.4.1 You must obtain a completed copy of the UK Finance Disclosure of Incentives Form for any property that is yet to be occupied for the first time, or for the first time in its current form, for example, because of a renovation or conversion. You should only report incentives to the lender as instructed below.
6.4.2 You will not be able to send a completed Certificate of Title to the lender unless you have received the UK Finance Disclosure of Incentives Form. When you send a completed Certificate of Title you are confirming you are in receipt of a completed UK Finance Disclosure of Incentives Form from the developer/seller’s conveyancer which complies with your instructions.
6.4.3 This does not override your duty to the lender via the instructions provided elsewhere in the Lenders’ Handbook.
You must tell us (unless we say differently in part 2) if the contract provides for or you become aware of any arrangement in which there is:
Any such arrangement may lead to the mortgage offer being withdrawn or amended.
6.4.5 You must report to us (see part 2) if you will not have control over the payment of all of the purchase money (for example, if it is proposed that the borrower pays money to the seller direct) other than a deposit held by an estate agent or a reservation fee of not more than £1,000 paid to a builder or developer.
6.5.1 Unless otherwise stated in your instructions, it is a term of the loan that vacant possession is obtained. The contract must provide for this. If you doubt that vacant possession will be given, you must not part with the advance and should report the position to us (see part 2).
6.6.1 Unless it is clear from the mortgage offer that the property is let or is to be let at completion then you must check with us whether we lend on "buy-to-let" properties and that the mortgage is for that purpose (see part 2).
6.6.2 Where the property, or part of it, is already let, or is to be let at completion, then the letting must comply with the details set out in the mortgage offer or any consent to let we issue. If the letting does not comply, or no such details are mentioned, you must report the position to us (see part 2).
6.6.3 Check part 2 for whether counterparts or certified copies of all tenancy agreements and leases in respect of existing tenancies must be sent to us after completion.
6.6.4 Where the property falls within the definition of a house in multiple occupation under the Housing Act 2004 see part 2 as to whether we will accept this as security and if so what our requirements are.
6.7.1 If the property has been built or converted within the past ten years, or is to be occupied for the first time, you must ensure that it was built or converted under a scheme acceptable to us (see part 2 for the list of schemes acceptable to us and our requirements).
6.7.2 Where the cover under a scheme referred to in clause 6.7.1 is not yet in place before you send us the certificate of title, you must obtain a copy of a new home warranty provider's cover note from the developer. The cover note must confirm that the property has received a satisfactory final inspection and that the new home warranty will be in place on or before legal completion. This does not apply to self-build schemes. Check part 2 to see what new home warranty documentation should be sent to us after completion.
6.7.3 We do not insist that notice of assignment of the benefit of the new home warranty agreement be given to the builder in the case of a second and subsequent purchase(s) during the period of the insurance cover. Check part 2 to see if any assignments of building standards indemnity schemes which are available should be sent to us after completion.
Where the property does not have the benefit of a scheme under 6.7.1 and has been built or converted within the past 6 years check part 2 to see if we will proceed and, if so, whether you must satisfy yourself that the building work is being monitored (or where the work is completed was monitored) by a professional consultant. If we do accept monitoring you should ensure that the professional consultant has provided the lender's Professional Consultant's Certificate which forms an appendix to this Handbook or such other form as we may provide. The professional consultant should also confirm to you that he has appropriate experience in the design or monitoring of the construction or conversion of residential buildings and has one or more of the following qualifications:
At the time he issues his certificate of practical completion, the consultant must have professional indemnity insurance in force for each claim for the greater of either:
6.7.6 Check part 2 to see if the consultant’s certificate must be sent to us after completion.
6.8.1 If the roads or sewers immediately serving the property are not adopted or maintained at public expense, there must be an agreement and bond in existence or you must report to us (see part 2 for who you should report to).
6.8.2 If there is any such agreement, it should be secured by bond or deposit as required by the appropriate authority to cover the cost of making up the roads and sewers to adoptable standards, maintaining them thereafter and procuring adoption.
6.8.3 If there is an arrangement between the developer and the lender whereby the lender will not require a retention, you must obtain confirmation from the developer that the arrangement is still in force.
6.8.4 Where roads and sewers are not adopted or to be adopted but are maintained by local residents or a management company this is acceptable providing that in your reasonable opinion appropriate arrangements for maintenance repairs and costs are in place.
6.9.1 You must take all reasonable steps to check that the property has the benefit of all easements necessary for its full use and enjoyment. All such rights must be enforceable by the borrower and the borrower's successors in title. If they are not check part 2 for our requirements.
6.9.2 If the borrower owns adjoining land over which the borrower requires access to the property or in respect of which services are provided to the property, this land must also be mortgaged to us unless all relevant easements are granted in the title of the land to be mortgaged to us and those rights are and remain enforceable in accordance with section 6.9.1.
6.10.1 If we make a retention from an advance (for example, for repairs, improvements or road works) we are not obliged to release that retention, or any part of it, if the borrower is in breach of any of his obligations under the mortgage, or if a condition attached to the retention has not been met or if the loan has been repaid in full. You should, therefore not give an unqualified undertaking to pay the retention to a third party.
6.10.2 Check part 2 to see who we will release the retention to.
6.11.1 The local search or the enquiries of the seller's conveyancer should not reveal that the property is in an area scheduled for redevelopment or in any way affected by road proposals. If it is please report to us (see part 2).
6.12.1 You must ensure that there are no rights of pre-emption, restrictions on resale, options or similar arrangements in existence at completion which will affect our security. If there are, please report this to us (see part 2).
6.13.1 Where the property is subject to an improvement or repair grant which will not be discharged or waived on completion, check part 2 to see whether you must report the matter to us.
You must make reasonable enquiries to satisfy yourself that buildings insurance has been arranged for the property from no later than completion.
You should remind the borrower that they:
- any borrower who does not personally benefit from the loan; or
- any guarantor; or
- anyone intending to occupy the property who is to execute a consent to the mortgage and you must arrange for them to seek independent legal advice.
- you must approve the terms of the policy on our behalf; and
- the limit of indemnity must meet our requirements (see part 2); and
- the policy must be effected without cost to us; and
- you must disclose to the insurer all relevant information which you have obtained; and
- the policy must not contain conditions which you know would make it void or prejudice our interests; and
- you must provide a copy of the policy to the borrower and explain to the borrower why the policy was effected and that a further policy may be required if there is further lending against the security of the property; and
- you must explain to the borrower that the borrower will need to comply with any conditions of the policy and that the borrower should notify us of any notice or potential claim in respect of the policy; and
- the policy should always be for our benefit and, if possible, for the benefit of the borrower and any subsequent owner or mortgagee. If the borrower will not be covered by the policy, you must advise the borrower of this.
11.1.1 The mortgage incorporates our current mortgage conditions and, where applicable, loan conditions. If the mortgage conditions booklet is supplied to you with your instructions you must give it to the borrower before completion of the mortgage.
11.1.2 You should explain to each borrower (and any other person signing or executing a document) his responsibilities and liabilites under the documents referred to in paragraph 11.1.1 and any documents he is required to sign.
Except where we specify otherwise in our individual instructions, the signature of a document that needs to be witnessed must be witnessed by an independent person. The witness’s signature must clearly record the witnessing of the signing of the document by the individual concerned, and the name and address of the witness must appear in legible form. All documents required at completion must be dated with the date of completion of the loan.
12.1.2 The borrower is expected to pay for as much work as possible from his own resources before applying to us for the first instalment. However, we may, if required, consider advancing a nominal sum on receipt of the certificate of title to enable the mortgage to be completed so long as the legal estate in the property is vested in the borrower.
12.1.3 The borrower is responsible for our valuer's fees for interim valuations as well as the first and final valuations.
12.2.1 As in the case of a normal mortgage account, funds for instalment mortgages may be sent to you. However, instalments (apart from the first which will be sent to you to enable you to complete the mortgage) can be sent directly to the borrower on request. We may make further payments and advances without reference to you.
12.3.1 To allow time for a valuation to be carried out, your request should be sent to us (see part 2) at least 10 days before the funds are required.
12.4.1 We will not lend on the security of a building contract unless we tell you to the contrary. As a result the mortgage must not be completed and no part of the advance released until the title to the legal estate in the property has been vested by the borrower.
14.1.1 You must register our mortgage as a first legal charge at the Land Registry.
14.1.2 Where the borrower or mortgagor is a company an application to register the charge must be lodged at Companies House within the required time period.
14.1.3 Our mortgage conditions and mortgage deed have been deposited at the Land Registry and it is therefore unnecessary to submit a copy of the mortgage conditions on an application for registration.
14.1.4 Where the loan is to be made in instalments or there is any deferred interest retention or stage release, check part 2 to see whether you must apply to Land Registry on form CH2 for entry of a notice on the register that we are under an obligation to make further advances. If the mortgage deed states that it secures further advances, and that the lender is under an obligation to make them, there is no need to submit a form CH2 provided the mortgage deed also states that application is made to the Registrar for a note to be entered on the register to that effect and the mortgage deed bears a Land Registry MD reference at its foot.
The application for registration must be received by the Land Registry during the priority period afforded by the subsisting Land Registry or Land Charges search at the time of completion. Please check part 2 to see if we require the original mortgage deed and/or any other original title documents to be returned to us.
You may use any available Land Registry process for registration including electronic registration. You should retain any original documents until you are satisfied that the registration is completed. You are not otherwise required by us to retain any original documents.
14.2.1 All title deeds, official copies of the register (where these are issued by the Land Registry after registration), searches, enquiries, consents, requisitions and documents relating to the property in your possession must be held to our order pending completion of the retainer and you must not create or exercise any lien over them. Check part 2 for our requirements on what you should do with these documents following registration. If registration at the Land Registry has not been completed within three months from completion you must advise us in writing with a copy of any correspondence with the Land Registry explaining the delay.
14.2.2 You must only send us documents we tell you to (see part 2). You should obtain the borrower's instructions concerning the retention of documents we tell you not to send us.
14.3.1 For evidential purposes you must keep your file for at least six years from the date of the mortgage before destroying it. You should retain on file those documents as specified in these instructions, and/or our individual instructions, and any other documents which a reasonably competent solicitor/conveyancer would keep. Microfiching, data imaging or material held electronically consititutes suitable compliance with this requirement. It is the practice of some fraudsters to demand the conveyancing file on completion in order to destroy evidence that may later be used against them. It is important to retain these documents to protect our interests.
Where you are processing personal data (as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) on our behalf, you must;
14.3.3 Subject to any right of lien or any overriding duty of confidentiality, you should treat documents comprising your file as if they are jointly owned by the borrower and us and you should not part with them without the consent of both parties. You should on request supply certified copies of documents on the file or a certified copy of the microfiche to either the borrower or us, and may make a reasonable charge for copying and certification. This does not apply if acting in accordance with Part 3 - Separate Representation Standard Instructions.
16.1.1 All requests for title documents should be made in writing and sent to us (see part 2). In making such a request you must have the consent of all of the borrowers to apply for the title documents.
16.2.1 Our mortgage secures further advances. Consequently, when a further advance is required for alterations or improvements to the property we will not normally instruct a member of our conveyancing panel but if you are instructed the appropriate provisions of this Handbook will apply.
16.3.1 You must approve the transfer (which should be in the Land Registry's standard form) and, if we require, the deed of covenant on our behalf. Check part 2 to see if we have standard forms of transfer and deed of covenant.
When drafting or approving a transfer, you should bear in mind that:
You must ensure that every person who will be a borrower after the transfer covenants with us to pay the money secured by the mortgage, except in the case of:
16.3.4 Any such covenant will either be in the transfer or in a separate deed of covenant. In a transfer, the wording of the covenant should be as follows, or as close as circumstances permit: "The new borrower agrees to pay the lender all the money due under the mortgage and will keep to all the terms of the mortgage." If it is in the transfer, you must place a certified copy of the transfer with the deeds (unless we tell you not to in part 2).
16.3.5 If we have agreed to release a borrower or a guarantor and our standard transfer form (if any) includes no appropriate clause, you must add a simple form of release. The release clause should be as follows, or as close as circumstances permit: "The lender releases ... from [his/her/their] obligations under the mortgage." You should check whether a guarantor who is to be released was a party to the mortgage or to a separate guarantee.
16.3.6 You must obtain the consent of every guarantor of whom you are aware to the release of a borrower or, as the case may be, any other guarantor.
16.3.7 You must only submit the transfer to us for execution if it releases a party. All other parties must execute the transfer before it is sent to us. See part 2 for where the transfer should be sent for sealing. Part 2 also gives our approved form of attestation clause.
16.4.1 If prior to completion of the retainer, the Borrower informs you of an intention to let the property you should advise the borrower that any letting of the property is prohibited without our prior consent. If the borrower wishes to let the property after completion then an application for consent should be made to us by the borrower (see part 2).
16.4.2 Check part 2 to see whether it is necessary to send to us a copy of the proposed tenancy when making the application.
16.4.3 If the application for our consent is approved and we instruct you to act for us, you must approve the form of tenancy agreement on our behalf in accordance with our instructions.
16.5.1 If we consent to any proposal for a deed of variation, rectification, easement or option agreement, we will rely on you to approve the documents on our behalf.
16.5.2 Our consent will usually be forthcoming provided that you first of all confirm in writing to us (see part 2) that our security will not be adversely affected in any way by entering into the deed. If you are able to provide this confirmation then we will not normally need to see a draft of the deed. If you cannot provide confirmation and we need to consider the matter in detail then an additional administration fee is likely to be charged.
16.5.3 Whether we are a party to the deed or give a separate deed or form of consent is a matter for your discretion. It should be sent to us (see part 2) for sealing or signing with a brief explanation of the reason for the document and its effect together with your confirmation that it will not adversely affect our security.
16.6.1 If we agree to enter into an arrangement with other lenders concerning the order of priority of their mortgages, you will be supplied with our standard form of deed or form of postponement or substitution. We will normally not agree to any amendments to the form. In no cases will we postpone our first charge over the property.
17.1.1 When requesting a redemption statement (see part 2) you should quote the expected repayment date and whether you are acting for the borrower or have the borrower's authority to request the redemption statement in addition to the information mentioned in paragraph 2.1. You should request this at least five working days before the expected redemption date. You must quote all the borrower's mortgage account or roll numbers of which you are aware when requesting the repayment figure. You must only request a redemption statement if you are acting for the borrower or have the borrower's written authority to request a redemption statement.
17.1.2 To guard against fraud please ensure that if payment is made by cheque then the redemption cheque is made payable to us and you quote the mortgage account number or roll number and name of the borrower.
17.2.1 On the day of completion you should send the discharge (if required) and your remittance for the repayment to us (see part 2). Check part 2 to see if we discharge via a DS1 form or direct notification to the Land Registry.