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‘No-search indemnity insurance’ now accepted by mortgage lender

A mortgage lender says it will now accept ‘no-search indemnity insurance’ for residential purchases in a bid to speed up the current transaction process logjam.

Foundation Home Loans - an intermediary-only lender - says conveyancing solicitors can place the insurance policy on risk at completion in lieu of local authority and or other searches. 

In a statement, the lender says: "Local authority searches normally are a critical part of the transaction. They give information on the land on which the property being mortgaged is built and the immediate surrounding area/location. Without these searches, the owner could be liable for future costs and legal challenges on matters, for example, such as public rights of way, planning permission and building control works including extensions, and in extreme cases could mean that the value of the property is affected negatively.

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“Recently, local authorities have struggled to deliver the results of local authority searches due to the very high demand for local authority searches, driven by both staffing issues caused by Covid-19 lockdown and the flood of purchases being transacted prior to the stamp duty reduced rates deadline of March 31 2021. 

“Some have been taking more than 40 days to produce the search results, which means the process of buying a property has become very lengthy for many buyers.

“We continue to simplify the mortgage process wherever possible, to support you in getting as many ... clients as possible to completion before the March 31 stamp duty reduced rates deadline.”

Earlier this week a trade body called on Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to intervene over the growing problem of delays in councils providing search information to buyers and conveyancers.

The Council of Property Search Organisations (CoPSO) says more than 35 per cent of local authorities are now taking more than 20 working days to process search requests - and in many cases the delay is for 30 days “or significantly more.” 

CoPSO claims that many of the delays - even before the latest lockdown - were down to insufficient central government resources being allocated to councils suffering staff shortages and slower working processes for staff advised not to go to offices.

  • Phil Priest

    What a loads of Bullsh*t this is saying that the councils are to blame for the hold up on searches.

    With the exception of a London council suffering a cyberattack and not doing searches until March the rest of the UK councils are doing well considering.

    Lets look at the 'real' causes.

    1. Solicitors are not ordering searches quickly enough in the process.
    2. The Lenders are not honouring the DIP's and pulling offers, or taking so long to produce the mortgage offer that it is causing havoc and people are pulling out.
    3. The general rate of completion within the industry is at an all time high whilst we have record numbers of properties being sold.

    This is simply proving that the current inefficiencies in the industry are causing the cracks in communication to become caverns.

    Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Unfortunately you are only partly correct.
    Some councils 'are' causing significant delays. As an example, of which there are many across England and Wales (feel free to get on our mailing list to keep you updated on turnaround times) North Warwickshire and the surrounding region is stuck with building regs sitting at Lichfield that has been unable to get the data out in less than 50 'working' days.
    I agree that more buyers should buy searches as soon as a purchase is agreed, they can do that direct with Property Searches Direct, and you can get commission for it, but vendors should be ordering packs as soon as they go to the market to further speed up transaction times.
    No need to rely on a conveyancer to order a pack any more so why continue to shout at them? You and your clients can have full access to the solution, so change your processes, we are here to support you with lots of free stuff and commission.

     
  • Steve Davies

    Beware of advising clients to order searches from providers which are not registered with PCCB or IPSA such as the comments above as the vast majority of lenders will not accept such searches and the payment of commission is outlawed by the SRA.

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