With the aim of speeding up the transaction process for residential purchases, a mortgage lender says it will now accept ‘no-search indemnity insurance’.
An intermediary only lender, Foundation Home Loans says it will allow for conveyancing solicitors to place the insurance policy on risk at completion in lieu of local authority and/or other searches.
Foundation Home Loans said “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.
“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.”
The Council of Property Search Organisation (CoPSO) recently called on the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to intervene and try and improve the current and growing problem of delays within local authorities providing search information to conveyancers and buyers. They report that more than 35% of local authorities are now taking over 20 working days to process search requests and in many cases are even taking 30 days “or significantly more.”
CoPSO claim that these delays which were impacting even before the latest lockdown, are due to inadequate allocation of resources to local councils which are currently experiencing staff shortages which mean slower working processes and delays.
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