Friday, 17 October 2014

Lender's Certificate of Title

When a client is reliant on a mortgage to fund their purchase of a property, there are certain requirements which a Solicitor must meet before they are able to request the mortgage advance from the lender in anticipation of completion. Solicitors request mortgage monies from the lender by submitting a form known as the Certificate of Title – COT for short; this article provides a guide of the process leading up to, and including, completion.

Before your Solicitor is able to submit the Certificate of Title, the Solicitor must ensure that all outstanding matters have been resolved, as, by submitting this request, the Solicitors is providing their confirmation to the lender that they have complied with, and satisfied, their requirements as outlined in the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook – the CML. A Solicitor must be able confirm the property has a good marketable title.  Such matters include, but are not limited to, the following:

Ø  ID checks have been carried out
Ø  Any potential gift elements connected to the transaction have been considered and acted on appropriately
Ø  All enquiries with the seller’s solicitors have been resolved to a satisfactory standard
Ø  All search results have been returned, reviewed and are clear of issues.
Ø  The valuation report has been considered and is clear
Ø  Client’s details, the purchase price and property details concord with the mortgage offer. Also, any special conditions attached to the mortgage offer have been considered.
Ø  Any prejudicial issues affecting the valuation of the property must have also been reported to the lender during the course of the transaction and resolved.
Ø  Confirmation that there are no onerous covenants or lack of rights of access or services to the property.

Once the above conditions have been satisfied, a transaction is able to proceed to exchange and completion, for which, a Solicitor will require a signed Contract and Transfer Form (though the latter is needed for completion more than at the point of exchange), confirmation that the client has approved the completion statement, an agreed completion date, deposit funds and confirmation that buildings insurance is in place.

It is important to note that standard practice usually dictates that 10% of the purchase price of the property acts as a deposit on exchange; furthermore, a Solicitor will require buildings insurance to be in place before they are able to proceed to exchange of Contracts – your insurance cover note should have your lender noted as an interested party.

Each lender will require a period of notice from receiving the certificate of title to releasing the funds which can be up to 10 working days (although usually 5 working days). This can sometimes lead to a delay in the exchange process as if a Solicitor is giving the lender less than their required period of notice they will need to obtain written confirmation from the lender that the mortgage advance will be released on the date of completion before committing you to exchange Contracts.

It is important to note that your Solicitor is only able to release the mortgage funds on the completion date if they hold sufficient funds to complete the purchase of the property, pay all stamp duty land tax and registration fees. This will mean that although after completion your Solicitor has 30 days to submit to the Inland Revenue the duty payable they will require you prior to completion to ensure they would sufficient cleared funds to enable them to do so. 

Article written by Charlotte Ribbons Trainee Solicitor 

MJP Conveyancing are solicitors who provide residential conveyancing services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at

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