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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My wife is buying a property (which well both live in) but

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My wife is buying a property (which we'll both live in) but is taking out the mortgage herself (I'm self-employed and so it's just easier, for now).

As I'm over 18 and will live there the mortgage company have asked me to sign a "Deed of Consent and Postponement" - I understand what that is and its implications. However, they strongly suggested that I get independent legal advice on it, so wanting to "do it right" I approached some solicitors - and every one has said "no, we don't do that", some saying that it's against Law Society guidelines, some saying that it's about me not being an existing customer, some saying it's about something to do with having to identify my as really being who I am - a whole bunch of (inconsistent) reasons why they won't do it!

Why exactly won't they do it and how do I find a solicitor who will?


Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your patience.

Firms have their own policies on these things. If they don’t have a property department then they will not do it. Some may take the view that attending the execution of the document and giving you advice on it is too “small fry” , or that it is not worth the hassle of having to verify your identity for the purpose of the money laundering obligations.

There will be another local firm to you willing to offer you advice on it. You should use the following Law Society Find a Solicitor search engine:-

Enter your postcode and select “conveyancing residential” from the drop down menu under Area of Law.

Ring round a few and simply state that you require basic advice on the deed and witnessing of your signature.

I would be surprised if you did not find one, but if you are having real difficulties then you can ask them to simply witness the execution of it rather than give advice but you should certainly be able to find a firm locally that’s willing to do it and it does affect your rights so you should persist.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

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Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I would have thought that the "small-fry" aspect wouldn't be putting them off - they could just charge something exorbitant for a tiny bit of work!

I'm wondering if there's something specific about deeds in general or property-related deeds or mortgage-related deeds that's off-putting? One of them said something about it being "against Law Society guidelines" to provide this kind of advice - what're the Law Society guidelines that may be driving their policies?

I've already been in touch with the Law Society directly asking for their advice in finding a solicitor that will help, but I've not had a response so far...

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi Neil,

There is no Law Society rule which says that a solicitor cannot give advice on a person executing the Deed of Postponement, none at all.

Provided that there is no conflict of interest and the solicitor feels taht they are appropriately qualifed to give the advice then there is no restriction.

Some firms may steer clear because it's conceivable in the future that the person may attempt to claim the equity in litigation and then they would be called upon and would not be able to charge their hourly rate.

It's curious, but you shoudl be able to find someone.

Please remember to rate my answer.

Kind regards.

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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