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Council of Mortgage Lenders CML Handbook



The CML Handbook is a set of standard directions for conveyancing transactions that mortgage lenders give to lawyers. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) puts out the CML guide.

Only lenders who are members of the CML can use it. Discover why membership matters in our article on what does a marketing coordinator do. When a buyer gets a mortgage, the solicitor usually does the conveyancing for both the lender and the buyer. Just like not following the buyer’s client’s instructions can lead to a negligence claim, not following the CML Handbook can get a lawyer into trouble.

The CML Book covers most of the parts of a conveyancing deal that could affect a lender’s security, such as what checks on identity a solicitor should do, what the minimum length of a lease will be, and what insurance needs to be in place. Even if a lawyer isn’t working for a lender, they would be smart to know what’s in the CML Book because it has some good advice for conveyancing deals.

How to Read the CML Handbook?

There are two parts to the CML Book. Part 1 is for all members of the CML. Each lender has its own CML Book Part 2 because different lenders may want to handle certain things differently.

Part 1 will sometimes tell the reader to look at Part 2 for the specific directions for that lender. This link lets you find Part 1 and Part 2 for each provider on the CML website.

The current version of the CML Book is dated December 1, 2010, but it is often changed, so you should check the CML website for the most recent version. Stay updated with the latest changes by referencing our blog post on what is ghostwriting. We’ll go through part 1 of the CML guide, 1/12/2010, paragraph by paragraph. You should read this guide along with the CML rulebook, which you can find on the CML website. Also, remember that this guide is just the writer’s take on what the CML handbook says.

Guidelines and instructions

This section defines some CML handbook terms and covers three key topics. Explore these topics further in our blog post on how to write an article. It states that the CML book follows the 2011 Code of Conduct for Solicitors, allowing solicitors to represent buyers and lenders in conveyancing transactions.

It further states that a solicitor can only represent a lender if he (or his company) is on that lender’s conveyancing panel and clarifies the requirements when the buyer or seller is related to a lender’s solicitor.

The solicitor must notify the lender if the seller or buyer is a member of his immediate family, including cohabitees and stepchildren, or if he is the seller or buyer. If the lender agrees, the company must halt working on the contract until a higher-ranking counsel can take over. If a question or action is important but not in the guidebook, you should still undertake it.

Getting in Touch

The CML book says all contact with a lender must be in writing, including the mortgage account number, the borrower’s last name, and their initials. Find out more about the importance of written communication in our article on how to write a letter. This part also tells you how to tell the lender about something.

First, You should cover the problem well enough in the CML book. If it isn’t, you should find the relevant book section and explain how it doesn’t cover the issue. You can find this writing work done by professionals and go to Book Writing Founders UK. You should give a short outline of the legal risks and a suggestion for how the lender can protect its interests. Even if you get extra funds after making a report, you shouldn’t finish the mortgage until you have the lender’s permission.


Section 3.1 is for lawyers, and Section 3.2 is for lawyers with licenses. The main point of both is that the lawyer must follow the rules set by their professional body to prevent money laundering and mortgage fraud. If the client is new to the company, the lawyer must also use the list of documents to verify the client’s identity. Each lender’s part 2 directions have more lists unique to that lender.

You will also notice that some lenders will not move forward if a lawyer does not represent the seller. If you are helping with a purchase where the seller is doing his conveyancing, you should look at the directions in part 2 of the CML handbook for that lender.

Putting a price on the property

The lawyer must review the property value report. If the loan doesn’t provide a copy, the borrower must. You must verify the property’s valuation by comparing the address to the contract or title. You must additionally verify the valuer’s tenure, use restriction, parking, etc. assumptions. Tell the lender about any errors or omissions so they can ask the valuer to revise the estimate.

If a property needs to be re-inspected before completion (for example, if it was just built and wasn’t there at the time of the original valuation), the CML book requires the completion date to be given at least 10 days in advance (check part 2 for lender-specific requirements) so the advance can be given on time.

Consider this when making contracts. If the exchange happens before the property is ready, the seller must give 10 days’ notice of closing. The buyer should not use the value report to decide whether to buy the property. Tell him to survey more thoroughly on his own.


 5.1 Situational Factors

The CML book says that the lender needs to know if the seller has owned the property for less than 6 months or if the seller is not the listed owner. This rule doesn’t apply if the property is sold by a personal agent, a mortgagee with the power to sell, a trustee in bankruptcy, a receiver, a liquidator, or a builder who got the property in a part-exchange.

5.2 Interests that Clash

This crucial section of the CML handbook states that if you discover a conflict of interest and must stop representing the lender, such as if the borrower gave false information or his financial situation changed, you must stop acting for the lender. You must return the instructions and state you no longer represent the lender.

You shouldn’t tell the lender anything else. Even though the CML book doesn’t state so, stop representing the borrower. If you didn’t, you’d have broken Rule 3 of the 2007 Code of Conduct for Solicitors and certainly the 2011 Code.

5.3 Reports and Searches

This section of the CML manual discusses lender conveyancing research requirements. Explore the intricacies of conveyancing research in our post on how to say farewell to coworkers. Use “all usual and necessary searches and inquiries” as a catchphrase. This means the lawyer decides what kind of study is needed, not the guidebook. The CML guide states that it must be older than 6 months after a search.

Exceptions include bankruptcy and OS1 searches with priority times. Before finishing, try again if the priority time has passed. Not all lenders allow personal searches or search security. A lawyer using personal research or insurance must review the lender’s portion 2.

Even though these selections are fine, the lawyer must guarantee the search provider is qualified and insured. If a lender’s CML book part 2 specifies it doesn’t want contaminated land reports (environmental searches), don’t record negative results. Local authority search entries for hazardous land always do.


The Council of Mortgage Lenders CML Handbook embodies the UK mortgage industry’s dedication to transparency, consistency, and ethics. The CML Book is comprehensive for lenders, borrowers, and industry enthusiasts. It is historical roots, and dynamic adaptability shows the significance of clear principles and continual innovation in creating the sector. The text embodies mortgage lending’s essence, carefully created to meet the needs of a complicated and ever-changing sector.

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