Conveyancing: What If It's All Gone Pete Tong?
- AuthorPaul Hajek
It’s all gone wrong (or Pete Tong in rhyming slang)
Have you ever heard someone say that in a Conveyancing context? I am out of pocket because my Conveyancing Solicitor made a mistake.
I doubt it.
It’s just not something you hear, not even from that ubiquitous man down the pub.
The main reasons: Conveyancing Solicitors have a great reputation for trustworthiness, integrity and competence.
And, if anything does go “Pete Tong” you are protected in a number of ways.
5 Reasons Why You Are Protected When You Buy and Sell Your Home
No 1: Comprehensive and Compulsory Insurance
Conveyancing Solicitors also hold the world’s most comprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance scheme.
The scheme which is compulsory for all firms of Solicitors provides that each firm of Solicitors holds a minimum level indemnity insurance of 2 million pounds – 3 million pounds if the law firm is a limited company.
So, when you instruct your Conveyancing Solicitor to act for you in your sale and purchase, you are protected against cock-ups (otherwise known as negligence) so you are not out of pocket for any professional mistakes.
No 2: Regulation
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the independent body which governs the professional conduct of Solicitors.
The SRA has one of the most stringent regulatory schemes of all the professional organisations.
The ultimate sanction against a Conveyancing Solicitor is that he may be struck off and simply unable to practice law. A heavy sanction and not one that affects Estate Agents or Mortgage Brokers for example.
No 3: Trust
Trust is often underestimated in the Conveyancing process. Without Trust between Conveyancers, the system would not work as efficiently as it does.
Conveyancing Solicitors rely upon undertakings from fellow Conveyancers, for example, to pay off (or redeem as it is known) a mortgage on a property.
Conveyancing Solicitors facilitate the exchange of contracts where often there are many links in the chain.
The Banks and Building Societies are also able to instruct Conveyancing Solicitors to utilise mortgage funds safely on their behalf.
This is only possible with the certain knowledge that the funds will be used correctly.
In the very rare case where the funds go astray, the Banks and Building societies know they monies will be recovered.
4. Complaints Procedures:
Every law firm as part of its regulation must have an internal complaints procedure to provide redress in the event of misunderstandings, miscommunication or poor service.
5. Legal Ombudsman
When all that fails, there is now redress to the Legal Ombudsman. The Legal Ombudsman scheme came into force on 6th October 2010 and provides a last resort for resolution of unresolved complaints against law firms.
The Legal Ombudsman provides useful guides for consumers on how to choose the right Conveyancer, what to look out for and examples of decisions to give you an indication of what it perceives as poor service
What Does It All Mean for You When Buying a House?
House Moving is stressful even at the best of times.
Hopefully, knowing you are fully protected on the rare occasions where things may go a bit wrong will be a great benefit to you.
That comfort and peace of mind will allow you get on with the joy of moving home.
Your house move will then be more a case of Steve Wright than Pete Tong.
If you are thinking of moving home soon download our free Conveyancing Guide "First Bites" to get you off on the right foot
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An earlier version of this post was first published in 2011