Conveyancing is a complex process and is not getting any easier.
Legislation and regulation constantly change and what may have OK one day can change the next day.
But, have you ever heard someone say they are out of pocket because my Conveyancing Solicitor made a mistake?
It’s just not something you hear, not even from that ubiquitous man down the pub.
So, if something does go wrong or Pete Tong in rhyming slang, how are you protected?
Welcome to Chapter 27 of our Series, your Conveyancing Questions Answered All in One Place: Conveyancing Mistakes.
The Reasons Why You Are Protected When You Buy and Sell Your Home
1. Comprehensive and Compulsory Insurance
Conveyancing Solicitors, in particular, have a great reputation for trustworthiness, integrity and competence.
Whether you use a Conveyancing Solicitor or Licenced Conveyancer you will have the benefit of a powerful insurance policy.
Conveyancing Solicitors hold the world’s most comprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance.
The scheme which is compulsory for all firms of Solicitors and Licensed Conveyancers 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 as a home buyer or seller are not out of pocket for any professional mistakes.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is the independent body which governs the professional conduct of Solicitors.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) rules over Licensed Conveyancers.
The Legal Services Act 2007 allows non-lawyers to own and invest in law firms via an Alternative Business Structure (ABS)
An ABS can choose to be regulated by either the SRA or CLC.
The ultimate sanction against a Conveyancer is that he or she 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.
Trust is often underestimated in the Conveyancing process.
Without Trust between Conveyancers, the system would not work as efficiently as it does.
Banks and Lenders can feel safe that the hundred of millions of pounds transmitted daily in the Conveyancing process is safe and secure.
Conveyancing Solicitors and Conveyancers rely upon undertakings from fellow Conveyancers, for example, to pay off (or redeem as it is known) a mortgage on a property.
Conveyancing Solicitors and Conveyancers facilitate the exchange of contracts where often there are many links in the chain.
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.
Here is our Complaints Procedure:
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.
The Legal Ombudsman job is as it says on its website:
“to look at complaints about service providers in a fair and independent way; we will not take sides”
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.
You can look at the Ombudsman procedure HERE.
The Legal Ombudsman has also just launched a live chat method for receiving and dealing with potential complaints.
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.