Why are conveyancers so expensive? Or are they...

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In comparison to what? If against estate agents, mortgage advisers, mortgage lenders, surveyors, removal men, then they are one, if not the lowest priced, yet for all the weeks of work they do for their client.

And yet, on top of that fact, they assume risk of legal action at every direction. If your conveyancer makes a legal error, it could cost you thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

Common things they can get wrong:

- did they make sure the other solicitor is not a fraudster

- did they ensure the seller removed their mortgage from your property

- did they make sure your property immediately connects to the public highway, without third party land you have to cross but where no permission exists

- are there restrictions in your deeds which were already breached by your seller and now you face legal action to correct them (e.g to take down that conservatory)

- were the necessary Council (planning and building control) consents obtained for recent building alterations at your property

- is a big chunk of your property previously a field without planning consent for residential use

- is the lease of your flat defective:

        - the landlord is only obliged to insure certain insurance risks, not comprehensive risks

        - no rights to use common parts

         - no use of the parking space

        - forfeiture of the lease if you become bankrupt

        - the landlord / repairing company is legally defunct

        - not all the flat has been leased to you, by a error in the description/plan

And quite rightly, the client will look to the conveyancer, who will have to cover the cost from their fee.

But with such a burden to get things right, best advice is never to select a conveyancer who advertises their cheap price - levels of service will need to be cut to make the work still profitable, and that can mean exposing you and your property to a greater risk of the above errors.