Common mistakes made by conveyancers

24 Feb 2014

The list can run into hundreds of points. It is so very important that you secure an expert conveyancing solicitor, rather than be herded to cash paying conveyancers putting profit before your best welfare.

Of the oversights/mistakes that can occur, here is a snapshot:

Selling

  1. Not reading the full names of their clients on the property deeds and incorrectly typing them on the contract.
  2. When selling a leasehold property, forgetting to request the usual management pack from the landlord leaving the buyer to request it from the sellers many weeks later.
  3. Not reading their own clients completed forms but blindly passing them to the buyers – often overlooking (1) too much/undisclosed information (2) the need to accompany them with documents that their clients wanted attaching, leaving the buyers to chase.
  4. Not realising that they have sent out black and white photocopies of documents with coloured plans.
  5. Not paying enough attention to the age of the property being sold and if built since 2000 not sending out planning or building control Council consents.
  6. Replying to a buyer asking for copies of conditional planning consents that being over 10 years they will not be supplying them (conditional planning consents are binding whatever their age).
  7. Forgetting to obtain a mortgage redemption statement until after exchange of contracts and realising that their clients made an error in what amount they thought was owing.
  8. Overlooking restrictions in the deeds which require third-party consent to the sale and not obtaining details of what is necessary for the buyer to obtain the consent.
  9. Causing a delay to the property chain wanting to complete by leaving the obtaining of the mortgage redemption amount to too late.
  10. Overlooking sending their client the contract and transfer to sign leading to delay.

Buying

  1. Not making sure that the publicly adopted highway (over which you are all rights to walk and drive) does not immediately adjoin the property boundary.
  2. When buying a new build property with NHBC cover and the deposit is to be held in agent, not securing the priority window for deposit cover, by contacting NHBC and seeking consent to exchange with the protection.
  3. Not always obtaining copies of conditional planning consents as the conditions will be binding on their clients just like property covenant restrictions.
  4. Not informing their clients that the deeds prevent the parking of caravans and commercial vehicles at the property, with the ability of neighbours to legally take action to stop you (best not to buy the property rather than deliberately breach the restriction as that could result in a dispute and will affect the sale value of your property when you come to sell).
  5. Not asking their clients whether they consent to the lawyer not obtaining an official set of searches but instead obtaining a personal search at the local authority/drainage company but employing an agent to interpret the records.
  6. Overlooking the need for proof that recent structural alterations have Council consent and possibly consent under the restrictions in the deeds.
  7. Overlooking the fact that the deeds give neighbours the right to cross over the property in some way.
  8. Not explaining to their client that paying the deposit by cheque could lead to up to 6 working days delay compared to a same day bank transfer.
  9. Not properly advising their clients on the two types of joint ownership – tenants in common and joint tenants – leading to disastrous consequences for their clients on death or break-up.
  10. Not advising their clients that relying on the paperwork supplied by the seller in support of electric testing, gas testing and other servicing is not a guarantee but so overlooking advising their clients to have their own checks.
  11. Delaying the transaction for the supply of a FENSA certificate showing on FENSA website.
  12. When buying a leasehold property not ensuring that the seller clears any and all arrears of payments under the lease.
  13. Failing to request the mortgage money the day before completion to avoid delay on the day.