Before buying a home, you must go through a pretty lengthy process of signing papers, home inspections, and getting in touch with the right people. Everyone you’ll meet in the homebuying process is an important figure, but none are probably more crucial than the conveyancer. A conveyancer is a lawyer that specialises in the legal aspects of real estate and property buying. If you’re buying a home, you’ll need to speak to one because they will be the one to transfer legal ownership from the seller to you.
Unfortunately, problems may arise, especially if the conveyancer is incompetent. You might think that filing a complaint won’t do you any good because they have a better understanding of the law, but that’s not the case at all. If ever you see something done by your conveyancer that’s within the grounds of a complaint, you can file one. However, there’s still a due process, meaning you can’t just go to the authorities and file a complaint.
This article will guide you on what to do if your conveyancer does something that’s considered wrong, so read on below to learn more.
Know Your Rights First
First and foremost, you must know your rights, and you should also know that conveyancers abide by a set of standards in their line of work. The organisation that oversees conveyancers is the Council of Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)—and they also make sure that standards are upheld in every conveyancing transaction. These codes are as follows:
- Consumer Protection Regulation in Conveyancing
- Council of Licensed Conveyancers Code of Conduct
- Council of Licensed Conveyancers Code for Handling Complaints
- Solicitors Regulatory Authority Code Of Practice
Once you’ve brushed up your knowledge on these regulations, the process goes like this:
Step #1 – Complain Directly to the Firm
The first step to filing a complaint is to go directly to the firm where your conveyancer is from. It will be easy because someone inside will assist you, usually a ‘complaints manager’ who will give their contact details. You must always go ‘on the record’ and have your complaint in writing.
Step #2 – Escalation
In most cases, the firm can help you resolve your complaint. If not, you will be left with no choice but to escalate the situation. You must also know if you hired a conveyancer or a solicitor because it will direct you to the next steps that you’ll take.
If you’re escalating a complaint, you need the following information:
- The name of the conveyancer/solicitor
- The firm they belong to
- The specified date when the work was supposed to be carried out
- Information about the problem, such as where the conveyancer went wrong
- Anything else that clarifies your instructions
Step #3 – Resolving the Issues
The Legal Ombudsman will take care of your case when it escalates. They will also deal with any complaints that you may have regarding the bill that you’re being charged for or if the costs weren’t properly explained to you.
When Working with a Solicitor
The process will be a little different if you’re working with a solicitor for your conveyancing needs. Instead of the Legal Ombudsman, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will care for your case.
The SRA is the other authority apart from the CLC that enforces regulations for legal firms in England and Wales. It’s worth noting that every solicitor is under the SRA, which means that they won’t be able to slip away if they do any form of misconduct.
Conveyancing isn’t something that you can skip when buying a home. You must find a conveyancer or solicitor that’s competent because your sale may not push through if you don’t, making you go further away from your dream home.