Scary views for advocates
- Written by Nick Fluck
In Brazil the Supreme Court limits its lawyers to 15 minutes in which to address their issues and put their case - the countdown clock must be pretty intimidating if you have a lot of detail to get through!
Why should you care about your "Deeds"?
- Written by Administrator
We store a lot of deeds for clients. Many of the packets of deeds we hold may now be largely irrelevant to the process of selling that property and indeed some of the properties for which we are holding the deeds may have been sold without ever needing to refer to anything in the bundle.
How can this be? Well mostly because any transfer of ownership of a property now triggers the requirement to register the property at the Land Registry. Once registered the bulk of the information will be available to anyone who buys "office copy entries" (copies of the significant documents from the Registry) and those office copy entries may often provide all the information a buyer will need without reference to the old paper copy documents.
BUT not always.
Land Registry entries are not infallible and they often leave out things which can become very important, for example the planning permissions or building regulations approvals for the construction of the property will be in the original deeds but not in the Land Registry entries.
The title plan will show the outline of the property - but may not show any boundary ownership markers which may have been in the original sales documents.
There will certainly not be any Gas Safe certificates, electrical inspection reports or guarantees for windows, doors, boilers or conservatories held at the Registry - proving compliance with these matters, in the absence of the original deeds packet may cost quite a lot of money or lead to the bane of the conveyancers life - providing indemnity policies as a cheaper and more convenient option than actually being able to provide the real information.
This is only going to get worse as the short cut solution of indemnity insurance policies has now become subject to European regulation in the form of the Insurance Distribution Directive which will make the provision of an indemnity policy much more difficult.
If you are selling a property it is always worth finding your original deeds - and if you have sold a property without needing deeds but you know we may be holding a bundle for you then do please tell us - we have duties for safe-keeping and insurance of deeds and if you don't need us to store them we can put the saved money towards repairing our leaky roof!
The murky world of Estate Agents and their "in-house" conveyancers
- Written by Nick Fluck
So you've taken the plunge and decided to move. You've looked at the local area to find out which agents are selling well and finally met up with someone in a shiny suit to sign up for a sale of your property. At some point in this process you will be offered an incentive to use the agent's in-house conveyancers who are always "much better for you, quicker and all under one roof so you will get a far better experience from your sale" - you may even be told that if you want to use a previous trusted Solicitor or similar that an additional fee will have to be levied to cover the enhanced costs of dealing with an outsider.
The vast majority of agents who tell you this are simply lying.
Firstly why should you have to pay the agent more to use a previous trusted solicitor - what additional costs do they incur? Secondly, they almost certainly do not have "their own" in-house conveyancers - nor will the process be quicker or cheaper. What they have is a cosy and usually undisclosed arrangement with a volume conveyancer - often many miles away - where the agent gets paid for introducing your business to the conveyancers. In some cases the "in-house" arrangement uses sophisticated technology to brand a "white label" service with the agent's name - the same bulk conveyancer will be working for several different agencies and all of them are selling their services as "their" in-house conveyancing team.
Some volume conveyancers will do a great job for you - but their whole model is geared to dealing with a large volume of similar business efficiently (after all a significant proportion of their fixed fee is really paid to the selling agent for sourcing the business, so there isn't much left to fund quality staff or bespoke dealing). If your transaction is entirely uncomplicated it may be handled perfectly adequately by a largely automated process, but as soon as something abnormal crops up, watch out for additional charges, which you will have been warned about in the small print of the standard paperwork you will receive from a bulk conveyancer. Volume conveyancers will always make sure they have complied wih any necessary regulatory issues, so if things go wrong you won't have a leg to stand on.
In a recent transaction we noted there was a need to deal with a common issue and a "rider" had to be added to the contract. We put this forward as a half-dozen lines of text - with no additional charge. The volume conveyancer acting for the sellers demanded an aditional £100 plus VAT from their clients as a fixed fee to deal with this.
If you are getting a hard-sell from your agents recommending their in-house lawyers - ask them where they are based, will you be able to go and sit down with anyone if any of the paperwork gets tricky and, crucially, what do they get for recommending them.
For traditional highly-skilled and genuine personal service for your domestic conveyancing from our fully-qualified solicitors please contact Robin Dickinson; Jo O'Hara; James Buxton or Nick Fluck via our contacts links.
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