Why Can’t My Conveyancer Just Complete!

Updated: 3 hours ago

Below is a Disclaimer for a Cash Buyer of Leasehold Property where there are Outstanding Enquiries, no Leasehold Management Packs are available and no Searches have been obtained.

The importance of each of the above is explained within the disclaimer.

The principles remain the same for purchasers with mortgages.

Your Conveyancer has a duty to you and the lender to ensure you are both protected and there will be no issues on re-sale. Your property value could be affected by defects.

This is a massive financial commitment for you and your lender. That is why a Conveyancer needs to sign off on the title and confirm it is good security for the mortgage. Your Conveyancer can only do that if they are satisfied regarding the replies to enquiries. To do otherwise would be negligent.

If your Conveyancer gets it wrong, or rushes, they run the risk of being sued and removed from the lender panel.  They cannot take that risk. It affects your Conveyancer personally and their Firm professionally. A negligent Conveyancer can be struck off. It is not something we can risk our career over.

Bear in mind that the enquiry stage is often the longest part of the process and is the most vital.

This Is an Example of a Disclaimer for a cash buyer to sign confirming they have been appropriately advised and they accept the risk:

I am aware that there are outstanding enquiries with the seller’s solicitor including leasehold management information. I have also instructed my conveyancer that I do not require any searches.

I accept that my conveyancer is unable to adequately advise me or protect my interests and should I suffer any losses I will not hold my conveyancer liable.

I understand that it is against my conveyancer’s advice to proceed on this basis.

In particular:

I understand that without the leasehold management pack I will be unaware of any significant increases in service charges, current arrears of rent or service charge, or any future major works which will substantially increase what I must pay.

I have been advised that a Local Authority search would reveal (amongst other things) the adoption status of any roads serving the property together with Planning Permissions, Building Regulation Consents and whether the property is affected by any Compulsory Purchase Order, Council Enforcement Notices, or Financial Charges which could seriously affect property value and future saleability.

I have been advised that an Environmental Search may reveal (amongst other things) potential contaminated land and flooding issues which could result in insurance difficulties or the cost of remediation. I am aware that if I purchase contaminated land I can be required to remediate the land at my cost and that liability will not fall upon the party who caused the contamination. I understand that land remediation is very expensive.

I understand that it is against legal advice to proceed to exchange and completion without the benefit of standard searches.

I accept that at the very least I should obtain search indemnity insurance to provide insurance cover against the adverse entries that searches may reveal.

I have been advised that my conveyancer does not recommend that I complete the transaction without appropriate searches so that I am aware of any issues that may be revealed within the same.

I understand that I will take the property subject to any entries/issues which would have been revealed in the searches and replies and that I may suffer unquantifiable losses and/or a decrease in property value.  I accept that I may be unable to sell my property due to the same.

I am a cash buyer but I am aware that if I had been taking out a mortgage my conveyancer would be unable to proceed as they must issue the lender with a clear Certificate of Title and they cannot do this without satisfactory resolution of all enquiries, provision of leasehold management information and searches.

I hereby authorise my conveyancer to proceed to exchange of contracts without satisfactory replies to enquiries (& searches) and to proceed to complete the transaction on my behalf.

I indemnify my conveyancer against all actions claims and demands that may arise as a result of my instructions to proceed against my conveyancers legal advice.

I accept that the property could be down-valued by issues revealed in searches or replies to enquiries and I may suffer unquantifiable losses.

I confirm that I will NOT hold my conveyancer, or their law firm, responsible in any way for any loss or liability incurred by me and I hereby fully absolve both of any liability.

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