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Negative Reviews, Abuse of Conveyancers, Libel, Misrepresentation & Disinstructing


Negative Reviews


You cannot please all of the people all of the time. Inevitably someone will be unhappy and express this. Buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, and despite the best of intentions, things can take longer than you would like. It is frustrating but it is not your Conveyancer’s fault.


Buying your home is huge. It is life changing. It is not instantaneous. It takes time to do it properly. This could be anywhere from 10 weeks to 10 months. It depends on the complexity of each property title and the number of people involved in the chain. Obtaining searches, valuation, survey and mortgage offer will take time.



Would you want it rushed through?


Rushing is when mistakes occur and things fall through the cracks. What happens when you need to remortgage or sell? Will you be happy to find your matter delayed while defects are resolved? What about a drop in your property’s value? How would that make you feel? Remember that your Conveyancer is looking after your best interests. They are not needlessly delaying matters. There is a legal process to go through.



The Culture of Now


We live in a “Now” culture where the public expect snappy results. You put in an offer and it was accepted.  Why can’t this be wrapped up in a week? It can’t because this is not like popping to the shops for your groceries. Compare it to ordering a bespoke sofa. One that is made to order. This involves a wait of at least 20 weeks. Now back to your house! Huge sums of money are at stake and a 25 year mortgage commitment. Clearly there will be regulations and a legal process to follow. That doesn’t sound like something which is quick.



Heavy Regulation


Conveyancing is heavily regulated in the UK as the Government seeks to crack down on criminal activity, property fraud, ID theft and financial crime. Property has historically been successfully targeted by criminals and used to clean money. In principle the regulations are a good idea but in practice it slows Conveyancing down and causes upset. Add to this that banks and building societies have stringent requirements and is it any wonder it takes time. Most of the home buying public, when confronted with the regulations, find them intrusive and over the top. Especially those related to Source of Funds and Source of Wealth.



Why would you want it any other way?!


When things are not moving as quickly as you would like and there seem to be endless hurdles to overcome you may feel aggrieved and it is easy to lash out. Conveyancers take the brunt of this as they are on the frontline and they are the unfortunate messenger. Many Conveyancers receive devastating reviews as a result.


Sadly, the last frw put paid to many Conveyancers. It became too much and they walked away. A wealth of expertise has left the profession. It is a profession and not an industry. These are Conveyancers who simply cannot take it anymore. This leaves Conveyancing firms short-staffed and struggling to recruit. Another factor which does not help conveyancing timelines.



Arbitrary Completion Dates


It is grossly unfair to leave a negative review or lodge a complaint because a Conveyancer could not complete on an arbitrary date which you and the other side agreed without reference to the legal process. You cannot expect to agree dates at the beginning and bend the legal process to your will. The UK Conveyancing process is what it is. It is not perfect and it is not quick. But Conveyancers did not set the rules and they are as dismayed at the red tape as you are.



Increase in Abuse


It seems to be getting worse. There are regular reports of clients threatening Conveyancers with physical harm. Law firms having to report clients for harassment or taking libel action because of online reviews. Your Conveyancer is not rude if they attempt to manage your expectations but it is not what you wanted to hear. They are trying to give you a realistic timeframe.



Libel


Any review which is NOT a truthful representation of what occurred can get you into hot water. Verbal threats made to your Conveyancer are not acceptable and you could be sued or prosecuted. Think before you post.  This is someone’s professional reputation and their livelihood. They are doing their job and they are trying to help you. Are you being fair or are you lashing out in the heat of disappointment.



Be Kind


Please be kind and remember that Conveyancers are not personally responsible for the inevitable delays. They tend to be the bearer of bad news and criticised for trying to manage expectations. Conveyancers are required to follow regulations which the Government implemented to protect YOU and to crack down on crime.  Your Conveyancer exists to help you.



Abuse of Conveyancers on the Rise


Being instructed does NOT give a client a license to abuse their conveyancer or swear at them. Quote of the week:“Conveyancers are chimps with typewriters”.  How is this acceptable? Conveyancers are entitled to disinstruct if the relationship breaks down. They are not a public service and are NOT required to act for you.


Conveyancers have a choice. We can refuse instructions and we can disinstruct during a matter.



Disinstructing


If you ask us to do something which breaches our regulations we can say no and withdraw from acting. This is a regulated profession which exists to protect you, and your lender, no matter how inconvenient it may feel. We are required to adhere to regulations or face penalties and exclusion from our profession. We are NOT required to accept abuse. If a file is NOT ready we cannot sign it off and proceed simply because you wish us to. That would be negligence on our part. Why would you want to risk that and rush things through without proper checks!


A file is only ready when the Conveyancer has carried out all due diligence and compliance and is satisfied the property has clear title and will be good security for the lender.


By signing off a file we are saying that we foresee no issues on resale or remortgage and no subsequent loss of property value. We cannot sign off a file on the basis that you have agreed a completion date with other parties so we must rush it through. We must be compliant. If the matter is not ready it is not going. We try to manage expectations and are frequently the bearers of bad news. Sadly, we cannot always tell clients what they want to hear.


• Conveyancing is a legal process.


• There are NO shortcuts.


• Be Kind




Constantly Chasing Your Conveyancer



Quoted from article in Estate Agent Today:


“Continually chasing your lawyer actually makes them less productive and indirectly is a cause of further delay in the process”


There is a legal process to follow. Agreeing or wanting completion dates that disregard the same will lead to frustration. Constantly ringing or emailing your Conveyancer to chase them results in them being unable to work on your file because they are dealing with calls and emails instead.


The Legal Process, Valuations, Surveys, Searches and Mortgages take time. It is what it is. Conveyancers want to progress your file and achieve completion but we must ensure both you and your lender are protected for eventual re-sale or re-mortgage. We would be negligent to do otherwise. That is why you instruct a conveyancer. This is the MOST expensive purchase of your life. Surely you want this given the time and attention it deserves. Give your conveyancer peace to focus on it.


We need time and the opportunity to do our jobs and we are doing our very best to help you under exceptionally difficult circumstances.


I am not the only one saying it ...





In support of a beleaguered profession:

Terminate retainer

Disinstructing a client

Disinstructing a client

Conveyancer abuse


Conveyancer abuse negagtive reviews


Conveyancer abuse

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