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Why Can’t My Conveyancer Just Complete!

So many hurdles, so little time.

Time to complete

Why do Conveyancers carry out searches, raise enquiries, await satisfactory replies and hold everything up until they are happy?

The Reason:

We are now so heavily regulated it's amazing we ever reach completion. The Conveyancer is required to review the seller's title deeds, enquiry forms (Seller's Property Information Form, Fixtures & Fittings Form) and the buyer's search results. They do this to ensure no issues and title defects are revealed.

If The Property is Leasehold, the Conveyancer will need to review the Leasehold Information Form, the Lease itself and the Leasehold Management Pack & enclosures. These are extensive documents and this is time-consuming.

Enquiries are then raised to clarify possible issues or defects and to ensure they are resolved in accordance with current conveyancing practice and the lender’s particular requirements (where there is a mortgage).

The mortgage lender requires that the Conveyancer investigate and resolve any defects as defects would affect the lender's security. The Conveyancer has the necessary expertise to achieve this.

Neither you, nor your lender, want to experience issues on re-sale. The value of the purchase property could fall due to title defects and a buyer (and their lender) could withdraw. Property may become unsellable.

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

If the Conveyancer gets it wrong, or rushes, they run the risk of being sued and removed from the lender panel.  This is a risk the Conveyancer and the law firm cannot take.

Bear in mind that the title check and enquiry stage tends to be the longest part of the process and is the most vital.

Below is my Disclaimer for a Cash Buyer of Leasehold Property where there are Outstanding Enquiries, no Leasehold Management Pack and no Searches have been obtained. The importance of each are explained within the disclaimer.

The principles remain the same whether there is a lender or not. Surely even a cash buyer wants to invest money safely and be able to sell the property eventually.

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

I , BUYER NAME, 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 I should at least obtain search indemnity insurance to provide indemnity 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.

I understand that I will take the property subject to any entries/issues which would have been revealed and that I may suffer unquantifiable losses and/or a decrease in property value.  I accept that I may experience difficulty selling my property.

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 on this basis as the Conveyancer could not issue the lender with a clear Certificate of Title certifying the property as good security.

I hereby authorise my Conveyancer to proceed to exchange of contracts without satisfactory replies to enquiries, without searches, and without the Leasehold Management Pack, 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 request to proceed against my Conveyancer's advice and I accept the risks.

I confirm that I will NOT hold my Conveyancer, or the law firm, responsible in any way for any loss or liability incurred by me and I hereby fully absolve both of any liability as I went ahead against legal advice.



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