Diary of a High Street Conveyancer; 23rd August 2021

Following on from my words last week about the phrases and words that conveyancing lawyers used, it got me thinking about other things to do with  the law and procedure.

I have always thought that conveyancing was a specialist area  – despite the attempts to streamline the process and make it more time and cost effective. That is all well and good until we throw people into the mix.  Not only do people have their own time frames and ‘agendas’ in mind, they also do not always tell the truth.

We all know how a chain with just a buyer and seller suddenly becomes a little longer as it turns out that the buyer has to remortgage his present property to buy the house and may find that it is not possible to do so and will then have to resort to selling that property, thereby introducing another link in the chain.

And within conveyancing, there are specialist areas – not all conveyancers do all types of conveyancing work despite the impression that is given that all types of conveyancing are the same.

For example, I think that shared ownership work and new build work is very specialised and do not think that it can be done by everyone. Knowing your limitations is the sign of a good conveyancer and shows that the firm is able to manage risk effectively.

I was thinking about this whilst away for a weekend break in Cornwall.  Although I wanted to forget about work for a few days, we all know that does not happen. So I found myself contemplating about the shared access to the property – the access was shared with four other properties and needed some maintenance works doing to it – who was responsible? Was there a septic tank or did the house connect to the drains system? There was an extension – were the appropriate planning consents obtained? And being in Cornwall, were different types of searches (perhaps a tin mining search or a Kaolin Clay search (is that right(!) needed?

When buying a house out of my area, I will ask the other solicitor (if they are in the area where the house is situate) if there are other searches they would ordinarily do. I see this not as a sign of weakness but of confidence in being able to say that I do not know everything and I am sure that the other solicitor appreciates being able to impart knowledge .

Every day is a school day!


This is written by a real high street conveyancer who wishes to remain anonymous. Read more in Today’s Conveyancer every week.

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