Diary of a high street conveyancer: 9th January 2023

Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a good Christmas and are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever 2023 may throw at us.

It seems odd that it was only this time three years ago that there was the first mention of Covid given what conveyancers have been through during that time. It will be interesting to see how the property market goes this year and there is a lot of talk about a possible downturn in the market.

It is always at this time of year when I think about New Year conveyancing resolutions. What could we do differently? Perhaps not get irritated by the number of unnecessary enquiries; perhaps not feel so cross about referral fees and how this skews the market.

This year, the one thing I have been thinking about is the different types of conveyancing practice there is and how it must be very difficult to know everything about every type of conveyancing job that has the potential to come across our desks.

This is brought home sharply with the introduction of the Building Safety Act and all of the requirements and nuances contained within it.

Are you concerned about the increasing complexity of conveyancing work?

Guidance says that we should only deal with such matters if we know what we are doing, but the difficulty with this is that if the work is referred in exchange for a fee, it is hard to say no and turn away the work without potentially irritating the referrer.

Yet, common sense asks: is it worth it? I think not, and I would hope that all conveyancers think about whether they are prepared to take the risks which are inherent in this type of work.

Is it going to be the case that we will need to report having dealt with such matters when we renew our PI insurance in the same way that we have had to disclose matters relating to ground rent increases?

I have often written about how being a conveyancer is a difficult job – new regulations and requirements are being thrown at us all the time, and there will be a point at which the work is not profitable.

Think about this and be careful – and that is my New Year Resolution for all conveyancers. Only do the work you are comfortable with and in which you know that you can provide a top service.

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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