Phone Us: Freephone: 0800 953 1696 | Head Office: 024 7638 7821

WHAT IS COMPLIANCE AND WHY DO SOLICITORS KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT?

We are now in the age of instant shopping-we can order an item tonight, for delivery tomorrow, we now expect things to happen instantly and get very frustrated when they don’t!!

Why does buying a house take longer than buying anything else-surely it is just like buying anything else, so why is the process to some, slow?

As solicitors we are bound by compliance matters dictated to us by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, The Law Society, and the Government, amongst others.

More and more solicitors are utilising e-mail and the Law Society issued its Conveyancing Protocol   in a bid to make the conveyancing transaction, of buying or selling a house, smoother and quicker and to deal with the numerous compliance issues.

We are always looking at ways in which we can streamline transactions whilst complying with our obligations to our clients and to our Regulators. We are members of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme which ensures that we show compliance with the Law Society’s good conveyancing practices as well as following the conveyancing protocol in most conveyancing transactions.  The protocol sets out the steps that each solicitor should take when acting for a buyer or a seller and which includes timelines for these matters to take place by.  This should help to streamline matters to avoid unnecessary delays by being sure all parties know what their obligations are.

There are debates about accepting e-signatures and electronic copies of documents, but unfortunately, certain documents still need original signatures and e-signatures cannot be accepted. It is hoped that compliance protocol from the Law Society will continue to look into this and this may be something we can look forward to in the near future.

When buying or selling a property you may have been advised (sometimes on more than one occasion) that your ID needs to be presented in person so that we can see the original document, and certify that we have seen it. This is compliance.  In recent years, property fraud has been on the rise and this includes using property for Money Laundering purposes.  We are under an obligation to ensure that we know who are clients are and their intentions. We need to understand the nature of the transaction-that is why we ask you questions, that you will probably feel are unnecessary on accession.  It seems frustrating that most of the transaction can take place by e-mail or by phone, but we will not do anything until ID has been presented in acceptable form to us.  This  is to protect all parties and includes the need to be able to confirm where funds are coming from.  This can delay transactions, especially if these matters are not dealt with upfront.  In able to help move matters forward, ID and proof of funds (if you are a buyer) should be handed into us as soon as possible.  This is a compliance strategy not only for the solicitors but for estate agents, financial advisers and clients.

As time moves on, hopefully our obligations will become easier and more streamlined, but until then and until we can accept all matters by e-mail, we will do all we can to ensure that all conveyancing matters run as smoothly and effectively as possible.

It is helpful, and speedier if you obtain your ID, and proof of where the funds are coming from to buy your property, and bring them in for us to see as soon as you know you want us to carry out the transaction for you.

If you wish to discuss your property transaction, please call and ask for our residential property team on 024 76 387821, we would love to be involved in your next step.

The Conveyancing Team.


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