In our previous article we discussed the tasks of the conveyancer from the point of instruction by their purchaser or vendor client and before exchange of contracts. In this article we will discuss some of the tasks that the conveyancer should comply with after exchange of contracts to ensure their client’s purchase or sale completes seamlessly.

Post-Exchange

As well as the pre-exchange searches, the conveyancer is also obliged to carry out a number of searches post exchange to ensure the property still has good title to complete. These searches include the official search with priority, and a repeating the bankruptcy search and company searches again if necessary.

The obligation to proceed to investigate title and condition up to completion is paramount as there will be little remedy to the buyer after completion takes place if the seller has misrepresented the property in any way after completion has taken place.

Once the parties are ready to complete, the buyer solicitor should carry our an OS1 search with priority. This gives the conveyancer 30 working days to carry out completion and register the title in the name of their client.

Within this 30-working day period the conveyancer must submit certificate of title to the lender. This confirms that the property has good title and requests the drawdown of funds. The request of draw down is important as even the smallest of delays up to the point of completion could cause the parties to default.

Parties must complete by the specified time agreed between the parties in the contract of sale in order for completion to have validly taken place on the date agreed. If completion does not take place by the specified time agreed, it cannot be deemed to have taken place that day, and therefore the other party may have a right to claim interest if permitted by the contract.

If a default takes place, the non-defaulting party has the right to serve a ‘notice to complete’ which makes time to complete ‘of the essence’. This gives the non-defaulting party a right to rescind the and terminate the contract if the other party does not complete in time of the deadline of the notice, which is normally within 10 working days.

Post-Completion

The tasks of the conveyancer do not end after completion. After completion a conveyancer must:

  • Ensure that legal title is registered with HMLR by submitting an executed TR1 or TP1 within the 30-working day period;
  • Submit a Stamp Duty Land Tax return within 14 days of completion; and
  • Pay any stamp duty payable to HMRC

If legal title of the property is not transferred over to the new owner the title will revert to the seller, albeit the new owner will hold the property on trust. The defaulting party will be liable for the costs of ensuring the title is rectified.

In sum, the conveyancer could make a number of mistakes during the life of a conveyance which could result in a financial loss for the buyer or seller. If any of the above has happened to you, you may be able to claim for losses from your conveyancer if it is established that the losses were due to their error or omission.

Specters Solicitors have acted on a vast number of conveyancer negligence claims and are therefore more than equipped to advise you in relation to a negligence claim against your conveyancer and any other options you have from the point of the first call.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0300 303 3629 or fill out our enquiry form to speak to an expert about your situation.