A conveyancing solicitor should ensure all legal considerations and potential issues are covered before the sale of a property goes ahead, leaving all parties with peace of mind that everything is in order with their transaction.
It can be hugely distressing when mistakes are made that can lead to loss in relation to a property. Right up until the completion of a sale, there is the opportunity for things to go wrong or be missed. This why the work of a solicitor is key to avoiding costly mishaps. It is crucial that clients are aware of a conveyancing solicitors’ responsibilities and when they are being flouted.
It is imperative that solicitors investigate the ‘deed’ title, establishing whether the seller of the property is legally able to transfer the property to the new owner, as well as looking into whether there are any defects in that title that would adversely affect the buyer’s interests. The solicitor must examine each deed to the property to ensure there are no hidden rights to the property that could affect the new owners.
A good conveyancing solicitor should also report to the client any easements over land being bought and explain exactly what each of the legal documents are and their processes, as well as the effect the legal process will have on you.
One key step to take to avoiding potential negligence is never to underestimate the importance of proper, reputable legal advice from the outset. This is the case both in conveyancing, to try and avoid any issue in the first place, and then later in a worst-case scenario, where speaking to a professional negligence specialist is imperative if you do think an issue may have arisen.
If you are unsure about anything either before, during or after a transaction, always ask your solicitor and address matters early and transparently. It is also vital to check limitation if you have an issue. Clients generally have six years to issue a claim at court from the date of negligence – although sometimes arguments can be put in relation to date of knowledge.
Michael Young is legal director at Lime Solicitors