Posted in: Real Estate

What Can Go Wrong With Conveyancing?

No matter if you’re a first time buyer or experienced property owner, there are common risks that could delay conveyancing. Being aware of these issues and taking steps to mitigate them can make the difference between an effortless transaction and one that unravels due to unexpected issues.

Mistakes can happen during the conveyancing process, from missing paperwork to a delay in completion. So what should you to try to have a stress free conveyancing process?

Missing or Incomplete Paperwork

Missing or incomplete paperwork can be a major roadblock to the conveyancing process. It is your responsibility to make sure all forms are filled out promptly, with accurate information supplied. Failure to do so will make it more difficult to close the deal and cause you to wait longer for possession of your new property.

One way to avoid delays is to ensure all paperwork for your sale is completed and returned promptly to your legal firm. This includes mortgage agreements, planning consents and guarantees for building work. Furthermore, make sure all safety certificates such as FENSA, gas and electricity certificates are stored together in one place.

In certain circumstances, compensation may be available for missing or incomplete paperwork. This depends on the degree of negligence and its effects on your business.

For instance, if you’re purchasing a house and the seller hasn’t obtained building regulations approval for their garage conversion, this could be considered negligence. A mistake like this can lead to major issues down the line, so make sure you discuss this with your solicitor right away.

You could also file a complaint with the CLC, a government-approved regulator who sets standards for lawyers and conveyancers. They investigate allegations of misconduct and take necessary measures to discipline firms or individuals if needed.

Another option for solving this problem is to contact your conveyancer and request a refund of any fees paid. However, keep in mind that doing so may be challenging if they have been handling your legal matters for some time.

If you don’t have the funds to cover a refund, there is another option: finding someone else to handle your conveyancing. Look for companies offering ‘no win, no fee’ services as this gives you the best chance at success and potentially getting some money back while correcting any mistakes made by your lawyer or conveyancer.

If you believe your legal firm has been negligent, the first step should be to complain directly to them or their firm and then escalate the complaint to either The CLC or Legal Ombudsman. They will handle the complaint on your behalf.


When purchasing or selling a home, you want the process to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. But it’s easy to overlook that purchasing property involves people with emotions, beliefs and preferences – all of which may cause delays throughout the procedure.

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of your house from one party to another. On average, this can take 12-16 weeks but may take longer depending on the specifics.

A survey of a property can highlight potential problems such as subsidence risks, rising damp and other issues that require remedial work once you move in. If these issues are discovered during the survey, expect there to be an extra delay in the conveyancing process.

There are also countless forms to complete and documents that require witness signatures. Any delays in returning these to the other parties’ solicitor can cause major hiccups in the conveyancing process.

It’s wise to request your conveyancing solicitor a schedule of what needs to be done at each stage so you know precisely when things will take place. Doing this ahead of time can help prevent any paperwork delays from arising.

By taking steps now, you can avoid any delays caused by a dispute between yourself and the other party. This could include discussions regarding exchange dates, completion dates, as well as important elements like fixtures and fittings.

Your conveyancing solicitor can negotiate with the other party’s solicitor and come up with a solution that benefits both of you. While this can be an extensive process, it’s essential that compromises are made where needed in order to avoid delays.

Sometimes delays in the conveyancing process are caused by more complex situations like probate or leasehold properties. A recent survey of the property industry revealed that sheer volume was a major factor here as well as inconsistent practices and lack of coordination between professionals. These issues affect everyone involved in a property chain, so it’s essential to be aware of them and take proactive measures to avoid them occurring.

The Other Party’s Solicitor

When it comes to the legal aspects of a house purchase or sale, there are plenty of potential pitfalls. A conveyancing solicitor could miss a deadline, take too long responding to your requests, or lack the information needed for completion in a timely manner.

Though this can be frustrating for both you and your agent, there is a way around it. Sometimes all it takes is taking an initiative and asking your estate agent or solicitor for additional assistance in other ways.

For instance, if the other party is an effective communicator and knows exactly what information is needed, they might be able to deliver it. On the contrary, if they appear less interested in the process than you or your solicitor are, then it could result in wasted time and frustration.

Another potential issue arises if the other party’s solicitor fails to complete an exchange of contracts. This exchange takes place when buyers and sellers exchange property documents, which can be a lengthy and complex procedure.

To guarantee the exchange goes through, a buyer’s solicitor must first contact the seller’s solicitor and confirm they are ready to complete the transaction. After this has been confirmed, they need to give the next solicitor in the chain an’release’ time (usually 4pm or 5pm that same day) which confirms they too are prepared for exchange and can begin the process if it hasn’t already begun).

If the other solicitor cannot reach their client within that release time, then the exchange may fail. Fortunately, this occurs rarely unless there are delays between parties or some other issue that needs to be addressed before completion of the exchange.

If the other party’s solicitor is at fault for this mistake, then it could be worth suing them to get your money back. While this can be a lengthy and expensive process, it can help rectify an error made by your conveyancer.


If a solicitor has failed to handle your conveyancing correctly, you may have grounds for making a compensation claim. This type of negligence is known as professional negligence and it’s one of the most frequent causes of lawsuits against solicitors.

Conveyancers and property solicitors are highly-experienced professionals in this field, yet they may make mistakes from time to time. Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to substantial financial loss as well as emotional harm for their clients.

A successful claim requires proof that your conveyancer has breached their duty of care, leading to loss or damage. To establish these losses and recover what has been lost as a result, you will require the assistance of an experienced legal advisor who can collaborate with specialist surveyors and valuers.

You may also be eligible for compensation if you suffer any non-pecuniary losses such as emotional distress due to the solicitor’s negligence. Unfortunately, these damages cannot be directly measured in terms of financial loss and so require more effort to evaluate.

That is why it is essential to have a specialist conveyancing lawyer on your side, in order to maximize the likelihood of recovering compensation for your losses. Our team has extensive experience handling claims for negligent conveyancing, so if you believe you have a case, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can discuss the potential legal avenues available against your solicitor.

Negligence is a complex area of law and requires proof of several elements, such as duty, breach, actual cause and proximate cause.

Some jurisdictions recognize the necessity to prove specific damages. A plaintiff must show a specific type of loss – typically financial – which will be quantified by experts.

Claiming solicitor negligence requires a great deal of time and energy, as there are numerous legal aspects that must be taken into account in order to be successful. In many cases, claims can be resolved through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration, which helps reduce costs while expediting the process of resolution.

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