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Who can do conveyancing in the UK?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process of buying and selling property, including leasehold property, as well as carrying out the necessary checks and transactions involved in remortgaging or extending a lease.

Getting your conveyancing handled effectively is essential as it ensures the property transaction is legally sound, protects you financially and makes sure you have all the necessary information before going ahead with the deal.

In theory, you can do your own conveyancing, but in practice this is usually not a good idea as the process can be time consuming and it is easy to miss key details that can hold up the deal or cause you financial and legal difficulties. If you are buying a property with a mortgage, your mortgage company will usually insist on you having your conveyancing carried out professionally as a condition of your loan.

There are two types of professionals who generally handle conveyancing – conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers. In this article we will look at the differences between the two and which is likely to be appropriate for your particular property transaction.

Conveyancing solicitors

A conveyancing solicitor is a fully qualified solicitor who specialises in property law. They can handle all aspects of your conveyancing for you, but with the added advantage of wider legal expertise if you need additional support. This additional expertise can be invaluable if complex legal issues arise which need to be resolved, such as disputes over property boundaries or rights of way.

Conveyancing solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and their firm should be members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, which acts as a mark of the quality of their service.

Licensed conveyancers

Licensed conveyancers are legal professionals trained only in property law. They have the knowledge and skills to handle most standard property transactions, but have no training in any other areas of the law. This means that if a situation arises that requires legal expertise in other areas, a licensed conveyancer will likely be unable to deal with it successfully by themselves.

Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC), which issues licences, sets standards of practice and maintains a register of all licensed conveyancers.

Which type of conveyancing professional do you need?

Because they are fully qualified solicitors, conveyancing solicitors tend to be more expensive than licensed conveyancers. The flipside to this is that if you use a licensed conveyancer and an issue arises that they are unable to deal with, you may end up having to retain a solicitor separately, which can then end up being more expensive than if you had simply used a conveyancing solicitor in the first place.

It is also worth noting that some mortgage lenders will insist that you have your conveyancing handled by a conveyancing solicitor, rather than a firm of conveyancers.

Many firms of solicitors offer the best of both worlds, by having a conveyancing team including both licensed conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors. This means they can offer the lowest possible fees while still having the support of fully qualified solicitors if a non-standard issue arises that a conveyancer is unable to resolve without the help of a solicitor.

Find a conveyancing team you can rely on

Bird & Co Solicitors is a Conveyancing Quality Scheme accredited law firm offering conveyancing services for properties across England and Wales from our 3 offices in the East Midlands. Our conveyancing team includes both conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors, meaning we can offer a cost-effective service backed by highly experienced property solicitors if any non-standard issues arise.

We regularly handle all types of residential conveyancing, including buying and selling both freehold and leasehold property, Remortgaging and lease extensions. We aim to make the conveyancing process as fast, smooth and simple as possible, while protecting you legally and financially.

To find out more about our conveyancing services, call us today on 01476 591711 or use our contact page to find details of your nearest Bird & Co office.