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Conveyancing Negligence Claims

“Can I get compensation for negligent conveyancing?”

…that’s the questions on most people’s minds but before answering the questions let’s take a step back.

When you’re looking to

Conveyancing is the technical word for the process involved in buying, selling and transferring residential and commercial property. When buying a house it’s necessary to employ a legal professional to manage the process and make sure the sea of paperwork and legalities are done correctly and on time.

During this time, if a conveyancer does not perform at a standard, then all manner of problems and issues can occur, meaning more headache and potentially monetary implications on you.

The expert Conveyancing negligence solicitors at Wilson Browne have the backing of one of the largest conveyancing departments in the East Midlands, which means that we are familiar with all aspects of conveyancing law so as to be able to quickly and properly advise our clients as to whether or not they have a claim for negligence

How can you tell if your conveyancer was negligent? How can you bring a claim?

 

What is a Conveyancer?

A Conveyancer does not need to be a Solicitor. They can be either a qualified Solicitor, or a Licensed Conveyancer, and in many firms the process involves the use also of Paralegals and other non-qualified lawyers.

How do I know if my conveyancer was negligent?

The type of problems that may be faced as a result of negligence of a Conveyancer include:

A house sale or purchase falling through because of a lawyer failing to follow instructions, or missing deadlines.

Defects in title not being identified, and/or clients not being advised of defects prior to entering into an enforceable contract.

Improper advice being provided relating to easements, planning permission, building regulations, rights of way, restrictive covenants, adverse possession problems etc.

Searches not being conducted properly.

Conveyancing Negligence?

It is the duty of a Conveyancer to ensure that the property being purchased by their client does not have foreseeable problems with the title, which might mean that the property is worth less than anticipated and might be difficult to sell in future.

Conveyancers are under an obligation to ensure that deadlines are reached and are under an obligation to check the contract documents and to provide competent advice to their client in relation to the transaction.

Things can go wrong, issues can arise that could not have been anticipated, so generally if mistakes happen then if the conveyancer has not acted with reasonable skill and care, they have been negligent and you can claim compensation.

How Do I Know If My Conveyancer Was Negligent?

The type of problems that may be faced as a result of negligence of a Conveyancer include:

A house sale or purchase falling through because of a lawyer failing to follow instructions, or missing deadlines.

Defects in title not being identified, and/or clients not being advised of defects prior to entering into an enforceable contract.

Improper advice being provided relating to easements, planning permission, building regulations, rights of way, restrictive covenants, adverse possession problems etc.

Searches not being conducted properly.

What Can Be Done? - Suing Your Conveyancer

It may not be possible to get out of your property sale or purchase (your own lawyer’s incompetence does not usually mean you can avoid your own contractual obligations) but if the negligence means you paid too much for the property because it was worth less as a result of an issue that was missed, then you can potentially claim the difference in value.

If the problem can be remedied, for instance by paying someone else money, then the costs of rectifying the issue can often form part of a claim.

Importantly, it is not only in the payment of damages or compensation that we can assist.

Quite often it is much more practical and sensible to try and resolve problems with the title, rather than to (at first) pursue conveyancers for negligence.

The costs of rectifying issues can form a claim, but we have the expertise as property litigation specialists to try and resolve issues which have only been identified after a property purchase has completed. There may also be additional expenditure that can be claimed, for instance rental fees and accommodation.

These issues may relate to problems with rights of way, adverse possession issues (for instance land which was believed to have been bought but which was not). We regularly advise and resolve issues relating to easements, rights of way, boundaries, and finance and mortgage problems which should have been either identified by or resolved by Conveyancers at the time of a property transaction

How Long Do I Have To Sue A Conveyancer?

The general rule is that you must issue proceedings at a court within 6 years of the date of the negligent act or mission.But the actual date needs careful assessment by an expert, different rules may apply, for instance if you had no way of knowing negligence had occurred until a later date.

You should obtain advice as soon as you become aware there may be an issue

How Much Does It Cost To Sue For Conveyancing And Property Negligence

As experts in these types of claims, we can offer a cost effective review of your case, to identify your prospects of winning and what the value of your claim is, and exactly what it might cost to rectify the issue or to pursue and/or a claim against your previous Conveyancing lawyers.

Surveyors might need to be instructed to provide an opinion on the difference in value of a property where it was purchased for a figure that was higher than would have been paid had the problem been identified.

We can recommend and instruct the correct experts in these cases so that the claim is supported with the correct evidence and put into the correct form at an early stage.

No Win No Fee For Conveyancing Negligence?

In some cases, we may offer conditional fee agreements, that is to represent you for no fee or a reduced fee unless you win.   We have legal expenses insurance schemes that can provide insurance to protect you against losing.

We look to put in place the right funding to allow the good claims to succeed, and our expertise means we can advise you quickly if your claim does not have good prospects.

If you have suffered from errors and foreseeable problems at the time of buying or selling your property, we can assist.  However, there are deadlines that apply to these claims and it is important to ensure that you receive expert advice at an early stage.  As specialists in these cases we act for clients nationwide to resolve their legal difficulties.