conveyancing nightmares

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    conveyancing nightmares

    Dear Members

    Need your guidance/advice on the below.

    I made an offer on a property in Aug 2017 which got accepted. A BTL mortgage was arranged.
    The conveyancing company was very slow in doing the searches and corresponding with the sellers.
    Six months in the purchase process, Monday last week they agreed on the exchange date.
    i singed the contract and paid the deposit.

    Its been a week now but my solicitors are not responding to my calls or emails. They confirmed receipt of deposit and then they’ve been making excuses and not giving a valid reason for the delay in exchanging.
    The seller, estate agent and mortgage advisor are all baffled by this unprofessionalism.
    is this common during the purchase process or is it something serious?
    Any thoughts ? Please share your own experience when buying a property.
    how do I find out what’s happening? Who to complain?


    They are a law unto themselves. Believe theres a few proactive solicitors who post on here, but the decent sized firms whose typical clients are owner occupiers moving house then forget it.

    Theres a property I'm buying presently (decent solicitor on it) and the other side haven't responded to a letter dated I think 17th January yet.


      I did a lot of research and found that the conveyancing company was decently rated though it had mixed comments from past clients. However question remains as to whether they can hold on to the deposit for such a long time after having confirmed that the exchange was last week? Why would they delay anyway? And how can I get them to explain the delay ? They are not replying to emails or phone calls... what can i do about it?


        Call round?


          Thanks WFD they are not coming on the phone or replying to email. Its been 10 days since deposit was paid into the solicitors account. I can visit the office but not sure if that is going to help. Any other ideas on how to deal with this? Can any Authority/ law body intervene?


            Perhaps they've done a runner. I would call round if you can. Or call from a different number.


              If you are using a firm of solicitors for conveyancing , you should have been given a letter to say you are accepted as client after the firm has done its due-diligence . Its a requirement of the Land Registry and Law Society . You can make a complaint to the SRA ( Solicitors Regulation Authority ) against the solicitor handling your purchase. .

              If you are using a cheap conveyancing company ( no solicitor), then you should check where to make complaints.

              Your deposit money should be paid into the conveyancing firm's client account. You should watch the expiry date of your mortgage loan offer. Six months is waiting is unusual a long time . Watch out for any change of bank account details just before you pay the deposit to the conveyancing firm's bank account in case of fraud.


                Hi Ziggy,

                That's an absolutely horrible situation to be in and I do highly sympathise.

                In the first instance I would personally recommend that you threaten to report the firm and raise a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman - their website provides further details on the complaints procedure (you do have to raise a formal complaint with your conveyancers first - but sometimes just threatening to go to the Ombudsman may push things forward in your favour).

                To be honest, this is a problem that people encounter a lot when they decide to instruct lower end conveyancers/solicitors. It's human nature to want to save on costs, and whilst the difference of £100 - £400 might seem a lot, in the grand scheme of things (relative to the purchase price and ancillary costs) you're talking about an overall difference of less than a fraction of a percentage (sometimes less than 0.1%) between quotations.


                  They are communicating with me regularly and keep giving me a date of exchange but havent done the exchange yet. Yes i did make a big mistake by hiring a low end conveyancing firm. Lesson learnt. I am planning to wait until end of the month. If things dont progress I will have to go down the route of making a formal complaint.
                  thanks all for your valuable advice.


                    Don't expect much help from either the SRA or the legal ombudsman. In my opinion the SRA appears to be there to protect solicitors. To complain to LO you first have to complain to the solicitors and wait 2 months for their reply. The ombudsman has had a complaint of mine now for 8 months and still not issued a resolution. And make sure you send it by registered post or they will claim they haven't had it. Sadly an expensive solicitor is not a guarantee of good service.


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