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Showing posts from March, 2011

Time to change how we sell and buy property

It still amazes me how archaic the system is for conveyancing of residential property in this country.
The whole system is screaming out for reform and unfortunately the stakeholders that have interest in this market seem very reluctant to take any steps in an effort to improve the system and make it far more consumer friendly.

The following aspects of the process continue to frustrate me.

The old fashion and wholly unnecessary terminology used within conveyancing and documents and transfers. It is a wonder how anybody including lawyers can understand some of the clauses that I have come across. There is a need for these documents to be written in plain English and structured in such a way that they are easy to follow. Those working within the commercial contract sector should be brought into help to bring residential conveyancing documentation into the 21st Century.


The significant difference in approach adopted by conveyancers spread around the country. Some belong to local protocols ot…

Two thirds of conservatories built require planning permission - conveyancers beware!

One of the most contentious areas of conveyancing concerns planning permission and building regulations or rather the lack of them, in relation to the erection of a conservatory.    
A large number of properties when sold include a conservatory and one that was probably built within the past 10 years.  Not many people when erecting a conservatory consider planning and building regulations, mainly because they rely on the suppliers to advise. Consequently there exist a large number of conservatories that have been built in contravention of planning and or building regulations.
So what should you consider when building a conservatory.   The first step to take is to contact the local planning department and provide them with the dimensions and other design aspects and seek guidance.  Try also the following website:
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/conservatories/
Don’t rely on your supplier as some are only concerned with taking your money!
In the hope it will help …

Solicitors selling their soul in advance of the Legal Services Act

Local newspapers herald the arrival of a new ‘super brand’ for the legal profession and as a saviour for local legal practices against the challenge of competition when the flood doors open later in the year.
Its is true that the arrival of the Legal Services Act in October will without doubt change the legal landscape when it allows the likes of the AA, SAGA, and others to offer legal services direct to the public.
However I have strong reservations that national schemes that prey on the fear of unprepared and ill informed legal practices should be viewed as they purport as the only lifeline available. I also question whether these schemes have the depth of resources to compete at the same heights as well established and widely recognised brands such as the Co-Op.
It is inevitable that there will be increased competition after October but we should not as a profession panic and jump on the first bandwagon that emerges. Death will not arise as soon as the LSC act becomes law. It will ta…