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Showing posts from April, 2018

Avoiding the Cowboy Party Wall Surveyor

Home extensions whether to create more space or to redesign existing layouts are on the increase.  The availability of cheap loans and the stress associated with moving has made home improvement more popular than ever.  

Most home owners are well aware of the need to consider planning and building regulations but are often less mindful of the important role neighbours play in the process.  
The reality is they cannot be ignored, and indeed it is a point of law that neighbours must be given clear notice before work close to the neighbour’s boundary commences.  This includes work on an existing wall, ceiling or floor structure shared with another property, building on or at the boundary with another property and or Excavating near a neighbouring building or structure.
Making sure this is not missed will or should provide the build proceeds smoothly.  Get it wrong then this could cause delay and add to the cost of the build.
There are plenty of websites out there with good advice on the proc…

Gifts Donors and Anti Money Laundering

The rise in gifted deposits has without doubt created further work for conveyancers.Not only is there a need to check the nature of the contribution and to take steps to ensure a lender is aware of the gift, a conveyancer is alsoobliged to consider exposure to liability under the anti money laundering legalisation.
On the face of it the donor of the gift is not a client, there is no retainer. This raises the question of whether the legislation can be said to impose an obligation.Interesting the Legal Sector Affinity Group Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Legal Sector ( March 2018) contains no reference whatsoever to the donation of gifts and of any requirements in relation to the donation of funds towards the purchase of a property.
The customer due diligence (‘CDD’) obligation clearly only relates to a person who retains a conveyancer to undertake a service which is regulated under the The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Reg…

Financial Crime - Conveyancing File Access Requests

The focus on financial crime detection is unlikely to diminish. On the contrary, it I likely to intensify and with this there will no doubt be a marked increase in requests from law enforcement agencies for access to client files.  
There are several powers available to those conducting financial crime investigations, and there is a need for all conveyancers to understand the obligations these create, and how the discharge of these should be balanced with the requirement to keep client’s information confidential. 
The probability of receiving a request for access is high, and the need to be prepared, and to prepare your staff on what to do if a request is received, is one which you would be foolish to ignore. 
The conflicting professional obligations are contained in Chapter 4 and 5 of the SRA Code of Practice. The former places an obligation on you to keep the affairs of clients confidential, unless disclosure is required at law, or the client consents. The latter Chapter states you mus…