Law Society faces backlash over material information forms

The Law Society is facing backlash from conveyancers after issuing new property information reforms that take account of Trading Standards’ material information requirements.

The new TA6 form includes updated questions covering parts B and C of the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team material information guidance such as information on restrictive covenants and flood risks.

The professional body said the aim is that having better informed buyers could help reduce both the time the process takes and the number of sales that fall through.

It said earlier contact between sellers and solicitors may be required.

But members have complained that they weren’t consulted on the changes.

An open letter from the Property Lawyers Action Group (PLAG) highlights that the focus of the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) is to “discourage the practice of raising enquiries about every conceivable matter that could possible affect a transaction in favour of fewer targeted, relevant enquiries.”

This, it said, would reduce transaction times. 

The group warns that there are “unregulated vested interests” who benefit from these reforms such as upfront information providers, which it warms could marginalise lawyers and mean sellers disclose information without the benefit of legal advice that may “permanently undermine or frustrate their sale”.

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC) is also concerned about the changes, highlighting that the point of material information is to disclose more property specific information during the marketing of a property rather than after an offer has been accepted.

Simon Law, chairperson of the SLC, said:

“We are disappointed to note that the forms have been amended without consultation with either the SLC or the Conveyancing Task force.

“The addition of material information to these forms has drastically increased the size of the forms and information required.

“It is further disappointing to note that this was not used as an opportunity to review the wording for the forms.” 


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