Property data row: Society urged to withdraw latest conveyancing form

Furious conveyancers belonging to an conveyancing action group have demanded the Law Society withdraw the latest version of its property information form that was designed to support controversial National Standards guidance on “material information” required for property listings.

The Society said it is looking into the concerns that have been raised by some of its members.

Chancery Lane released a new TA6 property information form and TA7 leasehold information form last month. However, the Property Lawyers Action Group (PLAG) says the changes fly in the face of the Society’s conveyancing quality scheme and urged the Society to indefinitely postpone implementing the latest version of the TA6 form.

In an open letter, PLAG said:

“The whole focus of CQS [the Society’s accredited conveyancing quality scheme] for many years has been to discourage the practice of raising enquiries about every conceivable matter that could possibly affect a transaction, in favour of fewer targeted, relevant enquiries.

“In the interests of streamlining conveyancing and reducing the time and cost of transferring title to land CQS has strongly discouraged solicitors from raising numerous enquiries that may not be relevant.

“The new TA6 and TA7 forms flies in the face of this policy, with no tangible benefits, only increased cost and complexity.”

PLAG said the Society should have consulted with licensed conveyancers on the latest TA6 changes.

The letter said:

“Whilst licensed conveyancers are not members of LS [Law Society], this lack of basic diplomacy on the part of the LS risks driving a wedge between conveyancing solicitors and licensed conveyancers, the latter of whom mostly adopt the LS (CQS) practices and standards out of courtesy to CQS members.

“From a practical standpoint, conveyancing relies heavily on firms adopting similar procedures and standards, and the changes announced by the LS therefore risk making transactions considerably more difficult for this reason alone.”

A Law Society spokesperson said:

“We are aware of concerns that have been raised by some of our members. We are taking them seriously and have been looking into them. 

“Once we have had the opportunity to examine those concerns, we will be in a position to consider what, if any, additional guidance, clarification or measures may be necessary.”

PLAG wrote a highly critical letter to National Trading Standards last month on the “material information” guidance and is awaiting a “comprehensive response”.


Kindly shared by The Law Society Gazette