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5 Buying and Selling Property

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1. Introduction

2. Dealing with estate agents

3. Offers, exchange of contract and completion

4. What the price should include

5. Problems with solicitors and conveyancers

By law the only people who can deal with the legal aspects of conveyancing are solicitors and licensed conveyancers. If you have had poor service from your solicitor or conveyancer, and they haven't dealt with your complaint satisfactorily, you can do the following:

  • For a solicitor, you can complain to the Law Society's Consumer Complaints Service (CCS) (see 'Further help' for details). If it agrees with your complaint, the CCS can order your solicitor to refund your fees or pay you compensation. If you are not happy with how the CCS handles your complaint, you can then take it to the Legal Services Ombudsman.
  • For a licensed conveyancer, you can complain to the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) (see 'Further help' for details).

If you lose out financially because of negligence (that is, the solicitor or conveyancer didn't do something they should have done, or did something they shouldn't have done, and you lost out as a result), you may have a case for compensation. In this situation you need a solicitor to take your case, as the CCS and CLC do not handle negligence claims.  The Law Society has a 'negligence panel' of solicitors who are prepared to take action against other solicitors. Solicitors and conveyancers must, by law, be covered by negligence insurance.

6. Problems with the survey

7. Buying a newly built home

8. Leasehold, freehold and commonhold properties

9. Mortgage and money problems

10. Neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour

11. Further Help

12. About this leaflet

This leaflet was written by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.

Leaflet Version: April 2019

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