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For the average person, buying a house is the single largest purchase they will ever make. The process is subject to constant change, with every new step designed to make it easier and less stressful.
To ensure house-buying consumers benefit from the highest-quality service, it’s critical their legal professionals, like the members of the conveyancing team here at Ansons, keep abreast of any proposed or imminent changes in legislation and understand accepted best practice.
There were a number of important opportunities to gain valuable insight into the current state of the conveyancing process and how it might change in the future, at events and conferences throughout September and October.
Julie Tomasik, Head of Residential Conveyancing here at Ansons, was in attendance at all the events to gather as much information as possible about the future of conveyancing, whilst also representing the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) of which she is a member and a Conveyancing Specialist Referral Group adviser.
Julie is also asked to contribute her opinion as a property professional with over 40 years experience.
Conveyancing Conference 2019
Julie was invited to attend the Modern Law Conveyancing Conference which took place at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds, early in September and offered an opportunity for conveyancers to discuss the current market place and how it is adapting to deliver a more streamlined, modern, customer-centric conveyancing process.
The day featured a lot of presentations, mostly given in an interview style format featuring selected industry leaders offering insight gained from their own experiences.
David Gilroy charted the evolution of the conveyancing market and detailed what longer-term strategies conveyancers will need to consider to adapt to a rapidly changing market. This was followed by a presentation looking at the expectations of clients and how technology will impact the conveyancing process.
The final session evaluated the role of the modern conveyancer, exploring the current challenges and how best to overcome them. A valuable day in Leeds that will help modern law firms like Ansons continue to develop their conveyancing offering to deliver an even better service to clients.
Learning lunch in London
In October, the Drainage and Water Searches Network (DWSN), held its annual lunch at the Savoy Grill to bring together representatives and stakeholders from all the different disciplines involved in the house-buying process. Julie was invited to represent CILEx at this event.
Whilst a lot of networking took place, it also proved a great opportunity for a good exchange of information and ideas to help improve the delivery of property searches during the buying process.
In attendance were representatives of the major water and utility companies, along with the Property Ombudsman, Law Society, National Association of Estate Agents, Land Registry, Council of Licenced Conveyancers, the Conveyancing Association and the Society of Licenced Conveyancers.
The discussions in the room focussed on future developments within Leasehold Reform and the home-buying process, with a presentation from Liquid Real Estate Innovation, a business leading the digital transformation of the global Real Estate industry.
Roundtable discusses burning issues
Birmingham was the location for the latest in a long line of roundtable roadshows by TMGroup, a business committed to changing the way a property transaction is managed by providing services that enable greater collaboration and create efficiencies.
Again, Julie was asked to be a part of this discussion to both represent CILEX and to offer valuable insight on the topics up for discussion.
The importance of the need to share data throughout the home-buying process, with better communication a major issue where consumers are concerned, being the number one complaint to the Ombudsman.
The conveyancers present all felt they were the scapegoats for poor performance by others involved in the process, from surveyors, lenders and brokers, all ready to transfer risk from a range of issues including ground rents, GDPR, stamp duty, to name but a few.
Of course, the main issue was the impact of the ‘Amazon effect’, which has reduced consumer patience and driven greater dissatisfaction with the conveyancing process, despite all the additional checks needed that push the average time taken to around 16 weeks.
Anti-money laundering (AML) was also a hot topic, with many of those present querying the need for agents, brokers, lenders and solicitors all undertaking their own AML checks, with the constant request for the same information from consumers causing growing dissatisfaction.
Although a useful exercise in discussing the technical details of conveyancing, it was agreed by all that the role still offered a buzz when their efforts to make it happen for client, resulted in a house buyer getting the keys to their new house.
A report on this meeting to include the contribution made by Julie will be included in a future issue of Modern Law Magazine.
The changing face of Property Law
Members of our Commercial Property team and Residential Conveyancing team attended the National Property Law Conference 2019 organised by The Law Society – the professional body for solicitors, committed to driving excellence in the profession and safeguarding the rule of law.
The theme for the intensive, one-day event was transparency, regulation and change – a common thread running through all the recent events.
A series of workshops covered a range of topics including, regulation of property agents, environmental law, money laundering and the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.
Two workshops, on residential and commercial property, considered recent developments and updates in property law, with a particular focus on issues as diverse as the new Law Society Code for Completion by Post and the RICS Code for Leasing Business Premises – both likely to come up in the day to day work of our busy teams.
An important plenary session that ties in with other recent events was ‘Improving the home buying and selling process’, which is being tackled from a number of different angles. Matt Prior from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government offered the Government’s view of some of the problems.
There is a renewed enthusiasm throughout the industry and from all the various property professionals in the house-buying process to come together to find ways to make it quicker, cheaper and less stressful for consumers.
This round up of the events attended by members of our property teams, hopefully gives you a flavour of the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that the services we offer, whether residential conveyancing or commercial property advice, are current, effective and efficient.
If you have any property related issues you’d like to discuss with a well-informed property professional, please contact Ansons’ Head of Residential Conveyancing Julie Tomasik on 0121 716 3732 or email email@example.com