Property Market is back, but so are the hurdles for Conveyancers

The announcement by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick that conveyancing transactions in England can resume from 13 May 2020 presents both opportunities and problems for property lawyers.

With an estimated 373,000 transactions on hold, conveyancers may soon see renewed pressure to complete deals quickly.

As always, Stewart Title remains ready to assist busy conveyancers with our range of self-issue policies available on our Stewart Online Solution platform, as well as our bespoke policies available upon request.

The following policies may also be of particular use during this reawakening market:

  • Search Validation Policies – Where transactions have been held up for nearly two months, the results of many pre-contract searches can no longer be safely relied upon. Our Search Validation Policies can provide coverage to buyers and their lenders where the original result of a search is less than two years old. This eliminates the inevitable delays and costs associated with submitting a new search.
  • No Search Policies – Whilst estate agents and surveyors along with lawyers may be quick to reopen, many Local Authorities with furloughed staff may not be operating at full strength for some time. Taking out one of Stewart Title’s No Search Policies means that contracts can be exchanged speedily whilst still protecting the buyer.
  • Seller Fraud Policy – The requirement for lawyers and estate agents to observe social distancing advice will reduce the number of face-to-face meetings with sellers and potentially give rise to instances of impersonation fraud. Fraudulent sellers (when successful) can steal purchase monies from both buyers and their lenders. As conveyancers well know, recent cases have determined that the buyer’s lawyers can be held accountable to their clients (both buyers and lenders) for the lost money. Stewart Title’s Seller Fraud Policy offers added protection to lawyers and their clients in these circumstances. These policies can save the buyer from lengthy litigation to prove negligence by the lawyer and also protect the law firm against a successful claim on their Professional Indemnity Insurance.

For further information on these products and the other ways in which Stewart Title is continuing to support the property market in these difficult times, please contact Robert Kelly on 02070107820 or [email protected].


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