Wednesday, April 24, 2019

SRA Thematic Review – Residential Conveyancing

On 5th April 2019, the SRA published information about the thematic review they carried out on firms who provide Residential Conveyancing services and how the service provided appears to clients.

The SRA visited a sample of 40 firms and found that most of them were fulfilling their obligations, which is good news!

There were however two significant areas for improvement:

  • 34% of firms failed to include all the services/fees a matter could reasonably expect to attract in their initial quotes;
  • 37% failed to be open about the real cost of telegraphic transfer fees and the firms mark up on these – some were charging the client up 10 times more than the actual cost.

Other areas of concern were:

  • Inefficiency completing paperwork such as Land Registry requisitions;
  • Not explaining the difference between freehold and leasehold ownership;
  • Failing to double check that the client understands the long-term implications of contractual obligations and fees.

Interestingly, these are some of the most common areas which we come across when handling complaints for firms who have outsourced complaints handling to us.  It is important to note that these thematic reviews were carried out prior to the SRA’s Transparency Rules being implemented so hopefully the new rules gave firms a reminder to review the services they offer.

Should you require any assistance with anything that is covered within this publication, please contact us. A compliance helpline is included within a number of our packages where our Risk & Compliance team can provide your firm with help and advice, as and when queries come up.

The full publication of the thematic review can be found here:

https://www.sra.org.uk/sra/how-we-work/reports/residential-conveyancing-thematic-report.page

Author: Rhiannon Davies