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Conveyancers ‘too close’ to developers, MPs claim

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Conveyancers 'too close' to developers, MPs claim


MPs are claiming that Leaseholders, who are too cosy with developers, are instructing conveyancing solicitors to act on their behalf by offering incentives.

A report published recently by the House of Commons housing, communities and local government select committee says that the balance of power in leases, legislation and public policy was weighted too heavily against leaseholders. In its inquiry, the committee received 'considerable' evidence of developers 'incentivising and insisting' on specific solicitors being used.

Such enticements such as free carpets, free lawn in the back gardens and various other discounts have been offered to members, says Katie Kendrick of the National Leasehold Campaign, simply by using their ‘panel’ of solicitors.

Some leaseholders have wanted to use a solicitor who they have previously instructed for house purchase but developers have held information back from them to the point that the ‘recommended’ solicitor has said there was no way they would complete within the deadline.

The report goes on to say that buyers' interests 'cannot be served where they are coerced into using developer-recommended conveyancing solicitors, who rely on repeat business from developers and may not be inclined to put their client's interest first.'

Our conveyancing solicitor Victoria Marshall says, “We have seen this time and time again and as a firm who proudly work on word of mouth and no referral fees we can honestly say our interest is only ever for our client. We are proud our clients see the value of our service and time and time again inform agents, developers and financial advisers they insist we are instructed regardless of their ‘panel firms’.

The government has pledged to tackle unfair practices in the leasehold sector. Its response to a consultation on reforms has yet to be published. 

For further information and advice on Conveyancing matters please contact conveyancing solicitor Victoria Marshall on 0161 785 3500.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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