Conveyancing fees have long been the subject of debate, perhaps even more so since the abolition of the 1% conveyancing scale fee in Jersey, in which a fixed price was charged for the service no matter what was involved.
Without scale fees, conveyancing has become a competitive business and firms must quote on a case-by-case basis, as well as explain why a fee is set at a particular amount.
How can a householder determine whether the quotes they receive for domestic services – perhaps your boiler being serviced, or garden maintenance – represent value for money?
When you evaluate a quote, it is important to understand the work that will be undertaken; in this, conveyancing is no different. In buying a new home you are making probably the biggest investment of your life, so it is vital that our services are completed with the utmost professionalism, skill and care to ensure that mistakes are not made.
Conveyancing can be a technically complex and often extremely time-consuming process that is not without challenges. There is no room for short cuts; if the conveyancing is wrong then the effects will be felt well after you are settled into your new home. And, of course, the financial burden of having errors put right can be avoided if the work is carried out correctly from the start.
So, what is involved in conveyancing when you're buying your new home?
It is essential that we ensure the property has clear and correct title over a period of forty years. It is also essential that the boundaries are in order, with no neighbouring disputes, and the property benefits from all necessary rights of way, rights of access and service rights.
To give an example of cutting corners, if your conveyancer conducts a title check and site attendance but misses a building restriction covenanted and agreed perpetually in favour of a neighbouring property, a ruling court cannot set a compensation but will require the demolition of the offending building. Depending on the building's importance, this could potentially de-value your property enormously and, if building insurers and/ or your lending bank are not aware of the breach prior to purchase, you as the home owner will not be protected. As well as causing you a considerable loss, it is possible that a future sale of your property would be entirely jeopardised or seriously delayed.
Your dream house could become a nightmare should the route and rights for services and utilities not be correctly researched. No home owner wants to spend their first nights in a property that has no running hot water and nor would they wish for a knock on the door from their neighbour declaring their drains are blocked as a result of your property's drainage pipes, especially if there is no contractual right to connect and drain into that sewer. Should this be the case, the receiving neighbour being the 'servient tenement' could take action against you to force its removal, causing disruption as well as great expense.
The cheapest option is rarely the best when it comes to conveyancing, since the savings will likely come from cutting corners. Collas Crill will always quote you a legal fee that is in line with the extent of the work involved, so that you can be assured of a lifetime's enjoyment of your property, free from legal worry and avoiding further expense to put conveyancing problems right.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.