05/06/2019

A study carried out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has revealed that a third of conveyancing quotes do not include all of the fees that need to be paid.

In order to appear competitive and win business it seems that some law firms are providing a basic quote omitting things like costs related to bank transfers, accessing online portals, mortgage administration fees, electronic ID checks and administering gifted deposits.

As part of their Residential Conveyancing Thematic Review the SRA visited a sample of 40 law firms offering residential conveyancing services and conducted a detailed review of 80 case files.

The study, carried out in December 2018, found that while most solicitors were doing what they should, actively engaging with clients, supporting them and fulfilling their obligations to them, there were some practices that were a cause for concern.

I’ve always taken the view that when embarking on such a major transaction, clients need to be given a comprehensive breakdown of all of the payments that they will be required to make. Nobody appreciates additional charges that haven’t been budgeted for and, for some people, unexpected fees could cause real financial difficulty.

It is, of course, possible for unexpected things to come to light, which require more work and might incur additional fees, but clients should be given accurate, comprehensive quotes based on the information available at the time.

The transparency rules that have been introduced since the SRA review took place require law firms to publish detailed price and service information for conveyancing, outlining all known and potential costs that a transaction may attract.

This is a positive move and I welcome the steps being taken by the SRA to monitor this to ensure proper transparency around fees.

At Beswicks Legal we always provide a comprehensive quote on all conveyancing matters with no hidden fees. For more information or a no-obligation chat call us on 01782 205000 or email enquiry@beswicks.com