The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), the Bold Legal Group (BLG) and the Conveyancing Association (CA) have asked agents to understand that transactions are going to take longer than usual to progress and to ‘please be patient’.
The triumvirate have also pointed out that ‘continually chasing’ conveyancers makes them less productive and indirectly is a further cause of delay in the process.
Simon Law, Chair of the SLC says that conveyancers are ‘stretched to the limit’ but that other problems are not helping.
Conveyancing giant BLG says other factors are at play including councils struggling to complete local searches or provide data to personal search companies; lenders being swamped by demand, many of whom are now taking longer to supply offer letters; and valuers being under extreme pressure.
BLG founder Rob Hailstone highlights one member who told him: “Chasing, on the face of it seems sensible, but the more we chase people the more they get distracted. You might get put to the top of the pile for a few moments but doesn’t seem to last for long.”
Lloyd Davies (left) of the Conveyancing Association says the impact of Covid created a vacuum of activity which has been followed by a ‘tidal wave of property instructions’.
He also says that many conveyancers furloughed or let staff go during the lockdown, and that getting headcount back up to strength, making offices Covid safe and setting up home working systems has taken time.
“Whilst firms have performed wonders in making such arrangements work it is inevitable that maintaining productivity is a real challenge, and of course allowance has to be made for the fact that unfortunately some employees have been affected by the disease,” says Davies.