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Conveyancers at ‘breaking point’ as Stamp Duty holiday deadline overwhelms legal firms

Claims is made by legal tech platform Teal in report into pressures faced by conveyancers created by Rishi Sunak's SDLT policy.

Nigel Lewis

conveyancer stamp duty

Conveyancers are at breaking point as many struggle to cope with the surge of transactions passing through the housing market hoping to complete by the 31st March Stamp Duty holiday deadline, it has been claimed.

And some have complained that estate agents ‘aren’t helping’ by giving vendors unrealistic completion dates.

Tech platform Teal Legal canvassed conveyancers across the UK and found that 32% of them had stopped accepting new instructions because of their overwhelming workload and that 93% of them reported working substantially longer working hours to cope with half claiming to be so overworked they want to quit their job.

Nearly two thirds reported having a substantially higher workload than a year ago.

“I can’t keep up with my emails however many hours I work,” one anonymous respondent told Teal Legal.

“I am getting emails from other solicitors at all hours of the day and weekends so it appears to be a common problem.”

Teal also canvassed conveyancers about the stamp duty deadline, and 60% said it should be extended.

sally holdway“Over the past few months, we have been hearing increased levels of frustration from our estate agency colleagues about lack of communication and progress from Conveyancers once deals reach offer accepted status,” says Sally Holdway of Teal (pictured).

“Our report shows that, in the majority of instances, this is just down to sheer volume of work.”

To help ease the bottle necks both now and in the future, Holdway is urging estate agent to get clients to appoint their solicitor much earlier in the process and urge agents to begin searches on a property before before a buyer makes an offer and ‘get the process out of the way’.

February 15, 2021

One comment

  1. As ever, Property Searches Direct is here to help progressive agents wishing to provide solutions to get clients better prepared for their sale. Clients are afforded the ability to place their Search order and complete their ‘free to access’ legal protocol forms as they go to the market. This saves weeks of transaction time and enables better cashflow with fewer fall-throughs, let alone happier clients.
    Like we have said before, if agents package up their sales better, conveyancers will be fighting for the work as it will be quicker to engage with and more profitable for them as there will be less of an administrative burden and more time to focus on the lawyering.
    If you are not taking this seriously you are behind the curve given that many vendors come to us via Google having had no advice from their marketing agent. Appetite is there from the market so get on board or lose your market share.

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