Can a Conveyancer act for both the buyer and seller ?
Often in our industry we will be asked to act for the buyer and seller to a transaction. This is always entered into with careful consideration as there are strict regulations on when a Conveyancer can act for both parties.
Section 30 of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 prohibits a Conveyancer from acting for both the transferror and transferee in a transaction. Under some circumstances a Conveyancer may act for both parties, for example, where the parties to the transaction are related or are domestic partners, or under some business or corporate purposes. The Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Regulations provide that if a Conveyancer acts for both parties to a transaction, they must obtain an acknowledgement, by the clients, that if a conflict of interest arises, then they must cease to act for both parties.
A Conveyancing Practice
The ability of a Conveyancer to maintain this standard is imperative to the integrity of both the Conveyancer and the practice that they represent. Yes, there are often several Conveyancers in a practice and this may seem as though it is acceptable for separate team members to handle the same transaction, however, ultimately they are all a team working for the same conveyancing practice and there can never really be a true avoidance of the potential for a conflict of interest to arise and be overcome within those same walls. Maintaining independent advice in essential.
The “best interests” of the client
Buyers and sellers should be aware that if they are advised to use the same Conveyancer as it is “more convenient and easier” then you should also be aware that often there will be a tricky situation arise where parties are in dispute over a real estate matter during the settlement process. If you are using the same Conveyancer, then they will need to cease to act for both parties in the transaction, which will result in more financial and time burdens. It is never in your best interest to use the same Conveyancer purely because of convenience, as this will likely end up causing unnecessary stress.
We must act in the best interests of our clients and this includes making the right decision for our clients from the very beginning to the very end of the settlement process.
You can read more about our Conveyancing Services here.
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