Conveyancing Q&A: The future of conveyancing

Thu 14 Mar 2024

Michelle Timms

Product Manager / Property Law Tutor

As it is National Conveyancing Week, we thought now was the ideal time to sit down with our resident expert Michelle Timms and answer some of the hottest questions about the industry, training and the future!

With nearly 20 years’ experience in the conveyancing industry, Michelle is Product Manager for MOL’s property courses. She is a qualified Licensed Conveyancer and was previously a Legal Director at a busy conveyancing firm.

Michelle also has taught on the Level 4 and Level 6 Diplomas in Conveyancing Law and Practice for 12 years, seeing many people qualify themselves, and still retains some tutoring responsibilities.

In this Q&A, we asked Michelle about the future of this exciting, ever-evolving industry, including regulatory and technological changes.

The future of conveyancing

What regulatory changes are likely to be introduced over the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, some potential changes that we should be aware of include updates to anti-money laundering regulations, changes to tax laws affecting property transactions, and updates to data protection regulations such as GDPR.

As a conveyancer, it’s imperative to closely monitor official sources and seek expert guidance when necessary to ensure compliance with any new regulations, rather than relying solely on pre-existing knowledge.

How will leasehold reform affect the conveyancing industry / conveyancers?

The proposed leasehold reform will have a significant impact on the conveyancing industry and conveyancers. One of the key changes is the proposed ban on the sale of new leasehold houses, which will reduce the number of leasehold transactions that conveyancers handle. 

Additionally, the reform aims to reduce ground rent charges and make it easier for leaseholders to extend their leases or purchase their freeholds.

Conveyancers will need to familiarise themselves with the new legislation and procedures and may need to change the way they advise clients and handle leasehold transactions.

Additionally, factors such as market conditions, client preferences, and other external influences may play a role in shaping the outcome. It’s important to approach each case with caution and not rely solely on general assumptions.

What is being done to help conveyancers and estate agents work closer together?

One initiative that’s being undertaken to help conveyancers and estate agents work closer together is the promotion of collaboration and communication between the two professions. This includes providing training and resources to both conveyancers and estate agents on how to effectively work together, share information, and streamline the conveyancing process.

There are also initiatives in place to encourage the use of technology and digital platforms that allow for real-time updates and information sharing between conveyancers and estate agents.

By facilitating a closer working relationship between the two professions, the goal is to improve the overall efficiency and accuracy of property transactions. This will reduce the delays, errors, and misunderstandings that occur when there is a lack of communication between the two parties. Ultimately, this will lead to a smoother and more seamless conveyancing process for all involved.

What technological changes are coming to speed up conveyancing?

Technology is rapidly transforming the conveyancing process, with many exciting changes on the horizon to streamline and speed up the entire process. One key development is the use of electronic signatures, which allows for documents to be signed and exchanged digitally, saving valuable time and reducing the need for physical paperwork. The implementation of online portals and platforms is also allowing for easier communication and collaboration between all parties involved in the conveyancing process, such as buyers, sellers, estate agents, and conveyancers.

Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms is helping to automate certain aspects of conveyancing, such as property searches and due diligence checks.

This not only speeds up the process but also helps to reduce errors and improve accuracy. Additionally, the use of blockchain technology is being explored to create secure and transparent transactions by providing an immutable record of property ownership and transfer.

Overall, the digital transformation of conveyancing is set to revolutionise the way property transactions are carried out. With these technological advancements, we can expect a more efficient, secure, and transparent process that ultimately benefits all parties involved in the conveyancing process.

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