Residential conveyancing takes crown as most complained about area of law

Sloppy legal work from rogue lawyers has seen the Legal Ombudsman inundated with cases of lawyers not paying stamp duty on house purchases.


United Kingdom – WEBWIRE – Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It is concerning to see complaints from house buyers on the rise again. An improved housing market will inevitably be partly responsible – creating pressure through higher volumes of work – but I suspect there are a number of causes including procedural issues within firms and in some cases even fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, it is consumers who are paying the price.

Sloppy legal work from rogue lawyers has seen the Legal Ombudsman inundated with cases of lawyers not paying stamp duty on house purchases.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP urges homebuyers to make the right choice in conveyancing solicitors.

One out of every five cases brought to the Legal Ombudsman are concerned with lawyers either forgetting to pass on payments to the HMRC or pocketing the cash illegally, leaving homeowners to find the cash themselves all over again.
Adam Sampson, Chief legal ombudsman stated there is a serious concern affecting consumers:

‘It is concerning to see complaints from house buyers on the rise again. An improved housing market will inevitably be partly responsible – creating pressure through higher volumes of work – but I suspect there are a number of causes including procedural issues within firms and in some cases even fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, it is consumers who are paying the price.’

If a property is worth more than £125,000 payment of stamp duty is required. In most cases a solicitor will draw up a financial statement for their client before the sale of a property goes through, and effectively pay this money to the HMRC.

In some cases unbeknownst to a homeowner, these payments may not have gone through correctly, if at all resulting in HMRC demanding payment as well as interest, fees and penalties, sometimes years after sale.

Unfortunately, whether down to human error or fraudulent operations; cases regarding these payments going missing have increased, causing an upsurge in complaints to the Legal Ombudsman.

 “People deserve better and I want lawyers to ensure they aren’t leaving clients in the lurch. In the meantime anyone buying a house should seek confirmation of any payments entrusted to their lawyer before considering it a done deal.” Says Sampson.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP have garnered a sterling national reputation.

With 36 partners, over 400 staff across the UK and branches in Altrincham, Manchester, Leigh, London, Wigan, St Helens and Bolton, you can rest assured that Stephensons Solicitors LLP are not only trusted, but the best choice regarding conveyancing law.

The experienced conveyancing solicitors at Stephensons will ensure that your transaction runs smoothly and as quickly as possible, guiding you every step of the way – from initial instruction through to the completion of your sale or purchase.

If you are a first time buyer, or experienced property investor it’s vital you have the right conveyancing solicitors on your team.

Furthermore, Stephensons Solicitors LLP utilise a trusted case management system helping you keep track of your transaction 24 hours a day through their innovative ‘My Case’ system.

Visit www.stephensons.co.uk today and get the best in residential conveyancing solicitors. 


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