Today (6 December) heralds the arrival of new rules to help homebuyers make a more informed choice when buying a property.
All property lawyers will now publish price, service and quality information on their websites (or in alternative formats if requested), as part of a cross-industry push to empower consumers and foster innovation and competition across the legal services market.
The Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has outlined what consumers can expect.
All property lawyers will now have to display the following on their website:
- Cost information in a prominent place. Lawyers will be required to provide examples of their fees that cover a broad range of services and transaction types.
- Service information. This might include information on conveyancing timescales and links to third party feedback platforms.
- Regulatory information. You should be able to easily identify who regulates the firm you are hiring. For lawyers regulated by the CLC, this includes displaying the CLC secure badge in a prominent place.
- Complaints process. All lawyers will have to display details of their complaints process including access to the Legal Ombudsman and redress information.
- Referral details. While lawyers do not need to disclose specific details of referral arrangements on their website, they must say if they enter into such agreements and the average fee, or range of fees, they pay.
Stephen Ward, CLC Director of Strategy and External Relations said “The process of buying a home can be exciting and stressful in equal measure. The legal market is changing so consumers have the information they need to find the best advisers for them and we at the CLC are determined to lead the drive for transparency and to improve the homebuying and selling process overall. Consumers should feel confidence in shopping around to find the conveyancer who will best suit their needs.”