The Practical Lawyer


CQS – revamp

The Law Society introduced the Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in 2011. It involves a detailed application process by conveyancing firms. 
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First registration – rejection criteria

Conveyancing practitioners may have noticed HMLR rejecting more first registration applications during 2018. This is because HMLR introduced a set of criteria for rejection. 
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SDLT – filing reminder

The time limit that purchasers have to file an SDLT return and pay the tax due reduces from 30 days to 14 days
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SDLT – advice from conveyancers?

There are some property lawyers who are SDLT experts. However, the majority are not.
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Conveyancing Protocol – updating

The Law Society is in the process of reviewing the Conveyancing Protocol, although no date for the roll out has been released.
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Reservation agreements – trial

In its recent report, the government has indicated that it favours the use of ‘reservation agreements’ to reduce the number of failed conveyancing transactions.
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Referral fees – on the way out?

In 2004 the Law Society allowed the payment by solicitors of referral fees. Fee sharing and referrals are now regulated by the SRA in chapter 9 of the SRA Code of Conduct. 
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DS1 – delays

Conveyancing practitioners may have noticed delays in the processing of HMLR applications involving a paper DS1 (cancellation of charge). This is because from April 2018 HMLR is making more checks of paper DS1s. 
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First registration – FR1

HMLR has updated FR1. The side note to panel 5 on fees has been amended to clarify that the fee payable for an application for first registration must be based on the full market value of the land.
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Price transparency – guidance

The new rules on price transparency came into force on 6 December 2018. The Law Society has issued a practice note which is mandatory reading.
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