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New proposals aim to make moving home easier, quicker and safer

Wide-ranging proposals to streamline the process of buying and selling homes have been put forward by the Conveyancing Association (CA). 

The ideas have been published in a strategic plan entitled, Building the Framework for the Future. It follows on from the CA’s White Paper, Modernising the Home Moving Process, published last year. 

The proposed measures include requiring a legal commitment when an offer is made to buy a property to reduce the number of purchases that don’t go through, and centralising the identity process to reduce the risk of fraud and money laundering. 

The plan has been produced following extensive consultation with solicitors, estate agents, other property specialists and consumers. 

It focuses particularly on the benefits to be gained from creating greater certainty far earlier in the home moving process. It suggests a number of ways in which this can be achieved including: 

  • Enhanced ID verification: helping develop a reliable product that reduces verification instances but increases certainty

  • E-Home Reports – upfront provision of information: providing a comprehensive collection of information upfront prior to the property being marketed

  • Reservation agreements: providing a standardised agreement to reduce uncertainty and create home mover choice

  • Completion certainty: enabling completion monies to be sent the day before completion to make moving home easier for clients on the day of completion

  • Leasehold reform: reducing the costs and delays associated with leasehold transactions, plus helping develop a redress scheme and support fair terms in new leases

  • Lending process improvements: creating the ability for buyers to obtain a reliable Decision-in-Principle, plus reduce post-offer queries and improve communication with lenders

  • Better search data provision: reducing costs and delays

  • A secure property portal: helping create a secure communications platform including a ‘Property Log Book’ for every property. 

The CA says it should be possible to deliver some of these improvements with the cooperation of other industry stakeholders, and it will also be lobbying the government to secure support for changes that may require parliamentary approval. 

We shall keep clients informed of developments. 

Please contact us if you would like help with the legal aspects of buying or selling a home.