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Conveyancing

Replies to enquiries – accuracy

An inaccurate reply to pre-contract enquiries will amount to a misrepresentation. In the right circumstances that could entitle the buyer to terminate the contract, and also recover damages for deceit.
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Bankruptcy search – pre-completion?

An article from Hardwicke Chambers argues that ‘a reasonably competent conveyancing solicitor’ should be doing a bankruptcy search against the seller prior to              completion.
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H and W – one authorised to sign?

Suppose H signs a purchase contract on behalf of himself and W, but does not have W’s authority to do so. Is there a binding contract?

The starting point is Suleman [1988] which involved a sale by joint owners H and W. W had given the solicitor authority to both sign and exchange on behalf of herself and H. However, W did not have H’s authority to exchange. The court decided that authority from both sellers was needed to validly exchange, and accordingly there was no binding contract (and the buyer’s claim for specific performance failed).

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Boundaries – FTT powers

Does the First-Tier Tribunal have jurisdiction to resolve boundary disputes? There have recently been two conflicting Upper Tribunal decisions on this point:

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Law firm ID – online checks

Many firms use the online Law Society database to check on the ID of the other side. But, what happens if the Law Society database is inaccurate?
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Caveat emptor – consumer transactions

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regs 2008 have been in force for almost eight years. But, they have only applied to real estate since October 2014. For conveyancers, the important point to note is that these Consumer Protection Regs undermine the principle ofcaveat emptor (‘let the buyer beware’). Traditionally, this meant that a seller did not have to disclose adverse information (subject to an exception for latent defects in title, or a contract induced by fraud).
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Fraud – both sides liable!

This is a case that will make every conveyancer sit up and take notice. The case involved ID fraud (ie a fraudster selling someone else’s property to an innocent buyer), with the end result that both sets of lawyers – the buyer’s and the seller’s – were 50/50 liable, even though neither had been dishonest or involved in the fraud.
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CPSE.4 and .6 – new versions

There are new versions of the Commercial Properties Standard Enquiries Forms 4 (supplementary enquiries for commercial leasehold property on assignment) and 6 (supplementary enquiries for properties subject to residential tenancies).
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Conveyancing – not price-dependent

A recent survey shows that the ‘price’ of conveyancing has almost completely stopped being a determining factor when a buyer chooses which conveyancer to use. Apparently, only 11% of buyers choose the cheapest fee quote (down from 20% in 2013). 
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Conveyancing – mortgage abuse

Recently, there has been much focus on identity fraud and cyberfraud. But, it should not be forgotten that practitioners need to also look for more traditional types of fraud – especially those involving lenders. For instance, buy-to-let fraud is still a problem. 
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Most-read articles

Court of Protection – trust deputies
Friday, 13 April 2018
How does the CoP approach an application to appoint a trust corporation as a deputy? HHJ Hilder has, in a recent CoP ruling involving 36 applicants and 11 trust corporations, analysed the law on the... Read more...
Professional – update
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A reminder that internal e-mails can result in SRA action; for a case involving sexist, racist and homophobic e-mails sent to a work colleague see [2018] LSG 12 February 2. Read more...
CFA – assignment
Friday, 13 April 2018
The introduction of LASPO in April 2013 caused problems for clients who already had CFAs, but then wanted to move to another firm. Read more...
Agent of change – new builds?
Friday, 13 April 2018
The ‘agent of change’ principle has been hotly debated in planning circles for some time. Indeed, the concept is likely to feature in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the draft... Read more...
Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the... Read more...
Service charges – estoppel?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that... Read more...
Service charges – code of practice
Friday, 13 April 2018
The RICS has published the proposed changes to its Code of Practice on service charges. The important change is that RICS members must act in accordance with eight core principles; the Code is no... Read more...
Japanese knotweed – nuisance
Friday, 13 April 2018
One of the (potentially) most important decisions last year was a humble county court case in which it was held Network Rail was liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced... Read more...
Adoption – new regulations
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A number of new provisions in relation to adoption are in force (as of 5 January 2018) under the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018. Read more...
Sickness – on holiday
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A worker who falls ill during annual leave is entitled to take that holiday leave at a later date. This is so whether the sickness commenced before, or during, the holiday. Read more...

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