Typically, their tasks might include:
- Taking instructions from a client in relation to the sale or purchase of land or property
- Conducting searches in relation to the property with local authorities
- Advising clients of any incurred costs such as stamp duty land tax and legal fees
- Drafting contracts setting out the terms of the sale of a property
- Liaising with mortgage lenders (banks and building societies) to ensure they have all the relevant information
- Paying costs on behalf of the client such as stamp duty and estate agent fees
Their role is very similar to that of a solicitor dealing with a property transaction.
However, rather than being qualified as a solicitor, they will have completed all of the examinations and practical training provided by a regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers.
Licensed Conveyancers in England and Wales
The regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers in England and Wales is the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) - regulatory body for Licensed Conveyancers in England and Wales. The body established by the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to maintain consistent standards of professionalism and conduct among persons who practice as Licensed Conveyancers. Licensed Conveyancers are also answerable to the Authorised Conveyancing Practitioners Board.
To become a licensed conveyancer, you are required to complete the examinations and practical training provided by the CLC. In addition to this, you must be at least 21 years of age and be considered by the CLC to be a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
They may be employed by firms of solicitors or other institutions such as banks and property developers. Alternatively, after holding three consecutive annual (limited) licences and being employed for at least three years, they may apply for a full licence and practise on their own or in a partnership.
A Licensed Conveyancer holding a limited licence is required to complete eight hours of professional training each year (CPD - Continuing Professional Development training). Licensed Conveyancers with a full licence must complete 12 hours of professional training each year. A large part of this training must relate to property law and practice.
Like solicitors and barristers, Licensed Conveyancers are also Commissioners for Oaths. A Commissioner for Oaths is a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor with power to administer oaths or take affidavits.