There will not be any increases in application fees, regulatory fee rates or licence fees for the upcoming year for firms regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC). This move comes after a consultation session which was held over the summer of 2022. The survey invited companies to respond on five aspects of business, including turnover bandings, Compensation Fund contribution rates, Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) levy, practice fee rates, and individual practice certificate costs. All companies are obliged to pay the Practice Fee, OLC Levy and Compensation Fund Contribution however, as a condition of maintaining the licence.
How do respondents feel about making changes to the fees?
The survey found that respondents were keen to not make any further amendments to the application fees, regulatory fee rates and licence fees that originated in 2021. Any change in what professionals pay will be as a result of an increase in the company’s turnover. The Council for Licensed Conveyancers made a number of changes to the fees charged ‘to ensure transparency.’
What were the changes to the fees?
The changes included creating nine turnover bandings, a rise from four. This allows practitioners to enjoy lower fees and a reduction in the Practice Fees, removing the Legal Ombudsman fee from the Practice Fee. It also included setting a separate Office for Legal Complaints charge to recover the cost of the Legal Ombudsman fee.
What does a conveyancing solicitor or professional do?
A conveyancing professional or solicitor plays a pivotal role in the property sector and they will become an essential part of your moving process. They will take care of all the legal issues involved in buying or selling a property, removing some of the stress involved. Given that the process of moving is detailed and arduous, the conveyancing professional will ensure the home-mover is updated regularly, and they can also add a layer of support by answering any questions you may have about buying a home.
There are a range of conveyancing solicitors in the market, including firms such as Sam Conveyancing. They will handle contracts, offer legal advice as well as carry out local authority searches on your behalf. They will also correspond with the Land Registry during the process, offering a friendly, professional service at all times. The market remains buoyant, according to Wales Online with more than a third of first-time purchasers hoping to get on the ladder within a year, according to a study. Motivation remains high too, with almost half of respondents believing they will be able to make an initial purchase in the next two years.
What has the Council for Licensed Conveyancers chief executive said about the changes?
The CLC chief executive Sheila Kumar said the aim is to ensure a full understanding of the pressures companies face and find ways of encouraging them to continue to offer a cost-effective and high-quality service. She also noted that practice fee rates have been slashed by over half within the past seven years. Ms Kumar said Compensation Fund contributions have also been reduced by around half. She added that keeping the financial burden of regulation to a reasonable level is a key aspect of the CLC’s promise to underpinning a robust conveyancing sector which meets the needs of clients.