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What Can Go Wrong With Conveyancing?

What Can Go Wrong With Conveyancing?

Buying and selling property in the UK can be challenging.

As well as legal intricacies and potential pitfalls, the process of conveyancing—transferring the legal ownership of property from one person to another—involves the co-ordination of a number of different parties to get the transaction over the line.


Buyers and sellers face a numerous issues that can lead to delays, potential financial loss and considerable stress. Whether it’s the unique challenges associated with leasehold properties or the intricacies of the ever-changing property law, knowing what can go wrong is half the battle.

Conveyancing mishaps represent a significant portion of legal issues and delays in property transactions. It is crucial that stakeholders in a deal are well-prepared and fully understand what they are buying. In this guide, we will explore the common challenges associated with conveyancing, offer practical tips to avoid these pitfalls, and delve into real-life cases that illuminate the importance of proactive and informed conveyancing strategies.

Common Issues in Conveyancing

Delays in The Process: The Bane of Time-Sensitive Deals

Delays are a thorn in the side of any property transaction. They can be caused by anything from late property searches to slow legal inquiries or simply having slow conveyancers on the other side. Potentially there can be a number of parties involved in a conveyancing transaction and co-ordinating the information from all these parties can be an issue. In today’s fast-paced property market, a delayed transaction can result in a lost sale, increased costs, or breaching the terms of a mortgage offer and of course an increase in stress levels. Find out why conveyancing can take so long by reading our blog.

Incomplete or Inaccurate Property Information

Inaccuracies or omissions in the sale particulars can lead to a host of problems. Whether it’s misjudging the true size of the property or misunderstanding its boundaries, incomplete information can spark legal disputes and potentially derail the transaction altogether.

Title Defects and Legal Complications

Discovering a defect in the title at a late stage of a transaction can result in renegotiations or even withdrawal from the deal. Issues such as planning infractions, restrictive covenants, or undisclosed shadow ownership can be particularly tricky to resolve and can be a cause of significant delays.

Inefficient Communication Between Parties

Poor communication among buyers, sellers, their respective solicitors, and estate agents can lead to misconceptions, missed deadlines, and unnecessary tensions. Lack of clarity about responsibilities and progress can seriously hamper the conveyancing process.

Unsatisfactory Handling of Funds

Mismanagement of funds in a property transaction can have catastrophic consequences. Whether it’s failing to adhere to the principles of the Consumer Code for Home Builders or mishandling the deposit, financial errors can lead to legal action and severe reputational damage.


Fraud has always been a problem, however with the fast paced nature of conveyancing and with modern technology, fraud has become far more prevalent. Often fraud does not involve scams, but more likely title fraud, where identity theft can lead to the stealing of property title or the interception of payments.

These issues are not exhaustive but form the backbone of most conveyancing-related problems. Their almost-inevitability underscores the importance of meticulously managing the details of any property transaction.

The Tools for Success: Tips to Avoid Conveyancing Problems

Choosing the Right Conveyancing Solicitor

Selecting a professional with the right experience in your type of property is crucial. Ask for recommendations, review feedback, and make sure they are part of the Law Society of  England and Wales. Check the indemnity insurance of the solicitor is adequate for your transaction. Check who will be carrying out the conveyancing. Is it one person? What happens if they are busy or on leave? Is there a team involved, will you have a central point of contact? Want to know what a covneyancign solicitor does? Read our guide to What do conveyancing solicitors do?


Conducting Thorough Property Searches

Don’t skimp on the searches. Thorough searches will reveal crucial information about the property and the surrounding area that could impact its value and potential use. Many times, cash buyers in particular, dispense with property searches. This can be a mistake if you are not familiar with the property being purchased.

Reviewing Contracts and Legal Documents Carefully

Devote time to understanding and questioning the finer points of the legal documents involved. This is a significant transaction and rushing through the paperwork can lead to unexpected liabilities.

Maintaining Open and Clear Communication

Regular and transparent communication with all stakeholders can reduce misunderstandings and the risk of disputes. Keep a clear record of all correspondence to avoid confusion.

Seeking Professional Advice When Needed

Know when the complexity of an issue requires specialist advice. Being penny-wise and pound-foolish could result in much larger costs down the line if a significant issue is overlooked.

By meticulously applying these tips to your conveyancing process, you significantly enhance the chances of a smooth and successful property transaction.


Buying a property is likely to be the largest purchase any of us will undertake in our lifetime.

Getting the conveyancing right cannot be overstated. When approached with diligence and the right resources, the conveyancing process can be managed effectively, turning potential risks into opportunities for a smooth and successful property transaction.

As you venture into the property market, equipped with this guide, you can navigate the intricate conveyancing process with confidence. By understanding what can go wrong, you can ensure that everything goes right. Remember, proper preparation and professional guidance are your allies in safeguarding your property investment.