Manchesters Solicitors
Solicitors serving the local community of Sanderstead since 1979. VAT Regn no. 344960931. SRA number 58391 .
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Conveyancing Service: terms of engagement

SUMMARY OF WORK COVERED BY ESTIMATE.                                            

Usual conveyancing work:-





Usual conveyancing work:-

On a sale

  1. Advice as to procedures and checking your ID
  2. Procedural correspondence.
  3. Obtaining details of your title from the Land Registry and also from your lender is you have a mortgage and proving ownership to your Buyer.
  4. Preparing draft contract and agreeing it with your buyer’s solicitor.
  5. Obtaining and providing standard pre-contract information.
  6. Obtaining redemption figure and paying off mortgage (if applicable).
  7. Agreeing document transferring ownership to your buyer and having it signed.
  8. Exchanging contracts and completing sale.
  9. We will leave it to the client to check the date of any relevant early redemption expiry period and to have regard to that when being asked to agree a completion date.


On a purchase

  1. Advice as to procedure and checking your ID.
  2. Procedural correspondence.
  3. Approval, amendment and agreement of draft contract.
  4. Investigating of Title.
  5. Obtaining standard information and making enquiries normal for a Purchaser’s conveyancer, including searches and perusing replies.
  6. Drafting document transferring title to you and having it signed.
  7. Accountancy.
  8. Exchanging contracts and agreeing completion date.
  9. Completing.
  10. Preparing Land Taxes return for Stamp Duty.
  11. Paying Stamp Duty from funds available.
  12. Applying to Land Registry to register transfer, paying fee from funds available and notifying you.


Please note that our fee includes the preparation and submission of the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return.  There is certain essential information, such as your National Insurance Number, which we rely upon you to provide and which is required to enable us to do so within the time limits.  Any penalty received for failure to deliver will be your responsibility, unless of course it is our fault.


If the estimate refers also to a contemporaneous mortgage (assuming we also act for the Lender)


13.   Complying with Lender’s Handbook and relevant mortgage conditions.

14.   Perusing mortgage offer and advising you on it.

15.   Preparing mortgage deed

16    Certifying title to mortgage lender.

17.   Obtaining funds to complete.

18.    Explaining mortgage deed to you and checking your understanding of your basic duties to Lender.

19.    Completing Loan.

20.    Registering mortgage at the Land Registry.
21.    Providing Lender with copies of the new entries on the register and copy of signed charge.
On a purchase of a Leasehold Property
1.        Checking lease is satisfactory for mortgage purposes (even if no mortgage involved since this affects its adequacy) and advising you if  

2.        Checking insurance arrangements, and Landlord’s or Managing Agents replies to requests for leasehold information.

3.        Obtaining any consents required.

4.        Giving notices required by lease to Landlord and/or Managing Agents.


  1. Reporting to you on your contract.
  2. Preparing full statement of figures by way of a cash account prior to completion and if required accounting to you on completion for any money due to you




Kindly note that whilst we would favourably consider dealing with reasonable problems only in the course of the transaction without extra charge, we must reserve the right to charge for this, especially where difficult matters of law or unresolved questions or disputes arise.  If this happens we will notify you in advance.  The estimate does not include checking insurance where you have a mortgage and you do not insure through the Lender, explaining the Law to you (other than of the most elementary nature and where it does not involve total time in excess of 15 minutes), dealing with breaches of contract or litigation, or providing funds due from yourself or others other than estate agents.  If such aspects arise, we will notify you in advance and the solicitor’s rate of £200.00 plus VAT of £40 will be charged.









Under Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007, all solicitors are required to give certain client care information at the outset of the matter.


This firm banks with Barclays, where any client money is held.  Please note that in the event of the collapse of a bank, the £85,000 FSA (Financial Services Authority) Compensation Scheme indemnity limit applies to each individual client.  Therefore if you are holding other money in the same bank the limit will remain £85,000 in total (i.e. your money will be aggregated with the client money we hold on your behalf) for private individuals. Other clients should please seek our further advice and as we will need further information.  Remember that some deposit taking institutions have several brands but the £85,000 limit applies per institution (not to each brand).  This firm will not be liable for any losses resulting from a banking failure.  We recommend that you check the position with your bank or with the FSA, for further information.



1.          Amount of Costs

Please note that this firm’s fee will be shown as on the covering letter or on the attached sheet, unless your instructions or circumstances vary substantially.  The estimate is intended to cover only the general areas shown in the attached Summary of Work. 


2.          Time Estimate

The average time for a conveyancing transaction from instructions to completion is about two months, or one month for a re-mortgage, but the actual time for a individual matter can vary greatly from this, depending on the particular circumstances and is largely the result of the readiness and willingness of all parties to proceed. As far as the legal work is concerned, this is dealt with by return wherever possible.


Many clients experience serious problems and inconvenience by agreeing too short a period between exchange of contracts and completion.  You should please note that failure to complete on time usually entails an interest penalty and substantial damages.  Where you are purchasing with a mortgage, we would not under any circumstances, agree to a period of less than 8 working days between exchange of contracts and completion.  This is because there are extra tasks to be completed prior to completion in relation to the mortgage and if a lesser time is agreed to, we cannot guarantee that the mortgage advance will be received in time for completion.  Even where there is no mortgage involved, we still do not recommend a period of less than 8 working days.  In any event, lenders frequently stipulate a minimum period between receipt of a request and actual dispatch of the money.  It is not sensible, from the point of view of costs and the organisation of completion, to request the money from the lender prior to exchange of contracts.  Thus it is our policy that we do not request any mortgage advance until contracts have been exchanged and the completion date has been fixed.


3.       Payment of costs

Unless you have taken advantage of our property selling service or unless stated otherwise on the attached charges sheet, where different terms apply, costs are payable if a transaction fails to proceed. Costs and disbursements are payable shortly before completion. You should check you have sufficient funds to make up any additional money you require, including charges, beyond your mortgage advance and any sale proceeds. We will not do this check for you.  Please note that in view of the money laundering regulations it is our policy not to accept cash for sums due.  There are circumstances in which we may be entitled to retain your papers for unpaid costs (“a lien”).


In exceptional cases we may submit a bill for interim costs, usually only where the matter is unusually protracted.  If you are in breach of your conveyancing contract after exchange of contracts by failing to complete you may have to pay the other party’s costs. We will not make arrangements for those costs to be paid by anyone else than you. 


You are entitled to query any final bill and there is also a right to object to the bill by making a complaint to the Legal Complaints Service (or the Office for Legal Complaints) and/or by applying to the court for an assessment of the bill under Part lll of the Solicitors' Act 1974. 


4.       Fabric of Property

If your are purchasing, we do not undertake to check the validity, extent or enforceability of guarantees relating to the fabric of the property or to ensure that the benefit of them is transferred to you, except in the case of NHBC cover.  You are advised to have a full survey by a chartered surveyor prior to exchange of contracts.


5.       Objectives

The objective is to conclude the transactions referred to in the heading to the covering letter.


6.      The Next Step

To obtain the information for the preparation of the draft contract to send to the Buyer’s solicitor.


7.        Level of Service

You will be written to whenever our work reveals a point on which we require your instructions or if there is some special aspect or difficulty. You will be written to with the contract to sign when the draft has been approved (with any proposed amendments) by all parties.  In the case of a purchase, you will be provided with a full report of our investigations.  You will be written to when contracts are exchanged and notified of the agreed completion date and after that you will be provided with a full cash account showing the cash position for completion.  You will be notified finally of completion and when Land Registration has been concluded.  We will respond promptly to your requests for information within the limitations set out in 11 below as to numbers of attendances and letters.  It is agreed that we shall not be under any obligation to inform you otherwise as to progress unless we arrange with you to do so in advance in which case additional costs may be involved.


8.       Our Responsibilities

These are contained on the attached “Summary of Work Covered by the Estimate”.  You will be notified promptly of any matter which gives rise to concern following that work and your instructions sought.


9.      Your Responsibilities

It will not be possible to provide the level of service you would expect unless you deal fully, frankly and honestly with us at all times and instruct us promptly whenever requested to do so on any specific point.  Normally we would expect written instructions, confirming you understand the issues.


10.    The Person Dealing with the Matter


This is set out in the covering letter.  Some of the more clerical aspects will be delegated to suitable staff but the person dealing remains responsible on a day to day basis and is your first point of contact.  If that person is not available please leave your contact details with reception with a request to notify the person dealing.  If this is not appropriate, please speak to anyone named in the letterhead.


11.    Variations to Estimate 

You will be notified in advance if it becomes necessary to vary the estimate, this variation will reflect any special skill required or difficulty involved, the importance to you, the amount or value of any property involved, any need to expedite, work done, solicitors time at the rate of £200.00 per hour plus £40.00 VAT and clerk’s time at the rate of £100.00 per hour plus £20 VAT.  You will also be notified in advance of any changes in the payments due to others.

If anything arises outside the limits of the “Summary of Work”, we will notify you in advance if, as a result, it becomes necessary to vary the estimate.  You will note the likely payments to others.  If these vary we shall also let you know.


The estimate does not include dealing with any collateral security.  These days, solicitors are rarely involved in such cases but you will be told if this happens. 


Kindly note that the estimate does not include costs for specially expediting the matter.  All matters are dealt with promptly and by immediate return of post and telephone calls, wherever possible.


12.       Complaints

If at any time you feel your needs are not being met, please do not hesitate to contact the person dealing or a person named in the letterhead since it is important that your concerns are dealt with promptly and efficiently.  In accordance with the Code of Conduct, we have a complaints procedure, details of which are available upon request.


If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint you can ask the Legal Ombudsman at 3rd Floor, Sunlight House, Quay St, Manchester M3 3JZ to consider the complaint. Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint.


Acting for Others


Mortgage Lenders

We will not act for any other party to your transaction unless you are instructing us jointly with others or you are obtaining a loan from a bank or a building society.  In the latter case we will act also for the lender if possible.  In doing so we have to observe the requirements of “The Lenders Handbook” issued by the Council of Mortgage Lenders.  If anything which affects the security comes to our notice we will (subject to general legal requirements), therefore disclose it to them, whether or not it is adverse to your interest and whether or not it concerns your personal details.  It is a fraud to misrepresent the purchase price and we have a duty to inform the lender of the true price being paid for the property.


Joint Clients

Where you are instructing us jointly with another or others, we will treat the instructions of any one of you as the instructions of you all, and each of you instructs the others as his agent for that purpose.  If those instructions differ, then no further progress can be made in the matter unless the difference is resolved.  We are obliged to disclose all relevant information coming into our possession to all clients, even though it may be adverse to the individual interests of individual clients or concern personal matters.  You understand that we act for all of you jointly and not individually.  If you require a separate or individual advice on any aspect you should instruct another solicitor for that purpose to look after your individual interest.


14        Means of Contact

We anticipate you will wish to contact us only by post, fax, delivery or telephone.  Contact by E-mail can be only by prior arrangement and as a one-off and we urge you to avoid this if possible.  Where contact by E-mail has been agreed, please note that our in-boxes are checked within 24 hours between Monday and Friday. For urgent messages we recommend that you telephone to inform one of the partners first. 

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