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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), 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.
Licensed Conveyancers in Australia
In Australia, licensed conveyancers are governed by consumer protection legislations and regulators of the various States. Each State and Territory has different legislation governing Licensed Conveyancers.
- In Victoria, a conveyancer must be licensed and are regulated by the Business Licensing Authority (BLA), a division of Consumer Affairs Victoria. Licensed conveyancers must also comply with all requirements pursuant to under the Conveyancers Act 2006 (Victoria).
- In New South Wales (NSW), a conveyancer must hold a license issued by the NSW Fair Trading body. They are regulated by the Conveyancers Licensing Act 2003 and the Conveyancers Licensing Regulation 2015.
To become a licensed conveyancer, you are required to complete a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Conveyancing, as well as practical training under the supervision of an Australian Legal Practitioner. Moreover, you must be 18 years of age and considered able to perform conveyancing tasks. You cannot be insolvent, under administration, a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 and not currently disqualified from holding a conveyancing license.
To be issued with a license, applicants must be approved by the BLA body after application checks and record checks are made.
- "Conveyancing licence (England and Wales)". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- "CONVEYANCERS ACT 2006". classic.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
- "What is Conveyancing?". leadconveyancing.com.au. Retrieved 2022-07-25.
- "CONVEYANCERS LICENSING ACT 2003 - As at 1 July 2020 - Act 3 of 2003". classic.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2021-03-12.
- NSW, Fair Trading (2015). "Conveyancers Licensing Regulation" (PDF). NSW.gov.au.
- "GUARDIANSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION ACT 1986". www8.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
- Council for Licensed Conveyancers (United Kingdom)