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Conveyancing Association publish Strategic Plan to change home moving process PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
The Conveyancing Association (CA), the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has today (14th March 2017) published its Strategic Plan which contains details on the work streams it will follow in order to create a more positive home moving experience for all. 

The Strategic Plan, entitled ‘Building the framework for the future’ follows last year’s publication of the CA’s White Paper on ‘Modernising the Home Moving Process’ and sets out how the CA intend to deliver three key aims, namely:

· Swifter certainty;
· Fraud protection; and
· Effective communication.

The CA has broken down the delivery of these aims into eight work streams which it believes can offer significant improvements to the home moving process. Those work streams will seek to deliver:

1. Enhanced ID verification: helping develop a reliable product that reduces verification instances but increases certainty.

2. E-Home Reports - upfront provision of information: providing a comprehensive collection of information upfront prior to the property being marketed.

3. Reservation agreements: providing a standardised agreement to reduce uncertainty and create home mover choice.

4. Completion certainty: enabling completion monies to be sent the day before completion to make moving home easier for clients on the day of completion.

5. Leasehold reform: reducing the costs and delays associated with leasehold transactions, plus helping develop a redress scheme and support fair terms in new leases.

6. Lending process improvements: creating the ability for buyers to obtain a reliable Decision-in-Principle, plus reduce post-offer queries and improve communication with lenders.

7. Better search data provision: reducing costs and delays, plus creating a version of CON 29 relevant for lenders with optional borrower questions, and digitise relevant data.

8. A secure property portal: helping create a secure communications platform including a ‘Property Log Book’ for every property.

Within each work stream, the CA has set out its step-by-step process of how it intends to deliver positive progress, including how it hopes to work with all stakeholders such as CA member firms, affiliates, plus various organisations and bodies like lenders, estate agents, SLC, CILEx, RICS, the Law Society, HMLR, CML, BSA and many others in order to develop these plans. It will also be lobbying Government to secure support in order to eventually mandate for a number of these changes.

CA member firms will play a key role in each work stream by providing insight and support, plus they are being asked to pilot the plans in their businesses, specifically in work streams such as the delivery of reservation agreements, enabling greater completion certainty, provision of searches and using the secure portal.

The CA acknowledges there will be significant challenges and obstacles to overcome in delivering on some of its strategic aims, particularly the development of the portal and the ‘Property Log Book’, however it believes there are a number of ‘quick wins’ to be achieved and points to the recent movement in securing reform of the Leasehold process as evidence of how change can be achieved.

Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, commented: “After considerable input from many stakeholders and our member firms, we are now able to present our plans for delivering real change in the home moving process through this Strategic Plan. The eight work streams outlined are focused on areas which we believe require significant attention but also have the capacity to make the most difference to all those who take some part in the purchase of a home. They cover a wide range of intended deliverables and, for some, come with a number of unique and not inconsiderable challenges to meet. However at the CA we believe that, just because these may be difficult to achieve, it doesn’t mean we should shirk from them.

“Last year’s White Paper set the scene for the improvements we believe are absolutely necessary in order to create a far more positive home moving experience, and now through this Strategic Plan we set out the steps we will be taking to achieve them. By setting out these work streams we want to invite further engagement and support, and to provide an outline of how we will progress through their delivery and the results we want to achieve.

“In a number of key areas, progress has already been made – I’m thinking particularly of leasehold reform where, thanks to the concerted efforts of stakeholders, the Government has committed to a review of leasehold tenure, and where we have already begun the process of developing greater consumer understanding via our consumer guide on leasehold administration fees which provides consumers with the information necessary to ask the right questions before viewing a property. There is clearly further work to be done, not least providing a form of redress, but in terms of this work stream we are already some way down the track.

“For others, there is clearly a lot more to be done, but this Strategic Plan provides an overall guide for us to follow and focuses us on the job ahead. We would like to thank those who have already engaged with us for their insight and support, and will be looking for further involvement from many practitioners, affiliates, stakeholders and other organisations, to make these ambitions a reality.”

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