The Conveyancers' Association has called for sweeping changes to the house buying and moving system to create a "more certain and transparent process"
In a 40-page submission responding to the government's White Paper on how to modernise the house moving system in the UK, they CA outlines a 12-point reform programme - including a portal for house movers where they can find every document and chase up every element of the sale and conveyancing chain.
The 12 points are:
1. Centralise ID verification of all parties to a sale to reduce fraud and money-laundering;
2. Collate the property information and title information when the property is marketed, supported by a conveyancer's certificate covering any missing documents, to provide greater up-front information to buyers;
3. Require a local commitment at the offer stage, with a five-day cooling off period, through a conditional contract or reservation agreement;
4. Review standard conditions of sale to require completion funds to be sent through the day before completion;
5. Amend Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 to resolve "the unreasonable cost associated with the leasehold sales process";
6. Reduce additional enquiries through artificial intelligence during the collection of the property information;
7. Review the search process to create separate relevant searches to satisfy lender's and buyer's needs;
8. "Monitor and resource the performance of local authorities";
9. Provide a reliable lending decision in principle based on a 'hard' credit report;
10. Review the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook to remove anomalies and ambiguities which generate post-valuation queries;
11. Review statements within valuation reports to anticipate and avoid post-valuation queries;
12. Provide a secure portal for communication to protect conveyancers, estate agents and the home mover from fraud.
"We can see the evidence from other countries that by working together, these can be delivered" insists Beth Rudolf, the Conveyancing Association's director of delivery.
"Our vision of how the future looks, recognises that the industry needs access to a consistent level of digitised conveyancing, enabling the delivery of data packets and the interrogation of data, plus the need to create the beginnings of artificial intelligence. The technology exists" says Rudolph.
The association is to discuss the proposals at its annual conference next month.