The Law Society is seeking views on revising its general enquiry forms for residential conveyancing. It aims to update the property information form TA6 and the fittings and contents form TA10, which are filled in by sellers.
Jonathan Smithers, chair of the Society’s land law and conveyancing committee, said that law and practice had changed since the forms were adapted to accommodate the now-defunct Home Information Packs.
In particular, he said, the questions on flooding are not specific enough, and building regulations questions need to be redrafted.
He said firms accredited under the Conveyancing Quality Scheme have an obligation to use the forms and to limit any additional enquiries to those specific to the nature or location of the property.
‘Therefore it is important the forms are as comprehensive as possible, while recognising the proper limitations on what is required for the transfer of legal title and being mindful of the costs involved for practitioners in advising their clients,’ he added.
Smithers said some firms use their own standard enquiry forms, with additional questions which add costs and delay to transactions and do nothing to enhance the process.
‘Any question has cost attached to it. We don’t want to use the form as a way of adding cost to transactions; we want to drive efficiency and cost-savings,’ said Smithers.
He said the Society wants to hear from practitioners regarding the questions they think ought to be included or excluded. The consultation runs until 19 April and the Society hopes to update the forms by the summer.
The consultation can be downloaded.