Licensed conveyancers this week need to starting complying with new regulations on displaying price and service.
From December 6, practices that are part of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) are to be required to make cost information, including whether they have referral arrangements, readily accessible on their website and in alternative formats on request.
They will also have to disclose the services they provide, key stages in the delivery of them and indicative timescales.
The CLC has highlighted several of the most common queries it has received on the changes.
Some members have asked whether they still have to comply if they don’t have a website.
Instead, the CLC said, firms will need to include the information on other sources such as email, post or leaflets.
The CLC said it will be up to firms to decide how they display their fees, allowing them to show either a range or an average or examples of what certain transactions can cost.
Members are also warned that while they do not have to supply a cost generator to show their fees, consumers shouldn’t have to enter personal information such as an email address to be able to access an estimate.
The CLC said: “The cost generator must be capable of producing a quote without the need for the consumer to provide any contact details.
“You may consider providing costs in two stages. For example, you could provide examples of fixed fees based on specific values on your website and for those consumers that would then like a quote more tailored to their circumstances, you could also provide a cost generator.
“In this example, requiring contact details for the consumer to provide a more detailed estimate via telephone or email would be acceptable, provided there is some other indication of how much your costs are likely to be on your website.”
Stephen Ward, director of strategy and external relations for the CLC, said: “All CLC practices are different and we have given them the flexibility to comply with these new rules in the way that best suits their business and their clients.
“We want to remind practices that we are here to support them so they are ready to comply from December 6 and that if they have any questions they should contact their regulatory supervision manager.”