Scottish property system Scottish conveyancing

Conveyancer with two elderly clients

There aren't many licensed conveyancers practising in Scotland

If you’re buying or selling a home in Scotland, you’ll need a solicitor. Here, we explain their role in the home-moving process.

On Scottish property transactions, solicitors carry out the conveyancing work to make sure ownership of the property is transferred correctly. Licensed conveyancers can also do the work, but there aren’t many practising in Scotland.

Property solicitors' responsibilities in Scotland

Under the Scottish property system, the solicitor has different responsibilities from solicitors in other areas of the UK.

If you're buying a house in Scotland, your solicitor will do the following things:

  • Explain the home report to you
  • Pass on your offer to the seller's solicitor
  • Draw up the contract for the purchase
  • Check that any alterations have been done with the necessary planning permission

All solicitors must belong to the Law Society of Scotland (LSS) and must follow strict regulations on their conduct. For example, the same solicitor can’t act for both the vendor and the buyer of the same property.

Solicitors should give you a terms of business engagement letter when you instruct them. This sets out what work they’ll do for you and how much it will cost.

  • It's hard to know who to trust when looking for a solicitor. That's why we've researched the market to find a conveyancing firm that we believe offers a reliable, efficient service. Click to find out about Which? Conveyancing.

How to complain about a solicitor dealing with property

If your solicitor gives you poor service when you are buying or selling a house, you should begin by complaining to the firm itself.

If this doesn't resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, you should contact the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC), which is designed to be a one-stop shop for all complaints about legal services in Scotland.

More on this...

Last updated:

April 2016

Updated by:

Stephen Maunder

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.