Scottish & Northern Irish property systems

Conveyancing in Scotland

By Joe Elvin

Article 5 of 5

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Conveyancing in Scotland

Find out how the Scottish conveyancing system works, including what your solicitor is responsible for and how to complain if you're dissatisfied with their work.

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.

  • Last updated: July 2016
  • Updated by: Stephen Maunder