When a ‘further action’ is received from an environmental report, it’s not necessarily a disaster. While a further action doesn’t make a conveyancer’s job any easier, it is rarely the end of the transaction. In fact, with a little preparation and some knowledge of the most common risks that warrant a further action – ground instability, contaminated land, flooding and infrastructural risks – conveyancers can anticipate, understand and mitigate these risks for their clients, create a smoother transaction and add value along the way.
In the first instance, a further action report may simply require a closer look at the problem. It is important to realise that some risk assessments can’t be made by data alone, and that an evaluation onsite might mitigate any concerns a further action may bring. A flood consultant can offer an onsite assessment, such as an identification of flood mechanisms, flow paths and local ground conditions that may impact flooding at the property. The same can be said for ground instability issues. It may take a professional second look to ascertain whether this is a real problem or something that can be more easily mitigated. It’s an opportunity to engage a client, have a conversation and ultimately help give them better peace of mind.
One of the most unpleasant risks that can arise with a property is contaminated land: an old gas works, a long-gone petrol station, anything that might have left the ground a house is built on damaged and could require an environmental clean-up. The most important point when it comes to contaminated land is to learn to what extent local authorities are involved in the clean-up process. In legal terms, the responsibility falls with the body that contaminated the land, but often those businesses no longer exist.
There are a whole host of different environmental risks that can lead to further action being issued. However, just as there are multiple possibilities for risk, there are also multiple different types of clients, each with their own view of just how significant that risk is. For a conveyancer, it is vital to have clarity around what their client wants and needs and the options available to them. Most importantly, however, is that every conversation is approached from a solution-focused perspective, one that results in an outcome that doesn’t leave the client to deal with unresolved or unknown risks.
CLS Property Insight (CLS PI) and Redbrick Solutions have joined forces to deliver an integrated service providing legal indemnity insurance products to the conveyancing market. Redbrick Solutions and CLS PI are committed to making an inspiring and positive impact on the property industry by working proactively to improve the conveyancing process and to formulate and implement best practice throughout the industry.
The collaboration between Redbrick Solutions and CLS PI will allow indemnity policies to be ordered through the Redbrick Solutions Case Management software. These policies will be automatically tagged, tracked and put into the matter file. This integration will not only save time, and therefore money, but will also provide full visibility of orders which, in turn, will help manage risk for the practice. If the matter requires a more complex policy, a variable statement of fact can be produced and direct contact with an experienced underwriter is always available.
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