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Problems with conveyancing

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Conveyancing is work carried out in connection with certain property transactions including, for example, the sale of a freehold interest in land or the grant of a mortgage. Conveyancing work may be performed by lawyers and by people who are not lawyers. Non-lawyers wishing to carry on a conveyancing business for fee or reward must be licensed by the Business Licensing Authority and comply with other requirements under the Conveyancers Act 2006 (Vic).

Regulation of conveyancers

The Victorian Legal Services Board regulates lawyers and investigates allegations regarding people who engage in legal practice without being lawfully permitted to do so. Both lawyers and non-lawyers may do conveyancing work. While we regulate all lawyers, we have no power over non-lawyers working as conveyancers (except where they work for a lawyer or a law practice). Consumer Affairs Victoria regulates non-lawyer conveyancers. For further information about non-lawyer conveyancers, please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Can a conveyancer carry out legal work?

Licensed conveyancers are authorised to carry out some legal work in connection with conveyancing transactions including preparing agreements, conveyances, transfers, leases or mortgages in the course of those transactions. However, non-lawyer conveyancers may not carry out legal work that is not ‘conveyancing work’ within the meaning of section 4 of the Conveyancers Act. Conveyancing work does not include legal work carried out for the purpose of:

  • commencing or maintaining legal proceedings;
  • applying for a grant of probate or letters of administration;
  • establishing a corporation or varying the constitution of a corporation;
  • creating, varying or extinguishing a trust;
  • preparing a testamentary instrument;
  • giving investment or financial advice; or
  • investing money otherwise than as provided for in Part 5 of the Conveyancers Act (which deals with trust money and trust accounts).

Who can help me with if I have problems with a conveyancer?

If you have problems with a non-lawyer conveyancer, please contact Consumer Affairs Victoria. If you would like to make a complaint about a lawyer, whether in relation to conveyancing or other legal work, please see Tips to handle a dispute. If you believe a non-lawyer conveyancer is doing legal work that is not conveyancing work, please contact the Board.

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