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Nicola Laver

Editor, Solicitors Journal

Overworked conveyancers at breaking point

Overworked conveyancers at breaking point


Residential conveyancers are struggling to cope with the covid-19 property boom 

Residential conveyancers are struggling to cope with the covid-19 property boom and some are leaving the profession. 

A survey of 338 conveyancers has revealed a widespread decline in conveyancers’ mental health resulting from covid-19-related work pressures. 

The findings, from search provider poweredbypie, a Dye & Durham company, showed that 80 per cent of conveyancers had either experienced worsening mental health or said a colleague had, because of the intense pressure.

Almost a fifth (19 per cent) characterised this as a “significant” decline in mental health.

Sarah Dwight, a residential conveyancer who also sits on the Law Society’s Conveyancing and Land Law Committee, said the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday followed by the extension to it “is clearly taking its toll on many conveyancers.

She commented: “I am working until late every night and the volume of emails and chasers from estate agents and also from clients who are worried that they will not be able to meet the SDLT deadline at the end of June is becoming almost unbearable.”

“I had a message from a friend of mine last week who has decided just to quit her job as the pressure is too much for her in the current climate”, added Dwight. “Another told me that he was concerned that he was going to have a heart attack. It is all so worrying.”

According to the survey, the vast majority of respondents blamed customer expectations in the remote environment for fuelling the pressures, with 43 per cent saying the pressure had increased significantly. 

One survey respondent said: “Expectations have been unrealistic at times with clients not willing to accept any disruption.”  

Another said people were not as understanding as would be expected in the circumstances. 

Jeremy Dorkins, director of customer success at poweredbypie called the findings “concerning” and said they “reveal the extent of the issue faced by colleagues in our industry”.