On 15 February, we released our new Code for Completion by Post in response to the Court of Appeal decision in the Dreamvar case last year. This became effective on 1 May.
We have amended the TA13 Completion Information and Undertakings form to reflect the changes made to the Code.
In Dreamvar, the Court of Appeal held that the fraudster seller's solicitor was in breach of the undertaking to the buyer's solicitor implied by the Code for Completion by Post (the Code), which as properly interpreted required the seller's solicitor to use the completion money for a genuine completion.
The changes to the Code make it even clearer that the seller’s solicitor is acting in a genuine sale. This should provide innocent purchasers with greater protection from fraudsters.
The Code focuses on completion of a property transfer. Form TA13 has been updated to reflect these changes.
The TA13 consists of a set of questions to obtain key information prior to completion. They are raised by the buyer's solicitors of the seller's solicitor.
Most of the form remains as it was previously.
The main changes to the form are:
Section 3: Completion
- We have specified in 3.2 that the new 2019 edition of the Code for Completion is the version to use: “We wish to complete through the post in accordance with the Law Society’s Code for Completion by Post 2019 (the Code)”.
- Section 3.2(b) previously referred to paragraph 6 of the Code for Completion. The altered paragraph numbering in the new Code means that 3.2(b) now refers to paragraph 7 of the Code: “The Seller’s Solicitor will specify in writing to the buyer’s solicitor the mortgages, charges or other financial incumbrances secured on the property which on or before completion are to be redeemed or discharged to the extent that they relate to the property, and by what method.”
Section 4: Money
- We have inserted a warning: “WARNING: Be alert to the risks of emailing bank details” to highlight the need to be vigilant against fraud.
Section 5: Mortgages and Charges
- The wording of 5.2 has been changed to: “Do you undertake to redeem or discharge the mortgages and charges listed in reply to 5.1 on completion and to send to us Form DS1, DS3, the receipted charge(s) or confirmation that notice of release or discharge in electronic form has been given to HM Land Registry as and when you receive them?”.
- It has been reiterated that replies to questions 3.2, 5.2 and 5.3 are solicitor’s undertakings.
The TA13 can be obtained through the Law Society’s usual licensees: