Should You Trust Advice From A Conveyancing Forum?

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These days there's a forum on the internet for just about every aspect of our daily lives. From holiday reviews to gardening, film and television to the arts, health, cars, computers and IT - you name it, they are there. The one area that has yet to fully catch up is the law but there are a few starting to crop up, including the odd conveyancing forum. But are they reliable?
Taking information from the internet always has the potential to be risky. You don't always know the basis on which the person giving the information is qualified to give it, whether it is out of date and even whether it is malicious. Taking legal information usually carries more risk because of the consequences of getting it wrong and the fact legal issues are often not black and white. If you are going to take conveyancing information from a conveyancing discussion forum, there are a few things you should do to give yourself some protection.
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Is the Conveyancing Forum Appropriate for Your Use?

Property law can be very different depending on where in the world the property is. The law in Scotland for example is very different than in England and Wales and the law on the Isle of Man is different to both. A conveyancing forum will probably only cover one legal jurisdiction so the first thing to do is to find out what jurisdiction the forum you are looking at actually covers. If it is not your jurisdiction, don't use it.

As well as the law being different in different jurisdictions, the law relating to commercial property is often quite different to the law relating to residential property. Most property lawyers specialise in either one or the other so it makes sense that a conveyancing forum will also. Find out whether the forum you are looking at relates to residential or commercial land.


Try to Contact the Conveyancing Forum Administrator

As is the nature of internet forums, most of the information will be be provided by members of the public rather than the administrator however he or she may still monitor the information quite closely so it could be useful to know the qualifications/experience of the conveyancing web forum owner. See if there is a “contact us” option and ask. At lease if the administrator is a conveyancer and does monitor the forum, this could offer you some comfort, though remember that use of the information will still most likely be at your own risk.

Also, if you are looking to rely on some information or advice by a particular contributor, try to contact him or her with a view to getting some more detail on the issue he or she faced to see if the problem really is the same as yours. Two conveyancing issues can seem the same on the surface but can turn out to be very different when examined a little further.


Is the Conveyancing Discussion Forum’s Information Up to Date?

Like any other area of the law, conveyancing does not stay the same forever, however old material will not necessarily be removed from a conveyancing forum just because it is out of date. If you come across an answer to your problem but the post is quite old, you could try asking the same question again and see if the same answer comes back.


Understand the Risks of getting Conveyancing Help from an Open Forum

Remember that whatever steps you take to minimise the risk, you do still rely on the information provided on any conveyancing forum entirely at your own risk. The only safe way to proceed is to instruct a qualified solicitor or licensed conveyancer to do the conveyancing work. As well as being experts in their field, qualified conveyancers have to carry professional indemnity insurance which will protect you if they do make a mistake.

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