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CLC to allow firms to defer regulatory fee payments

The Council for Licensed Conveyancers will give the firms it regulates the option of deferring the regulatory fees they pay to help them cope with the coronavirus crisis.

Conveyancers have the option of deferring payment of Practice Fee and Compensation Fund contributions for April, May and June.

Firms deferring their payments will be given the option to repay the fees over either four or 12 months, starting in July 2020.

Sheila Kumar, chief executive of CLC, said: “These are difficult times for everyone and the property market, and hence conveyancing practices and their clients, have been struck very hard by the restrictions in place to control the pandemic.

“While this crisis will pass, it is right that we act swiftly to support the firms we regulate. We want to ensure they can continue to operate and provide essential services to their clients in an appropriately regulated environment.

“Feedback from our regulated community indicates that deferring payment of regulatory fees will be of great help to them. Thanks to our careful approach to budgeting, the CLC is in a position to do that, and our governance arrangements allow us to act quickly.

“Should the challenges for the sector continue past June, we will look at what further steps we can take to support CLC-regulated firms.”

The CLC is writing to practices with details of how to apply.

Firms will need to provide financial information supporting their application and details of actions they have taken and will be taking to support their practice.

Practices must continue paying their professional indemnity insurance premiums as the policy is triggered at the point a claim is made, rather than when the alleged negligent act was done.

As it stands new instructions have collapsed, although remortgage work, will-writing and probate are continuing.

The council has since issued guidance online and is providing direct advice to individual firms through its regulatory supervision managers.