In order to protect consumers and maintain the public’s confidence in conveyancing services, the NZSOC has a Complaints Service available to receive complaints. Conveyancing Practitioners are required to act at all times in accordance with the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act (Conveyancing Practitioners: Conduct and Client Care) 2008. Your complaint will be taken seriously and you will receive confirmation of receipt of your complaint by the Complaints Service.
Every client and every Conveyancing Practitioner wants their conveyancing transaction to proceed smoothly and successfully. This is the experience of the vast majority of clients and Conveyancing Practitioners. Sometimes, however, something goes wrong. If you have a complaint about something your Conveyancing Practitioner has done, you should talk to your Conveyancing Practitioner or someone else in his or her practice. Conveyancing Practitioners get much of their business by word of mouth so the Conveyancing Practitioner will have a strong interest in resolving your concerns. Most concers should be resolved at this stage.
If you still have concerns or you are still unhappy with the way your Conveyancing Practitioner has behaved or performed, you can complain to the NZSoC's Complaints Service. Your complaint must be in writing and on a complaint form and can be delivered personally, posted or emailed (addresses are on the complaint form).
You can complain about the following matters:
- Quality of Service
- Failure to comply with particular orders
- You can complain about current and former Conveyancing Practitioners, Incorporated Conveyancing firms and/or
employees of both.
One outcome may be that the Standards Committee asks you and the Conveyancing Practitioner to make use of an alternative dispute resolution process (i.e. mediation or negotiation) if they think this method is likely to resolve the dispute. The Standards Committee may consider things and decide on an outcome which can include:
- Taking no action.
- Requiring the Conveyancing Practitioner to apologise to you.
- Ordering the Conveyancing Practitioner to reduce the fees charged.
- Fining the Conveyancing Practitioner up to $15,000
- Requiring the Conveyancing Practitioner to make good your losses subject to limits set by the law.
Here is the Process Flow of your complaint.
If you are unhappy with the Standards Committee's decision in relation to your complaint, you can apply to the Legal Complaints Review Officer, who is an independent officer appointed by the Minister of Justice. The task of the Legal Complaints Review Officer is to review decisions made by the Standards Committee. You will have to pay an application fee of $30 for the review. Information about the Legal Complaints Review Officer can be found on www.justice.govt.nz/lcro or you can call on 0800 367 6838.