The Legal Ombudsman has said it has seen a spike in complaints about lawyers pocketing stamp duty payments instead of passing it on to HMRC.
The ombudsman said complaints about “sloppy legal work” in house purchases now make up 20% of all its cases, making residential conveyancing the most complained about area of law.
Adam Sampson, chief legal ombudsman, singled out problems with unpaid stamp duty as a particular concern, which has left house buyers with huge bills to settle.
In most cases a lawyer prepares a financial statement on behalf of a client before completion, and collects the stamp duty payment - if the property is worth more than £125,000 - which gets passed on to HMRC.
However, a number of people have contacted the ombudsman saying their lawyer failed to...