Do Solicitors Check The Source Of Deposit?

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Making the deposit payment is a major milestone in securing your dream home. But to ensure lawful transactions, do solicitors scrutinise where exactly you acquired the deposit funds from? With money laundering regulations and fraud risks, verifying the source of funds has become a routine conveyancing practice. This guide explains the processes now involved so buyers know what to expect.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

Legally, solicitors must ensure property transactions do not involve proceeds of crime or other illicit money flows. Criminals can exploit even unwitting buyers to channel dirty cash through house purchases and sales.

As such, conveyancers are compelled to perform due diligence by tracing where monetary deposits originate from. They must prove funds come from legitimate, explained sources before allowing sales completions. This prevents abuse of the property market for dubious means.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

To understand checking processes, we must first define deed and what a property deposit entails in legal terms. The deposit, legally known as a contract deposit deed, is a portion of the total purchase price paid upfront to secure the transaction, exchanged during conveyancing. Its terms, including details about a contract deposit deed, are set out in the sales agreement. Deposits, especially those governed by a contract deposit deed, demonstrate a buyer’s serious commitment. If they withdraw unreasonably, the deposit may be forfeited. Securing your source is thus crucial, especially when dealing with a contract deposit deed, and emphasises the importance of solicitors checking the source of the deposit thoroughly.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

When you instruct a solicitor to handle your purchase conveyancing, expect to receive standard questions probing the origins of your deposit funds. Common queries include:

  • Is the deposit from your savings? If so, please explain the origins of these savings.
  • If the deposit is not fully from savings, where does the remaining amount come from?
  • Are you borrowing any element of the deposit from family, friends or third parties? What are the terms?
  • Has any part of the deposit come from an unconventional source? E.g. gambling wins, investment windfalls etc.
  • Did you need to convert any assets into cash to accumulate your deposit? What were these assets and how/when were they liquidated?
  • Can you provide full account statements and records tracing this money trail?
  • Are any of the funds being gifted to you by relatives? If so we require ID and statements from them too.

Answering transparently and comprehensively is crucial. The more clarity provided upfront, the faster due diligence progresses.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

In addition to explanations, solicitors will request supporting evidence confirming deposit sources. Documents required can include:

  • Bank account statements highlighting deposit funds and history.
  • Investment certificates validate asset sales or liquidations.
  • Deeds of gift from family members supplying funds.
  • Inheritance documentation if drawing from an estate.
  • Business accounts showing available company capital.
  • Loan agreements verifying borrowed sums.
  • Gambling or betting wins are evidenced through official receipts and records.
  • Court orders regarding divorce proceedings proving settlement deposits.
  • Signed letters validating any gifts of cash.

Provide every shred of paperwork that corroborates where your deposit money originated from. Complete transparency assists conveyancers in satisfying anti-money laundering obligations.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

If, despite your best efforts, a conveyancer remains dissatisfied proof has been provided, they can legally refuse to accept your deposit and abort the sale. Typically, this only occurs if you are vague regarding sources or unable to produce any credible evidence. Understandably, conveyancers cannot risk processing suspect funds lacking a paper trail. If they suspect laundering risks, they must withdraw from the transaction.

To avoid heartache, be clear from the outset on deposit origins, and provide the fullest verification information possible quickly. This goodwill satisfies conveyancers you have nothing to hide. Cooperating fully and promptly prevents wasted time, stress and sunk costs.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

If some or all of your deposit comes from family gifts, additional steps are required. Conveyancers must verify the identity and source of funds from the original account holder gifting the money. This ensures it is legitimate and that no unethical coercion is involved.

You will need to provide:

  • ID confirmation like passports from relatives gifting deposits.
  • A comprehensive deed of gift explaining the arrangement and its goodwill basis.
  • Account statement trails verifying relatives’ sources and the amounts gifted.
  • Proof of the transfer like electronic bank statements.

Scrutiny is intensified for gifted deposits to satisfy rules and confirm your account. But again, providing every detail requested streamlines this process.

Do Solicitors Check the Source Of Deposit?

In limited cases, full source checking may not be required:

  • If you have a long-term financial advisor who can vouch for your financial position and how savings accrued.
  • When drawing small deposits from accounts with long, clearly evidenced histories.
  • If using proceeds from the near-simultaneous sale of another property.
  • When utilising equity withdrawal from a property already owned.

With strong existing relationships and records, conveyancers have assurance. But expect scrutiny applying the latest protocols if working with new advisors and funds.


Verifying the origins of deposits is now central in conveyancing due diligence. While demanding on buyers, this scrutiny guards against criminal exploitation. Be transparent from the outset on your source of funds, and provide every shred of documentary evidence conveyancers request. Embrace the process with understanding, and your purchase should proceed smoothly. With some patience and organisation of records, you can readily prove your deposit is from legitimate, ethical means.

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