Conveyancing is the process by which legal and registered ownership of fixed property, that includes land, firms, houses, residential or commercial as well as registration of bonds and different other rights to properties that include servitude are obtained. It involves the process of transfer from the time the sale deed is signed to the time the payment or the consideration amount and the deed is delivered. A conveyancing transaction involves two substantial stages; first, where the contracts are exchanged and the equitable interests are being created and second, where the contracts are settled by merging the equitable rights with the legal title.
A conveyancing search would include various searches, varying from one property to another, like:
- Local Authority Search is the primary search done to a property to know whether it has any pending charges or restriction on it.
- For confirming the authenticity of the ownership and the boundary of the property, the ‘title register’ and ‘title plan’ at the Land Registry needs to be checked.
- There are several other checks like the Flood risks near coastal area, Water authority searches, British Waterways search, Mining searches, Environmental search, and etcetera.
- Depending on the locality, there can be several other geographical location based searches, which might be essential for a particular property. A Conveyancer would best advise it.
The usual practice for a potential buyer is to negotiate a consideration amount with the seller, appoint a conveyancer to search and survey the property and make pre-contract enquiries. The seller does the same as to hiring a conveyancer, check the authenticity of the buyer, and eventually prepares a contract, which needs to be approved by the buyer.
Conveyancing is an essential element or part of the cost that is involved while moving house in the UK. It requires a thorough search of the fixed property, which is being considered for sale or any other type of transfer. These searches are essential to uncover facts about the property that the property agent may not even know about. Such uncovered facts may have an impact upon the buyer’s right on the property. In the UK, a licensed conveyancer or a solicitor conducts conveyancing. It is an important criterion when a fixed property is being transacted, for it involves a great deal of money for buying or selling a land or house. It needs to checked and verified whether the buyer or the seller is a genuine person and the property concerned has any hidden encumbrances. Unlike a property inspection, that only determines structural issues, conveyancing uncover the issues that are imbedded in the property, issues that may affect the property and the buyer. Issues like easement, restriction of usage and access of essential services like electricity, water or land, leaseholds, restrictive Right of passage might have an adverse impact on the property and the buyer who is interested in investing in such property. Problems like the presence of a mineshaft in the neighbourhood or a road that serves as a public highway may change the mind of a buyer. Thus, it is the duty of the conveyancer to check whether the property has any such burdens before he approves the deal. It is crucial to get the property searched before one invests into it, as once bought or sold, it is not possible to undone such legally binding contracts.
There are several recent cases, which convey the importance of the formalities conveyancing. Conveyancer are severely fined for not fulfilling the essential criteria required for searching a property. An inefficient conveyancer might even make buyers lose a plot; fined by authorities for not filing proper details and submitting necessary documents. The legal Ombudsman identifies several mistakes of conveyancers, which affects the buyers and sellers. Some common mistakes pointed out by the Ombudsman includes omits to read the full name of the clients and thus making an incorrect contract, selling a property that is still under encumbrances of lease or mortgage, not going through important documents before passing them onto the other party, and etcetera. These may seem minor errors; however, they have the potential to be a deal breaker. Therefore, it is important to choose a well-known conveyancer or a conveyancing firm that ensure to fulfil all the necessary criteria of conveyancing.
Deakin, Mark, and Robert Dixon-Gough. “Property Transactions in the UK: A Situation of Institutional Stability or Technical Change?.” The Ontology and Modelling of Real Estate Transactions. Routledge, 2017. 67-82.
Dixon, Martin. “Land Registration and Time Travel.” (2014).
Drewry, Gavin. “Lawyers in UK Central Government: Key Specialists in a Generalist Bureaucratic Culture.” Osaka University Law Review 65 (2018): 25-46.
McCarthy, Frankie, James Chalmers, and Stephen Bogle, eds. Essays in Conveyancing and Property Law in Honour of Professor Robert Rennie. Open Book Publishers, 2015
 Deakin, Mark, and Robert Dixon-Gough. “Property Transactions in the UK: A Situation of Institutional Stability or Technical Change?.” The Ontology and Modelling of Real Estate Transactions. Routledge, 2017. 67-82.
 McCarthy, Frankie, James Chalmers, and Stephen Bogle, eds. Essays in Conveyancing and Property Law in Honour of Professor Robert Rennie. Open Book Publishers, 2015.
 Dixon, Martin. “Land Registration and Time Travel.” (2014).
 Drewry, Gavin. “Lawyers in UK Central Government: Key Specialists in a Generalist Bureaucratic Culture.” Osaka University Law Review 65 (2018): 25-46.