If you are buying or selling a property then the term conveyancing will be a phrase you hear constantly. Basically you will not be able to complete a sale or a purchase without a qualified solicitor who is specifically trained to deal with all legal aspects of a property transaction. From arranging contracts to structural surveys a conveyancer will take you through the process ensuring that you are legally protected at all times.
So what does it involve and what can the potential issues be?
- Conveyancing is a complex skill that requires the ability to juggle many different things. Timing issues are one of the most important factors in buying or selling a property and there are generally strict time frames that need to be adhered too. For example documents such as the ‘TR1: freehold transfer form need to be lodged with the Land Registry. If certain phases of a sale are delayed then it could potentially cause the sale to fall through.
- In England and Wales the buyer needs to do as much investigating as possible into the property before purchasing it. The seller has a limited duty in the information it needs to disclose to the buyer. For example they do not have to divulge any issues concerning physical defects of a building or environmental concerns. The main areas of disclosure surround anything that may affect the title of the property.
- The way in which a buyer can find out more about a property is to instruct a specialist solicitor. They will be able to conduct all of the applicable searches. Enquiries can differ depending on the area as well as any environmental features that need to be considered. If you live near the sea or are in a flood plain area then a solicitor will investigate any potential problems with subsidence.
- If you are purchasing an office unit, industrial estate, retail premises or licensed premises, then it is essential that the property meets all regulatory requirements and is able to be used for the intended purpose. A conveyancer will check all of these issues for you in detail.
- You will also need to pay careful attention to the rights and responsibilities in relation to the fixtures and fittings of the property and the ability of the tenant to make changes to the property.
- Contracts need to be drawn up in a particular way, the form and style is highly specific and detailed. A solicitor who deals with property transactions will have undertaken all of the training and qualifications necessary to obtain the correct licence. It can take many years to build experience where complications have been overcome and understood. Instructing a well-established firm will ensure that you get the right level of service. The repercussions of getting something wrong can be financially crippling so an experienced conveyancer is paramount to the financial safety of the transaction.
- A conveyancer will have the familiarity and knowledge of the law to avoid many of the issues in the first place. If a problem is raised then they will have the ability to find the right solution for you.