A beginner’s guide to Conveyancing
- By Paul Sullivan
To understand conveyancing, you need to know some key terms.
The word conveyancing comes from the verb ‘convey’, which means ‘to transport or carry to’.
But what gets transported or carried when it comes to buying or selling a property?
The answer is the ‘title’ to the property. That’s another bit of jargon. The word ‘title’ is short for ‘title deeds’ – the deed is the document that shows who has the right of ownership of the property.
It can be interesting to look at the title deeds and see who has owned the property before you. For example, Laura bought a flat that was previously owned by a concert pianist, and James bought a property where a Hollywood actor had grown up.
The previous occupants are not always so glamorous. For example, Bob found his house used to belong to the local landlord. Sometimes, when redecorating, you find something left behind by the previous occupants – their signature on the wall, maybe, or forgotten treasures in the loft.
The title deeds are also useful to see where the exact boundaries are, for example, when replacing the garden fence, building an extension, or negotiating a dispute with a neighbour.
Title deeds in Northern Ireland are either registered in the Land Registry or unregistered. Since May 2003, a system of Compulsory First Registration (CFR) has applied to conveyancing in Northern Ireland. If a property being sold has not been registered with the Land Registry before, then it must be registered by the new owner.
Back to conveyancing: it’s a complex and time-consuming process that starts when your offer is accepted, and ends on ‘completion’, that is, when the money has been transferred. Beyond this, there will also be post-completion matters which we will also attend to for you.
As your conveyancing solicitor, we check everything for you, so you know exactly what you’re buying. For example, we do searches with the local Council, to discover whether there are any plans for major construction work in the area, such as a motorway going through the garden.
We check whether there is any risk of flooding, and where the local sewers lie. We also find out whether the previous owners have paid up to date or if there are unsolved boundary disputes. Conveyancing also covers liaison with your mortgage lender and the vendor’s solicitor to obtain and supply all the information required. We also check the contracts and deal with the transfer of funds. Our work doesn't stop there though: after you get they keys, we will then deal with the registration of the transfer deed and any mortgage, as well as preparing and lodging any application for Compulsory First Registration.
As you can see, conveyancing is complex, and our expert help will make a stressful move go more easily.
For more information about the article, or any other aspect of our business and personal legal solutions, give Danny Hughes a call now on (028) 9032 2998.