What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process of purchasing and selling property, such as land, houses, apartments or commercial buildings including hotels, factories, office buildings etc. Conveyancing is usually divided into two main sub-groups, residential conveyancing and commercial conveyancing.
A solicitor’s main role in a conveyancing transaction is to examine the legal title to the property and to advise on any legal issues which may arise. A solicitor also examines the planning status of the property. He advises clients on any title or planning deficiencies, and where possible, on how to remedy them. When acting for purchasers, a solicitor assists them with their loan, completes the mortgage of the property and delivers the title deeds to the property to the bank at the end of the conveyancing process.
This involves the purchase and sale of houses and apartments either between builders and individuals when new houses and apartments are bought and sold, or between individuals where second hand properties are bought and sold. Usually, though not always, individuals buying residential property borrow from a bank to fund or part fund the purchase and then, as part of the conveyancing process, they mortgage the property to the bank.
This involves the purchase and sale of commercial properties usually from business to business but also from business to individuals. In commercial conveyancing the lending arrangements with the Purchaser’s bank are usually more complex than in residential conveyancing transactions. A Purchaser which is a limited company may, for example, secure the bank funding by a range of different instruments including a debenture, usually incorporating a fixed and floating charge, a mortgage on the property, a mortgage over shares or by personal guarantees given by the directors of the company. The commercial lending aspect of commercial conveyancing brings in many aspects of company law, banking law, directors’ duties and obligations, personal and intercompany guarantees and a whole range of other legal issues.