Conveyancing: A Beginner’s Guide

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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.

The paper originals might be stored by your solicitor or mortgage provider, while scanned versions are held by the Government Land Registry. You can download the title register or title plan for any property for £3 each, or the flood risk indicator for £9. You don’t have to own the property to find out about it. Here’s the link:

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.

As conveyancers, we check everything for you, so you know exactly what you’re buying.

For example, we do searches at the local authority, 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, deal with the transfer of funds, and register the new title with the Land Registry.

As you can see, conveyancing is complex, and our expert help will make a stressful move go more easily.

For more information, please call us on 020 7113 4003 or reply to this email and we will be happy to help. The initial telephone consultation is free.


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