Primarily, the job of the conveyancing team (being a conveyancer and an advocate working in tandem) is to ensure that you will have correct title to the property, that the seller can sell what they are trying to sell and that you, the buyer, will have all the proper rights that you need to enjoy your home. In addition, the conveyancing team will ensure that there are no problems with boundaries and provide you with clarity if any third party has rights over your proposed purchase property.

The advocate and conveyancer fulfil an important role in that, through their firm’s professional indemnity insurance policy, the firm is in effect guaranteeing your legal title to the property. It is key that the correct level of research is carried out at the Greffe to ensure that, for example, boundary information is accurate, and any rights are correctly identified. This may include rights of way, rights to lean a ladder against your wall or perhaps the right to ask you to make contributions towards an access road or drainage.

Although Digimap is a useful tool, it does not determine legal boundaries.  The conveyancing team will confirm the boundary positions and features by carrying out paper research at the Cadastre and Greffe before going on site to make sure that the paper research matches what is seen on site.  If, for whatever reason, there is a discrepancy, this is normally resolved by a boundary exchange or a conveyance prior to purchase.

The buyer will then be provided with a detailed summary of the research and, at that stage, it is normal for conditions of sale to be signed (and a deposit lodged) for the parties to enter into a binding contract. Nearer to completion, the conveyancing team draft the conveyance document, and your completion account for monies to be settled, and then accompanies you to the Royal Court to complete your purchase, either on a Tuesday or Thursday morning. Then begins the buyer’s task to make the house a home.

One of the most frequently asked questions that we, as a conveyancing team, are asked is whether changing the name of a property has to be done in the conveyancing court. There is something deeply personal about the naming of a property and there are instances when a potential buyer does not necessarily like the name of the property that they are proposing to call their home. Very often the property name has a direct connection or link to the person who lives there at the time and this is not necessarily the case for future purchasers.

Whilst there might be a perception that the name of the property must be changed in the Royal Court and, more particularly, in the conveyance, this is not actually the case. In fact, a property name can be changed at any time. It certainly does not have to be contained within the conveyance, although if the new name of the home is known at the time of completion, then it is helpful to include it within the conveyance.

Therefore, as long as you inform the authorities, such as utility companies, banks and any public body that holds the address of the property, you can change the name of your home whenever you like.  There is no specific legal process for this, nor any fees payable and it is simply a case of adjusting public records.


Author Alastair Hargreaves Advocate, Solicitor & Managing Partner