Background Research In Conveyancing

Background research is a critical component of the conveyancing process. Typically, the conveyancer checks the history of the property to ensure you do face legal liabilities or financial losses in the future. It examines the following.

Previous Property Use

The conveyancer will check the previous use of the property. For instance, you would be interested to know if prominent people have occupied the property. Alternatively, the property could have land contamination if the land was once a landfill.

Zoning Regulations

The conveyancer will examine the current zoning regulations to identify the following:

  • Is the area zoned for commercial, residential, industrial or mixed-use construction?
  • Are there any upcoming laws that may affect the current zoning regulations? For instance, the local council may want to increase the minimum plot size for subdivided lots.
  • Are there building restrictions? You may be prohibited from building storage sheds or changing the current fence.  

Property Title

As a rule, the property's title should be in the seller's name. There are cases when the seller could be selling an inherited property. If this is the case, your conveyancer will ensure that the seller has the appropriate documents. If you intend to purchase property with a company or strata title, the seller should provide you with the bylaws of the development.

Property Construction

The conveyancer will examine the property construction process. He or she will also check the certifier's report to ensure the builder followed the set building code. The conveyancer will also inspect the property to identify a number of things, such as the quality of the tiles, paint, floor, kitchen fixtures and appliances.

The conveyancer will also examine the foundation for cracks and signs of salt damage and look for signs of the presence of pests, such as cockroaches and termites inside the house.

Double-glazed windows and proper insulation is a sure way to improve the energy efficiency of the home, which will be taken into account. The conveyancer will also test the air conditioning system.

They will also look for the presence of drainage problems such as sewer leaks and flooding on the compound.

If the property has an extension or significant renovations, the seller should provide a permit from the local council. 


It would be unfortunate if you bought a property that has been used as collateral for outstanding debts. Furthermore, the property could have pending water and electric bills. Besides, the owner may have defaulted resident association or strata development fees.

Background research will help you determine the previous use of the property, the type of title, the quality of construction, the relevant property debts and the zoning regulations the property has. 

To learn more, contact a conveyancing lawyer.