Conveyancing Disputes and How to Resolve Them
Conveyancing Disputes and How to Resolve Them
February 01, 2024
Conveyancing Disputes and How to Resolve Them

Conveyancing is a critical process in real estate transactions, ensuring the legal transfer of property from one party to another. While it’s typically a straightforward procedure, disputes can arise, causing delays and frustration for all parties involved.

This article explores common conveyancing disputes that can occur in Sydney and provides insights into how to resolve them amicably.

1. Boundary Disputes

Understanding Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes arise when there’s uncertainty or disagreement regarding the exact boundaries of a property. This can include disputes over fences, walls, or land use. Often, these disputes stem from historical inaccuracies, differing surveys, or unclear property descriptions.

Resolution Strategies

Resolving boundary disputes often involves surveys conducted by licensed surveyors. These surveys can accurately determine property lines and resolve disputes. Additionally, examining title deeds and historical records can provide valuable insights into the property’s boundaries. If informal resolution methods fail, mediation or court action may be necessary to settle the matter legally.

2. Title Issues

Understanding Title Issues

Title issues can include problems with the property’s title, such as errors or omissions in public records, undisclosed heirs, or undisclosed easements. These issues can complicate property sales and ownership.

Resolution Strategies

Resolving title issues requires legal expertise. It may involve title insurance, which can protect both buyers and sellers from financial losses due to title defects. Corrective deeds, also known as corrective instruments, may be used to address and rectify title defects. In some cases, legal actions may be needed to clear title defects, and this process may involve litigation.

3. Deposit Disputes

Understanding Deposit Disputes

Deposit disputes can occur if the buyer and seller disagree on the refund of the deposit due to a failed transaction. These disputes can become contentious, as they involve financial matters.

Resolution Strategies

Mediation and negotiation can often resolve deposit disputes. In some cases, involving a neutral third party, such as an attorney or real estate agent, can help facilitate a resolution. If necessary, legal action may be taken to enforce or challenge deposit refunds.

4. Delayed Settlements

Understanding Delayed Settlements

Delays in settlement can happen due to various reasons, including financing issues, incomplete paperwork, or unexpected problems with the property. These delays can be frustrating for all parties involved.

Resolution Strategies

Open communication between parties is crucial when dealing with delayed settlements. Parties should discuss the reasons for the delay and work together to find solutions. Extensions, penalties, or even cancelling the contract may be necessary if delays persist. Legal advice may also be sought to navigate complex issues causing delays.

5. Non-Disclosure of Property Defects

Understanding Non-Disclosure

Non-disclosure disputes arise when the seller fails to disclose significant property defects or issues. Buyers have a right to know about these defects before purchasing the property.

Resolution Strategies

Seeking legal advice is essential in non-disclosure cases. Remedies can include compensation for the cost of repairs or contract rescission, where the contract is voided, and the buyer is refunded. Resolving these disputes often requires evidence, such as inspection reports or communications between the parties.

6. Misrepresentation

Understanding Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation occurs when one party provides false or misleading information about the property or transaction. This can include misrepresentations about the property’s condition, features, or history.

Resolution Strategies

Proving misrepresentation may involve gathering evidence, such as emails, text messages, or written advertisements, that demonstrate the false statements made by one party. Legal action can be pursued to seek compensation for any losses resulting from the misrepresentation.

7. Mortgage Issues

Understanding Mortgage Disputes

Mortgage disputes can involve disagreements between the buyer and lender regarding mortgage terms, interest rates, or loan approval. These disputes can delay the settlement process.

Resolution Strategies

Reviewing the mortgage contract carefully is essential. Parties should engage in negotiations with the lender to resolve these disputes amicably. If negotiation fails, parties may consider mediation or legal action to address mortgage-related issues.

8. Disputes Over Fixtures and Chattels

Understanding Fixtures and Chattels Disputes

Disagreements can arise when it’s unclear which items are included as fixtures (permanent) and which are chattels (movable) in the property sale. This distinction can significantly impact the property’s value and the expectations of the parties involved.

Resolution Strategies

Clearly defining fixtures and chattels in the contract is crucial. If a dispute arises, parties can refer to the contract’s terms and seek mediation or legal guidance to resolve the issue. It’s essential to have a thorough inventory of what is included with the property and what isn’t.

9. Encroachments

Understanding Encroachments

Encroachments happen when a part of one property extends onto another. This can involve structures or landscaping. Encroachments can create legal and practical issues for both property owners.

Resolution Strategies

Resolutions may involve negotiations between property owners to address encroachments, such as adjusting property boundaries. In some cases, legal actions, like property line disputes or boundary line agreements, may be necessary to resolve the matter.

10. Disagreements Over Special Conditions

Understanding Special Condition Disputes

Special conditions in the contract can lead to disputes if one party feels the conditions weren’t met or were misinterpreted. These conditions can cover various aspects of the transaction, such as repairs, inspections, or timelines.

Resolution Strategies

Careful review and negotiation of special conditions before signing the contract can prevent disputes. If a disagreement arises, parties should communicate openly to clarify their expectations and work towards a resolution. Mediation or legal action may be necessary to resolve disagreements over special conditions.

Final Thoughts

Conveyancing disputes in Sydney can be complex and stressful, but they are not uncommon in real estate transactions. To minimise the risk of disputes, parties should engage in open communication, have a clear understanding of the contract terms, and seek legal advice when needed.

When disputes do arise, resolving them promptly and amicably is in the best interest of all parties involved, ensuring a smoother property transaction process. By understanding these common disputes and their resolution strategies, individuals and professionals in the real estate industry can navigate the conveyancing process with greater confidence and efficiency.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our conveyancing lawyers at IgnIfy Legal to discuss your needs and gather the information necessary to make a final decision on your property transaction. With the right legal support, you can navigate the complexities with confidence and peace of mind.

Please call us today at (02) 8319 1032 or submit an online enquiry.

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