Jules Lewin writes about some of the final stages of purchasing a property. Image: Canva.
  • A settlement agent or conveyancer is typically employed to manage the settlement process
  • Lewin explores the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common
  • Insurance, the final inspection and other finer details are discussed

Parts one and two covered the basics of conveyancing and explored questions such as whether you can request a third inspection. 

Conveyancing, also known as settlement, is the process in which a property is transferred free of any encumbrances.

This can be either a fairly straightforward and painless process, or if not handled precisely, a messy and costly undertaking.

Settlement is usually undertaken by a professional settlement agent or a solicitor.

In parts one and two, I outlined general guidance on how to choose the right settlement agent and the overall structure of the settlement process.

Even after choosing the right agent, it is imperative that you fully understand all aspects of this process in order to make informed decisions. Below are a set of common questions surrounding often overlooked facets of the procedure.

My settlement date falls on a Sunday. What date/day must I settle?

If your settlement date is listed as a Sunday, you must settle on Monday, the next day following.

If both parties agree and are ready, you can also arrange to settle on the Friday before

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Joint Tenancy is the ownership of land by two or more persons.

On the death of one joint tenant, the surviving owner becomes the sole proprietor. This is irrespective of what is stated in a legal will.

Regarding Tenancy in Common, on the death of one party, their share forms part of their estate and is distributed in accordance with the terms of the will.

I have lost my copy of my Title. What steps can I take to replace it?

An application for a New Title must be lodged with Landgate (Western Australia). There is a charge for this and certain details must be provided to verify ownership.

My spouse has died and their name is still on the Title. What do I need to do in order to transfer the property into my name if we own the property as Joint Tenants?

Where parties own a property as Joint Tenants, an Application by the survivor is to be lodged with Landgate accompanied by a copy of the Death Certificate.

When should this be done?

As soon as possible after the party has passed on to ensure it reflects the current ownership, and to avoid any last-minute issues if the property is to be sold.

We’ve carried out our final inspection and the seller has removed a light fitting. Can they do that?

The light fitting is a fixture and should be listed on the settlement document as such. The seller must return the light fitting or replace it with one of the same style and value or you could agree to accept monies from the seller and replace the light fitting later.

When do I arrange insurance on the property being purchased?

The seller needs to maintain insurance up to, and including the date of Settlement; it may be prudent for the Buyer to have insurance put in place prior to the due date for Settlement. If a Buyer is given possession of the property, the Buyer must arrange insurance from the date of possession.

I moved into my property 7 days ago and the air conditioner has stopped working, can I get the Seller to replace it?

After settlement and taking possession of the property, it is your responsibility, as is the repair or replacement of any items at the property.

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