A conveyance of property occurs when a rightful owner of land or a building transfers its ownership to another person or party. This can occur through many ways, including:
- By sale
- As a gift
- Through inheritance
- By operation of law (such as when the government assumes ownership)
One of the more common means of conveyance is through a sale. This means that the property is exchanged for monetary value, which would also require a contract to be written up and signed. Conveyance occurs when the title holder "manifests their intent" to transfer the deed to the other.
One of the main legal issues involved with property conveyances is that of defective title. In order to convey property, one has to have valid title to the property. This means that there can’t be any defects or encumbrances on the land, such as: outstanding tax debt; mortgage debt; errors in recording the title; or other issues.
These types of issues need to be resolved or cleared before the property can be transferred. Other legal issues involve fraud (this can happen especially with mortgage documents and agreements), zoning issues, and boundary disputes.
Lastly, another issue is that of the proper owner of the land. For instance, one party may be claiming to be the owner of the land through inheritance, while another may be claiming to own it through a sales contract. These types of disputes can often be resolved by searching the title records of the property.
Any type of sale or transaction of real property needs to be recorded. To "record title" to property means to register the transaction with the local or county records department office. Recording real estate documents helps to show that the transaction actually took place. It will also place the transaction or the transfer of title in its proper place in the "chain of ownership" of the property.
That is, the records should reflect each time the property changed hands, beginning with the most current owner, reaching all the way back to the original owner of the property.
Property laws can often involve complex rules and guidelines. You may wish to hire a real estate lawyer for assistance with any type of property issues you may have. Your attorney can guide you through the process of conveyance and can provide you with legal advice on the matters. Also, your lawyer can represent you if you need to file a lawsuit involving the property laws in your area.