Conveyancing and the History Behind It

Posted on 05/10/2022

Conveyancing has been around for centuries. From the Anglo-Saxon England to the Technology Boom we have today, there are many years between the two eras and buying property was very different than today. Let’s dive into a quick history lesson and knowing what conveyancing is.

Conveyancing is a legal transfer of property from one owner to another. The transfer process includes a conveyancer who acts on the behalf of the buyer to ensure their client receives the title deeds of the property and the land on where the property sits. This can be a building, flat or townhouse. It covers the entire legal and administrative work required to ensure a house purchase is valid under law.

During the medieval period, conveyancing law was made to benefit aristocrats, a small number of people who had the power to own property. This ensured they had control over the land and the wealth it produced. Under this system of feudalism, peasants were bonded to their masters and forced to work.

Conveyancing and the history behind it

When The Black Death arrived in 1348 having the population at a decrease, feudalism’s power declined and the poorest still did not have own property. But many key developments were taking place to disperse property more fairly between citizens.

Fast forward to the 1800’s, the courts became more align with fairness of the common law. The common law and equity courts were fused into one hierarchy. Thanks to conveyancing triggering the need for reform, the court system became far more effective. Paired with the improved conveyancing system that had been built over the 19th century, there was a modern system installed with more recovery — one that remains in place to this very day.

Following the collapse of feudalism and the start of liberalism, Countries entered the 20th century with political reform and vast amounts of the world population becoming eligible to vote. Enfranchisement eroded the aristocratic regime, in turn affecting the property market and how conveyancing operated. Land became an asset to generate wealth which could be bought and sold for housing, development, agriculture and many more.

Conveyancing and the history behind it

Today’s conveyancing law emerged because of historical transformations. From medieval peasants who were little more than slaves unable to own property, up to today’s system where we live in unmatched freedom, good health and social stability, modern conveyancing generally treats the normal citizen well. Conveyancing will always be around to ensure all procedures run smoothly.

If you’re interested in becoming a conveyancer, here is the required qualifications you will need to practice:

  • LLB Degree or equivalent certificate from a South African University
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Practice Legal Training (PLT) Certification
  • Conveyancing and Notarial Practice certificate

We have conveyancers at Bluett Maasdorp Attorneys who are passionate with professionalism. Find out more here. 

The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.
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