07 December 2018

Ireland to shake up property conveyancing

New conveyancing system takes effect in Ireland from new year's day 2019, offering streamlined and transparent process.

By Dr David Cowan


Ireland will have a faster, more efficient and cost-effective system for buying and selling property, from 1 January 2019, using a new ‘pre-contract investigation of title’ (PCIT) system to address title before signing contracts.

Fundamental change

The new system will make buying and selling property more streamlined and efficient with the introduction of the PCIT conveyancing system, which requires title investigation before signing contracts, ensuring any questions relating to the property’s title are raised and resolved beforehand. The new system is a fundamental change to the legal practice and procedures involved in buying and selling property. PCIT, designed by the Law Society of Ireland in consultation with solicitors, is more transparent because any issues are fully revealed before parties are ‘locked into’ the contract. Michael Walsh, partner and head of property at ByrneWallace, noted, ‘this is one of the most fundamental changes in conveyancing practice in a very long time.’

Transparent and Streamlined

Historically, investigation title was difficult, took place after signing contracts and often problems arose at a very late stage in the transaction, causing delay or even killing a deal. Mr Walsh says, ‘under the PCIT system, the buyer is automatically deemed to have knowledge of all issues relating to the title and to have accepted them.’ Mr Walsh explains ‘we may also see a reduction in the time frame between signing the contract and handing the keys over to the buyer. This will very much depend on finance being ready and available, but this new process aims to reduce or avoid the current duplication of work and effort and minimise the potential for disputes that can lead to delays in completing the sale.’

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