What’s the definition of a residential transaction?

I’m acting in the purchase of a new build home. I understand that the Conveyancing Protocol is designed for use in residential transactions. What’s the definition of a ‘residential transaction’?

Although the Conveyancing Protocol is designed for use in residential freehold and leasehold matters, it may be adapted for use in other types of land and property transfers.

However, it’s not specifically intended for use in the purchase of new build homes.

In most cases, it should be clear whether a transaction is residential or commercial and one to which the protocol should apply.

Examples of residential transactions would include:

  • standard freehold and leasehold property transactions
  • probate sales by personal representatives
  • buy-to-let properties
  • sales by a company or developer

The guidance notes for the Conveyancing Quality Scheme define ‘residential conveyancing’ as “the process by which domestic conveyancing transactions involving freehold and leasehold properties are legally transferred between parties (to exclude re-mortgages)”.

  • There may be some transactions where the determination is unclear. In such cases, you may wish to consider the nature of the:
  • property
  • transaction
  • parties
  • contract
  • mortgage

There may be some overlap between these areas.

Adoption of the protocol should be discussed and agreed with the other party at the outset of the transaction.

Read more about the Conveyancing Protocol

For more information on new builds, see our Conveyancing Handbook (26th edition).


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.

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