Course Title: The conveyancing process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: LAW5190

Course Title: The conveyancing process

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Joanne Mackay, Course co-ordinator

Nominal Hours: 51

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Pre-requisites:  VU20111 Legal Process and VU20109 Property Law

Course Description

The purpose of this module is to provide skills in the field of land contract law as might be relevant to a person working in a legal office, conveyancing department or office, financial institution or bank loans or mortgage department or other allied area requiring a comprehensive knowledge of the documents and procedure encountered in conveyancing transactions for the sale and purchase of Victorian land, and the effect of the relevant and associated legislation.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20114 The conveyancing process

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Specify the main features of the law of contract relevant to contracts for the sale of land.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Outline the principles and minimum requirements for a contract for the sale of land.
1.2 Identify factors that could lead to a contract being void or voidable.

Learning Outcome 2 - Determine the extent to which written evidence is required for a contract in relation to the sale of land to be enforceable and the nature and terms implied by common law and equity where there is no express term.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Determine and discuss the formal requirements of a contract for the sale of land.
2.2 Describe the nature of an open contract
2.3 Outline the terms implied by common law or equity into a contract where there is no express provision with reference to:
       • Who carries the risk of damage or destruction of the property following the sale
       • The vendor’s obligations in relation to preservation of the property following sale
       • The vendor’s obligation to disclose defects in title and give a good title free of undisclosed defects
       • The circumstances in which the caveat emptor principle applies
       • Terms implied as to the time for performance of the contract and whether time is of the essence of the contract.

Learning Outcome 3 - Specify and analyse the terms that are commonly expressly included in a contract for the sale of land and remedies for breach of the terms
Assessment criteria
3.1 Outline the form and content of the standard contract prescribed by the Estate Agents (Contracts) Regulations.
3.2 Analyse conveyancing procedures and obligations that arise from the contract for the sale of land and relevant case examples.

Learning Outcome 4 - Analyse legislation that regulates contracts for the sale of land.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Outline and detail the provisions of the Sale of Land Act relating to terms contracts.
4.2 Specify what is meant by the purchaser’s right to “cool off”.
4.3 Analyse the requirements of a vendor’s statement pursuant to Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act.
4.4 Outline statutory provisions relating to who bears the risk of damage or destruction of premises and in relation to insurance of premises.
4.5 Describe the provisions of the Sale of Land Act relating the way in which a deposit must be dealt with including the provisions relating to release of the deposit prior to settlement.
4.6 Describe the regulation of swimming pools as relevant to a conveyancing transaction.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse the law relating to defective building work and illegal structures in the context of sales of land.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Determine the principles of the common law in relation to the sale of land which includes a defectively constructed or incomplete building.
5.2 Analyse the provisions of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 in relation to:
       • Implied warranties’
       • Obligations of a builder in relation to major domestic building contracts
5.3 Outline the provisions of the Building Act in relation to:
       • Insurance obligations of builders
       • Obligations of an owner builder who sells a building
       • Warranties required in contracts for the sale of property by an owner builder
5.4 Outline the role of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in relation to disputes relating to domestic building work.
5.5 Define the term ‘illegal structure’. Analyse the law relating to a sale of land on which there is an illegal structure.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse the role of estate agents in the sale process and the law relating to the conduct of auction sales of real estate.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Examine the terms of the contracts used to engage agent.
6.2 Describe the legal and ethical obligations of the agent to the vendor and the purchaser.
6.3 Describe the law and practice relating to the conduct of auction sales of real estate in relation to:
       • Rules for the conduct of the auction
       • The provisions of Division 4 of the Sale of Land Act including those relating to dummy bids and vendor’s bids

Details of Learning Activities


A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom based activities.
The self-paced activities will be delivered though various technology platforms and may include reflective journals, quizzes and interactive sessions.
The collaborative classroom based activities will include group discussion, group problem solving activities and opportunities to practise skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.

Students are expected to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities: attend class, download and pre-read class outlines and set reading, participate in class discussion, work on class exercises, research cases and legislation, undertake all set assessments which may include case study analysis, written short answers or a multiple choice test or, a final single written test and/or an assignment.

Students will study property law theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments.

Teaching Schedule


1feb 8 Introduction – REVISION – course outline and discussion, Real Estate industry overview, Sale of Land Act
2feb 15 Real Estate Industry
3feb 22 Commonly used forms of contracts of sale of land, and other documents,
4feb 29 Cooling-off, Finance Clauses
5mar 7.Section 32 Statements
6mar 14 Contravention of Section 32 and consequences
7mar 21                                                                                             In class open book case study 30%
8mar 28 Deposits, Insurance                                                                      

apr 4

 File searches, certificates
9.2Easter break Apr 5-11 inclusiveno class Apr 11
10apr 18Terms Contracts                                                         auction presentations 30%
11apr 25 Anzac Day holiday  - self directed learning, no class, (attend auction if not already done) 
12may 2Domestic Building legislation, Illegal structures,Consumer legislation
13may 9                                                                                   remaining Auction presentations
14may 16Adjustments, Settlement,
15may 23Breach of contract, Revision
16may 30                                                                                  Final test open book on whole semester 40%
17 june 6Resits, resubmissions if required.                                                                         

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text but many relevant references listed below. Students will be refered to various references for each topic throughout the semester via the Blackboard site for this course.


The RMIT library has online CCH and Voumard references listed below. Other TEXTS - refer to latest editions of:

Law Dictionary - various

Chambers, An Introduction to Property Law in Australia, Law Book Co. Neave M.A, Rossiter C.J, Stone M.A., Sackville and Neave Property Law. Butterworths

Conveyancing Process Learner’s Resource, Australian Training Products (only read in conjunction with recent changes on Blackboard)

Dept of Sustainability and Environment The Land Registry Lodging Book: A guide to dealings at Land Victoria, free online
Victorian Conveyancing Law and Practice CCH online through RMIT library

Wikrama, Voumard’s The Sale of Land, LBC, online subscription RMIT library

LEGISLATION (all available online)

Australian Consumer Law 2010 Conveyancers Act 2006 Domestic Building Contracts Act Estate Agents Act

Property Law Act 1958

Sale of Land Act Transfer of Land Act 1958

Other Resources

Online resources through library subscriptions, caselaw and legislation sites as detailed in topic outlines on Blackboard.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks and may include:

• case study analysis
• short answers questions
• written assignments/tests
• oral presentations
• projects
• reports

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant module standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

Students are required to successfully complete the threeprescribed assessment tasks in this unit.

Task 1 : The 30% auction presentation activity will assist students to gain research and comprehension skills by examining the auction process, contracts and other relevant documents and applying the relevant legislation to real estate tranasactions and gaining an overview of the topic areas and terminology in conveyacning process. In addition students will be expected to present their results to the class and engage in class discussion about the particular auction. This task also covers the competency of Make a Presentation, Comm 5928C.

Task 2: The 30% case study assessment will be held in class under open book conditions. Students will cases presented weeks 1-7 and answer a variety of questions of different styles, such as multiple choice, true/false, short answer and problem questions.

Task 3: The final 40% test will be held under open book conditions and examine all the material covered in the semester, in problem style questions with some multiple choice and short answer. Students will be expected to analyse and apply legal rules to the case studies such as problems found in conveyancing practice.

Submission Requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via Blackboard unless student is attending an in class test.

Students should note the following RMIT statement:

• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
• Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Joanne Smith, 324567, Task 2, LAW 5190 the Conveyancing Process, Page 1 of 10.

Marking Guide: 

To pass this course students must satisfactorily complete all assessments and have a total mark of not less than 50%. Assessment will be graded according to the following mark table:
0-49        Fail                          NN
50-59      Pass                       PA
60-69      Credit                     CR
70-79      Distinction             DI
80-100    High Distinction   HD

Assessment Matrix

 assignment/  presentation 30%case study 30%final test 40%
real estate industry x x x
contracts of sale and documents x x x
cooling off and finance x  x
vendors statements x x x
deposits and insurance x  x
terms contracts   x
processes and certificates   x
domestic building rules, illegal structures, consumer law   x
breach of contract   x
adjustments and settlement   x

Course Overview: Access Course Overview