Skip to main content

If you have ever been involved in buying or selling a property, you may have come across the terms ‘residential conveyancing’ and ‘commercial conveyancing’. While both processes involve the transfer of property ownership, they cater to distinct types of properties and there are different considerations. In this post, we explore the key differences between residential and commercial conveyancing to provide you with a better understanding of each.


The most fundamental difference between residential and commercial conveyancing lies in the purpose of the property. Residential conveyancing deals with the transfer of ownership for properties that are primarily used as homes or dwellings. These could include houses, flats or holiday homes intended for personal living.

On the other hand, commercial conveyancing focuses on properties used for business or investment purposes. This category encompasses retail stores, office spaces, warehouses, industrial units, hotels and any property acquired with the intention of generating income or conducting commercial activities.


Commercial conveyancing is generally more intricate and time consuming compared to residential conveyancing. Commercial properties often involve more complex legal and financial considerations due to their larger scale, diverse use and potential for multiple tenants. Additionally, there might be other legalities such as lease agreements, licences and planning regulations to navigate.

In contrast, residential conveyancing is usually more straightforward, especially in the case of individual home purchases. The scope of the transaction is generally smaller and there are typically fewer legal aspects to manage.

Legal Regulations

While both residential and commercial conveyancing involve the transfer of property ownership, they are governed by different legal frameworks. Residential conveyancing follows regulations aimed at protecting consumers and ensuring fairness in property transactions, with an emphasis on buyer protection.

On the other hand, commercial conveyancing adheres to a different set of legal rules that revolve around business interests, planning permissions and compliance with commercial lease agreements.


The financial aspects of residential and commercial conveyancing differ significantly. Residential properties are often purchased by individuals or families and the financing typically involves traditional mortgage lenders. The process usually revolves around a single buyer and a single seller.

In contrast, commercial properties may involve multiple buyers, investors or business entities. Financing options can be more diverse and may include commercial loans, partnerships, joint ventures or other forms of business financing.

Due Diligence

Due diligence is a crucial aspect of both residential and commercial conveyancing, but the extent of investigation varies. Commercial conveyancing demands more thorough due diligence due to the higher stakes involved in business transactions. Buyers and their legal representatives may conduct extensive investigations into the property’s financial, environmental and operational history.

Residential due diligence, while essential, is comparatively more streamlined and often includes standard property searches and surveys.

Contractual Flexibility

Commercial conveyancing offers greater flexibility in terms of contract negotiation. Since commercial transactions are usually not standardised, the parties involved have more freedom to negotiate terms that suit their specific needs. Conversely, residential conveyancing often follows more standardised contracts, especially when dealing with individual home purchases.

In conclusion, while both residential and commercial conveyancing involve the transfer of property ownership, they cater to different property types, have varying degrees of complexity, follow distinct legal regulations and differ in terms of financing and contractual flexibility.

So, whether you are looking to buy or sell a home for personal use or investing in commercial property, understanding the differences between these two processes will help you to navigate the conveyancing journey with confidence. We highly recommend always consulting with experienced conveyancers or legal professionals to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. 
With that being said, there really is only one group of professionals for the job and you can find them here at Gillhams Solicitors. Simply get in contact with us today by giving us a call on 020 8965 4266, emailing us at or by completing our online contact form and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have as well as organise our services to suit your needs.