Conveyancing

Moving house can be exciting but it can also be stressful.

Getting you to completion as smoothly as possible is a priority for us.

Three vital ingredients to our service are:

  1. Speed. We deliver a proactive service rather than just a response service.  We look to move your matter through the process as efficiently as possible.
  2. Transparency on costs – no hidden extras.  We will tell you from the outset exactly what the legal costs will be. If your matter doesn’t progress to completion then we will not apply the quoted charges.
  3.  Communication.  We look to keep you fully informed with regular unprompted updates and without the confusing legal jargon.

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Client feedback is the basis for our developing service, we try to meet your needs wherever possible and therefore your feedback is essential to us.  You will be provided with a form on completion and we would appreciate you taking the time to complete the same and help us to improve.  Of course you can communicate feedback to us at any point during your matter.



Purchase of Property or Land

Once you have had your offer accepted you will need to instruct a solicitor to act for you.

If you are buying the property with the aid of mortgage finance you have probably already had your borrowing agreed by the mortgage company. If that is the case then you will need to tell your mortgage adviser that you are now ready to proceed and provide him or her with your solicitor’s details.

When you buy a property your solicitor will need to investigate the title to the property thoroughly to ascertain all the rights and restrictions affecting it and its locality. When you buy with mortgage finance the mortgage company will insist on this thorough investigation.

As well as making enquiries with the Seller, your solicitor will need to carry out some standard searches, precisely what these are will depend on the local area of the property.

Once your solicitor has had all the enquiries satisfied your purchase matter can proceed to completion. If you are using a mortgage to fund the purchase then your mortgage company will send the amount you have requested to borrow to your solicitor.

Your purchase transaction will complete when your solicitor sends the purchase monies to the Seller’s solicitor.



Sales of Property and Land

Once you have accepted an offer for the sale of your property then you will need to choose a solicitor to act in the sale.

The solicitor will need your title deeds to send information about your property to the buyer’s solicitor.

If you have a mortgage secured on your property then this will need to be repaid on or before completion, this is usually done simultaneously on the day of completion and from the sale proceeds.

The buyer will need to investigate your property thoroughly and therefore this may take some time. There will be a standard form of questions for you to answer about the property, this information will then be sent to the buyers’ solicitor. If the buyer is using mortgage finance to fund the purchase then a survey will be needed too and the mortgage company will send their surveyor to your property for this purpose.

The sale of your property to the buyer will complete when your solicitor receives sale proceeds from the buyer’s solicitor.

You will need to vacate the property on the day of completion unless you have agreed otherwise with the buyer and his or her solicitor. If you are to vacate then you will need to hand the keys to your estate agent on completion.

The deeds to your property will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor on completion of the sale.



Remortgage

A remortgage (also known as refinancing) is the process of paying off one mortgage with the proceeds from a new mortgage using the same property as security. The term is also used when securing a new mortgage on a previously un-mortgaged property.

The process of remortgaging does not usually involve moving home. It is in effect the transfer of a mortgage from one lender to another. Homeowners may choose to remortgage for various reasons, usually to reduce the overall monthly mortgage payment amounts, however other reasons may include raising capital to invest in the purchase of another property or to consolidate other more expensive short term debts.



Leases, Tenancies of Residential Property for Landloards and Tenants

Leases and tenancies are used to devolve property ownership to another for a specific period of time. The landlord can retain some control over the tenant’s occupation/ownership by placing conditions and restrictions in the Lease or tenancy agreement.

Tenancies are usually for a short period of time, less than 12 months whereas Leases are usually longer. A tenancy is usually evidenced by an assured shorthold tenancy agreement; the agreement will set out the rent payable and any specific rights or restrictions of the occupation/ownership.

Leases are used to grant a longer period of ownership/occupation to a tenant. The lease will set out the details of the rent payable and the rights and restrictions placed on the tenant’s ownership/occupation. A long lease of a residential property may contain restrictions as to terms of occupation and alterations and therefore it’s very important you seek legal advice before proceeding.

A lease for a term longer than 7 years will need to be notified to HM Land Registry too.

We can also provide you with advice regarding rent recovery and the assignment and surrender of leases.



Licences of Residential Property

A Licence is normally created where a person is granted the right to use premises without becoming entitled to exclusive possession of them.

Where there is an agreement between you and the property owner to use the property for a specific purpose and for a specified time period without exclusive possession then the agreement will operate to create a Licence.

A Licence does not create any estate or interest in the property to which it relates. It only makes an act lawful which otherwise would be unlawful.




Transfer of Equity

Equity is the residual value of an asset once any mortgage or liability secured on it has been paid. You can transfer this equity (residual value) to someone by way of deed and the process of transferring it is known as a transfer of equity.

You can transfer the whole of the equity to another or you can transfer a part.

There are many reasons why you may wish to effect a transfer of equity, you may wish to gift your asset or part of it to another, perhaps a spouse if you have recently married and owned the asset prior to the marriage. In some cases transfers of equity can arise following the ending of a relationship and the co ownership needs to come to an end, the house equity can be transferred from joint names to just one name.

If the asset is in mortgage or otherwise subject to a liability then you may need the permission of the mortgage company or secured creditor before you can make the transfer.

If you transfer your equity in an asset to another and receive a payment in respect of its value then this payment may attract a stamp duty land tax liability.




Deeds of Gift

It is possible for you to give away the ownership of your property by way of a gift rather than by way of sale or purchase.

If you pass the ownership of your property to another and you don’t receive any financial or other reward for it then you are effectively making a gift.

The gift of land must be made by Deed. There may be legal and financial consequences both for you and the recipient on making the gift and therefore you should always ensure you obtain expert legal advice.

Tax, care home funding, divorce, financial planning and death can all be issues which affect your decision to gift property, advice beforehand is vital to identify the potential consequences.




Equity Release Plans

This is a means of releasing capital from the equity in your home. It is a type of mortgage without the requirement to make monthly repayments. There are different types of Equity Release Plans and a financial adviser specialising in this area will advise you according to your wants and needs. Whichever plan you choose it will necessitate you instructing a solicitor to advise you on the legal effects of such a scheme. As interest on these loans can be high you should ensure you understand the legal and financial consequences before completing. As the consequences can be far reaching we would advise that you discuss such schemes with your family before you make a decision to proceed.




Right to Buy

Under a right to buy scheme you, as a tenant of a council or housing association owned property, have the opportunity to purchase the property at a discounted price.

The conditions of a Right To Buy scheme will usually provide that you have to have been a tenant for a requisite number of years before the purchase and for repayment of the discounted sum if you sell the property within three years of your purchase. Some schemes require you to offer it back to the council or housing association on a first refusal basis before you can resell on the open market.

Once purchased, the maintenance and upkeep of the property is your responsibility, the council no longer have any obligation to you in that respect.



Shared Ownership

Shared ownership allows a housing association to sell a share in their housing stock. The most common scheme allows you as the purchaser to buy just a percentage of the property say 50% with a view to purchasing more at a later date, this later purchase of more is known as staircasing. This scheme can be helpful if you would like to become a homeowner but for financial reasons find it difficult to do so. Purchasing just a share in the property makes you a part owner of the property along with the Housing Association. You will pay a rent for the part that remains within the ownership of the Housing Association.

The Shared ownership scheme extends to commercial property too.

We have experience at all stages of shared ownership transactions and subsequent staircasing.



New Build

The purchase of a property which is a new construction can begin before the build has even started.

You may buy from a plot site having only the brochure detailing the visual of the proposed house. It is extremely important therefore that you ascertain all the rights and conditions that will affect your property once built. With many new build properties the roads and drains which are to serve the property are also newly constructed and these must be built to an acceptable standard to ensure their adoption by the relevant authorities on completion of the build.

As part of the process of purchasing a new build we will ensure the relevant approvals and guarantees are in place for both the house and service constructions.

If you are funding your purchase with the aid of mortgage finance then the mortgage company may require their surveyor to attend at the new build site on completion of the construction to carry out a post build survey. You also should attend the site after construction has been completed in order to carry out a snag list with the nominated site official, this allows you to identify any small defects which need remedying before completion.

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