Fri 15 Mar 2013

Why can’t local councils do something to provide quicker replies to local searches?

Waiting for replies to local searches still appears to be one of the most frequent causes of hold-ups when buying a home, according to many Conveyancing Solicitors. Why this should continue to be the case is something of a puzzle - some local councils just don’t appear to realise the need to provide a quicker service for homebuyers.

Anyone buying a property is advised to have a local search carried out. If a buyer is getting a mortgage, then a search will invariably be required by the lender, so Conveyancing Solicitors are obliged to do searches in most cases.

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Fri 15 Mar 2013

Don’t lose the plot – checking title plans before buying a house

Including a plan of the property in all registered titles is one of the better features of modern conveyancing. When buying any property, be it studio flat or country estate, buyers should always take care to check that the title plan correctly shows what they think they are buying. If you are not sure, tell your Conveyancing Solicitor so that a further check can be made.  

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Fri 08 Mar 2013

New Land Registry advice on joint home ownership


Joint home ownership can be a minefield, yet few homebuyers are made fully aware of the potential problems. To clarify the situation, the Land Registry has recently published an updated guide, jointly with the Law Society, for Conveyancing Solicitors.

The guide particularly stresses the need for joint buyers to be clear at the outset exactly what their shares and rights in the property are to be, and for this to be properly recorded.

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Mon 04 Mar 2013

House prices rise in 2013 – but not for the whole country


There has been a small average increase in home prices, according to latest figures from both the Land Registry and Nationwide Building Society.  

The Registry’s figures, which are based on completed property sales, show a monthly price increase of 1. 0 per cent for January. This brings the average house price in England and Wales to £162, 441.

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Thu 28 Feb 2013

Land Registry initiative could mean quicker conveyancing searches.

The Land Registry has just announced a scheme which it hopes will provide quicker and cheaper Conveyancing searches. Searches with the local council are an essential part of the home-buying process, but at present Conveyancing Solicitors may have to wait several weeks to receive replies – some councils are notorious for their delays.  

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Thu 28 Feb 2013

A fresh look at Rights of light


Rights of light may not be a subject to worry most homeowners, but a recent article in the Daily Telegraph gave the impression that this was yet another hallowed property right under attack from the government.

The subject of the article’s wrath is a consultation paper just published by the Law Commission, looking into the way the law relating to rights of light operates at present, and suggesting possible amendments. The Commission is a statutory independent body to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed.

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Thu 21 Feb 2013

New helpline to combat property fraud

The Land Registry has just set up a dedicated phone line for home-owners who think they may be the victims of fraud.

You can now ring 0300 006 7030 if you think someone else is trying to sell or mortgage your home, and alert Registry staff.  

This is part of the continuing campaign to stamp out property fraud, which is costing millions of pounds every year.

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Fri 08 Feb 2013

A simple guide to help find if you need a lease extension

Do you own a flat? If so it will almost certainly have a leasehold title. Leases are granted for a fixed period of time, often just 99 years. This is known as the term of the lease. When the term expires, the property goes back to the landlord.

The law now gives leaseholders the right to require their landlord to grant them an extension for an additional 90 years. But many people think that if their lease has got 50 or 60 years still to run, that should be plenty of time.  

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Fri 01 Feb 2013

Land Registry’s new document service speeds conveyancing

The Land Registry has recently introduced a new system which allows Conveyancing Solicitors focused on speed to submit applications and documents electronically. This will speed up the registration of property transfers and mortgages, but will it provide quicker Conveyancing for buyers and sellers? 

The Registry is a government agency which registers the ownership of land and property in England and Wales. At present more than 23 million titles are registered, with more being added all the time.  

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Wed 30 Jan 2013

What happens when a buyer wants the seller to extend a lease before completion?

If often happens that when a leasehold flat is being sold, the buyer wants to get the lease extended. In that case they will want the seller to take appropriate action, as the buyer will not entitled to a lease extension until he or she has owned the property for at least two years.

If the buyer insists upon arrangements being made for a lease extension, there are two choices open to the seller and buyer:

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