Wed 30 Jan 2013

Common law couples - ensure your names are on your house deeds


There’s no such thing as a ‘common-law marriage’ in England and Wales. So you won’t be entitled to a share in your home if you’re not married and it’s owned in your partner’s name alone. This stark warning for cohabiting couples follows the comments made by a senior judge in a recent case.

Many people are under the mistaken view that English law recognises something known as a ‘common-law marriage’ and that if you live with someone this entitles you to a share of their property.

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Tue 29 Jan 2013

How do solicitors help with the lease extension process?

Having an expert Solicitor on your side will make a tremendous help when you want to get an extension to the lease of your flat. Here are some of the things that your Solicitor will do to make sure that your lease extension is completed quickly and with as little stress for yourself as possible: 

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Wed 23 Jan 2013

What happens if you cant agree lease extension terms with your freeholder?

The majority of all applications for a lease extension are settled by agreement between the leaseholder and the freeholder. However in the very few cases when agreement of the terms cannot be reached, the leaseholder can make an application for the terms to be settled by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT).

It is also necessary to make an application to the LVT in cases when a leaseholder wants an extension of the lease but the landlord is missing and cannot be traced.

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Wed 23 Jan 2013

Why you should extend your lease before you sell your flat


To be able to sell a flat easily the unexpired term of the lease has to be acceptable to the majority of mortgage lenders. In practical terms that is now usually taken as being at least seventy years.

All leases are granted for a period of time – known as the term – and residential leases are frequently granted for a term of only 99 years. As the outstanding term gradually becomes shorter, leasehold homes become less and less attractive to buyers and their mortgage lenders.  

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Fri 18 Jan 2013

What has a surveyor got to do with extending your lease?


A common question from owners of leasehold flats relates to the process involved in extending a lease - especially where the lease has fewer than eighty years remaining.

Many assume the first step is to approach the freeholder to enquire how much they will be requires to pay to extend the lease.

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Thu 17 Jan 2013

The risks of investing in building plots

The Land Registry has recently issued a warning against buying so-called 'building plots' from fraudulent property dealers. Such dealers buy up undeveloped land and then split it into plots which they try to sell as having investment value, a practice known as land banking.

There is nothing to stop anyone selling plots in this way. Unfortunately, buyers are often misled into thinking that their plot already has planning consent, or has been approved for future development, when this is not the case.

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Wed 16 Jan 2013

Increase in premium London homebuyers pay to live near a tube station


A recent press-release from Nationwide Building Society confirms the Londoners can expect to significantly pay more if they want to live close to a tube or train station, and it seems that the price differential is increasing.

Nationwide’s figures show that homebuyers in the London area may have to pay up to a £26, 000 premium for a home within 500 metres of the nearest station, compared with a similar property 1, 500 metres away from a station.  This just shows how much value commuters put on not having a long walk to catch a train.

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Mon 14 Jan 2013

Green Deal creates confusion for home buyers and sellers


The Government's Green Deal offers homeowners the financing to reduce the environmental footprint of their home, but what happens when the property is sold? As with any charge, the buyer would expect the seller to settle the loan when the property is sold. The catch is that a Green Deal loan is not a charge, and is not registered at the Land Registry.

A seller is nevertheless obliged to inform a buyer of the existence of an outstanding Green Deal loan, but what happens if the seller does not, or simply forgets?

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Fri 11 Jan 2013

Conveyancing Association head comments on recent ruling

A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal, reversing a decision against a solicitor's firm tricked by fraudsters, has drawn opinion from Edward Goldsmith, Chair of the Conveyancing Association.

In his statement, Mr Goldsmith called the Court's decision a "return to common sense", arguing that the burden on solicitors for checking other firms involving in a conveyancing transaction was previously thought to be excessive.

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Thu 10 Jan 2013

How to spot a conveyancing superstar

Choosing the right conveyancing solicitor is an important step when buying or selling a home.  So much so in fact, that it can make a material difference to your experience when moving home.

Solicitors offer a professional service and, despite the common assertion that these services have become commoditised, they are still carried out by fallible human beings - good, bad and indifferent.

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