Local tips from a Property Lawyer for buyers in Leeds

When looking for a Conveyancing Solicitor in Leeds, make sure you choose a lawyer who’s on your side.

When you are faced with choosing a Leeds Conveyancing Solicitor for a property transaction in Leeds it can often be difficult to know where to turn. The best advice is to look for a professional who can combine substantial experience of the property market in Leeds with expert local knowledge and first-class legal skills.

Your Solicitor should know about:

Making the most efficient planning and local searches:

Local searches are carried out with Leeds City Council, Leeds LS1 1UR.  

The area administered by Leeds City Council includes places such as Garforth, Wetherby, Otley, Pudsey, Guiseley, Morley and Rothwell, together with many rural areas.

These searches cover a wide variety of matters which will be of importance to buyers, including planning consents and planning notices relating to the property, also any road or rail schemes which may be scheduled in the locality.

Your Solicitor should be familiar with the matters which will be revealed in these searches.

Flats – is your solicitor familiar with Leasehold titles?

If you are buying one of the many flats and apartments in Leeds, you should make sure that their Property Lawyer is fully familiar with the transfer of such properties. Flats invariably have leasehold titles, and the buyers Solicitor will have to make many checks, especially where a property is in a large block. It would be easy to overlook something which could cause you problems after completion, so it makes sense to have a lawyer who is fully conversant with this type of property.

Was your house built on contaminated land?

Leeds was a major industrial centre for many years, so there will always be concerns about potential land contamination caused by previous industrial use. New homes may be built on former industrial sites, or older homes might be next to the sites of old factories where land contamination may exist. Your Solicitor will check this for you, and obtain a search which will show any previous sources of potential contamination, as well as any current industrial use in the area.

Conservation areas in Leeds – what your Solicitor must know:

There are 77 conservation areas spread throughout Leeds, ranging from populous areas such as Headingley and Morley to smaller settlements such as Thorp Arch and Calverley Bridge. Many such areas include residential property, and your Conveyancing Solicitor should know if the home you are buying is in one of these areas.

It is important to note that enhanced planning regulations apply to buildings in conservation areas. If alterations or other works have been carried out your Solicitor will need to check that proper planning consent has been obtained for them. Conservation areas in the area include Aberford, Adel-St John’s, Armley, Armley Mills, Bardsey-cum-Rigton, Barwick-in-Elmet, Blenheim Square, Bramham, Bramley Hill Top, Bramley Town,   Buslingthorpe, Calverley, Calverley Bridge, Canal Wharf, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Clarendon Rd, Clifford, Colton,   Eastern Riverside, Far Headingley, Farnley Upper Moor Side, Farsley, Gledhow Valley, Guiseley Park Gate, Guiseley Town Gate, Hanover Square and Woodhouse Square, Harewood, Headingley, Holbeck,   Kirkstall Abbey, Ledsham, Leeds City Centre, Linton, Meanwood, Methley Church Side, Moorlands, Morley Dartmouth Park, Morley Town Centre,, Otley, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Oulton, Pudsey, Pudsey Fulneck, Queen Square,   Rawdon Little London, Rawdon Low Green, Rodley, Rothwell, Roundhay, Scarcroft, Seacroft Dawson’s Court, Shadwell, Stank Hall, Thorner, Thorp Arch, Walton, Weetwood, West Park, Wetherby, Woodhouse Lane and University Precinct, and Yeadon.

Coal mining – will your house suffer subsidence?

Coal has been mined in the Leeds area since at least medieval times, and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there were several major collieries in the region. This mining activity has now ceased, and there may be little evidence of its existence to be seen nowadays. Nevertheless property buyers need to be aware if their house might be affected by subsidence from former mine workings, so Conveyancing Solicitors will have a search carried out to see whether there are any potential problems.

Will you be eligible for stamp duty relief?

Your Solicitor should know whether you will have to pay stamp duty on the purchase price. Stamp duty is a tax charged on the purchase, price of houses, but the government has declared some Leeds council wards as disadvantaged areas. Property buyers in these areas may not have to pay stamp duty, and your Leeds Solicitor can advise on this.
The areas in Leeds are Beeston, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, City and Holbeck, Harehills, Hunslet, Richmond Hill, Seacroft and University wards.

Your Solicitor will also advise if you are qualify as a first-time buyer and will not have to pay duty if the price is under £250, 000.

Rural properties – potential legal problems:

A considerable part of the district covered by Leeds City Council lies outside the urban areas. Houses in the countryside may not be connected to mains drainage, and access might be over a private road. For these reasons the buyers of such houses should make sure that their Conveyancing Solicitor has wide experience of this type of property, and the problems that can arise.

Flooding – will your house be affected?

Houses with a high risk of flooding can be difficult or impossible to insure, which has a substantial effect on their value. With the River Aire and its tributaries flowing through Leeds, some residential areas have a higher flood risk, and your Conveyancing Solicitor can advise you about this.

Local knowledge will save you time and money and a Solicitor familiar with Leeds should mean a quicker move for you and will save you money.

A Fridaysmove recommended lawyer will have all the necessary experience and local knowledge of the Leeds area to ensure that you receive the best possible legal service and more importantly move quicker and with a greater degree of certainty.