The Ultimate Homemovers' Guide to Conveyancing in Suffolk

If you are thinking of buying or selling a house or flat in Suffolk, then a Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor will be able to provide an excellent service at a competitive price.

The county of Suffolk, although largely rural in character, includes a number of larger towns with a wide variety of residential property. The historic town of Ipswich is the principal town of the county, and is now a major commercial centre for the region. With its excellent transport connections it has also become a commuter town and the residential areas have expanded considerably over the last few years.

Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitors operate in all parts of Suffolk, including other important towns in the county such as Lowestoft, Bury St. Edmunds, Felixstowe, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Sudbury, Southwold and Newmarket, as well as the other smaller towns and villages in the county.

At county level, Suffolk County Council administers the whole county. Local district or borough councils cover the districts of Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich, Mid Suffolk, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal, and Waveney.

For many people Suffolk provides the opportunity of purchasing a weekend retreat in a rural location, but within a short drive from London. Others may be looking to find a good-quality home at a reasonable price, with the ability to commute to the city. For many, Suffolk offers many attractions for a retirement home, with quiet locations yet convenient for shopping and other facilities.

Felixstowe is now the busiest container port in the UK. While the traditional fishing industry in Lowestoft has now declined, the port is still active and various industries are still located in the town. Lowestoft is also a tourist centre, as is nearby Southwold. Bury St. Edmunds lies in the west of Suffolk, and is a main commercial centre for that part of the county. Newmarket is of course famous for horse-racing.

When buying or selling a house in Suffolk, it is advisable to instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor with good local knowledge. Fridaysmove 's Conveyancing Solicitors will guide you through the legal aspects of your purchase or sale.

Purchase of a former "Airey" home near Sudbury - Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor prevents delays:

Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor Catherine Williams, an expert in residential property law, was instructed by Mr. & Mrs. A on the purchase of a freehold home in Boxford, near Sudbury, Suffolk CO10. The local branch of Abbotts agents in nearby Hadleigh, Suffolk, sent Catherine the full details of the sale, confirming that the price was in the region of £185, 000. This also included details from the sellers' Conveyancer, Countryside Property Lawyers of Manchester.
The clients did not have a related sale, and the sellers were not buying another house, so the transaction was able to proceed without delay, as there was no need to tie in with other parties time scales.

The buyers had applied for a mortgage, and a mortgage offer was received from the lender shortly after the contract and title information was sent by the vendor's lawyers.

When Conveyancing Solicitors receive instructions from mortgage lenders to act in connection with the mortgage, they will be acting professionally not only for the buyers but also the lender. They owe a separate professional duty of care to the lender, so Conveyancing Solicitors must carefully check their mortgage instructions and the terms of the offer to see if there are any special conditions that must be complied with.

Catherine noted that there were usual conditions in the mortgage offer for the buyers to have buildings insurance cover in place at completion and a check was required to ensure that no other adults would be occupying the house apart from the borrowers.

There was also an additional condition, as the house was known as an "Airey" house. Such houses were built in the 1950s and 1960s using pre-cast concrete panels. Most of these houses had originally been built for local councils, and had subsequently been sold on to tenants under the Government's "right-to-buy" schemes. Many problems were subsequently experienced with the buildings due to deterioration of the concrete and failure of reinforcing rods, so that they became structurally unsound. This led to owners finding that they could no longer sell their houses, as mortgage lenders refused to lend on them. To remedy this situation the Government passed legislation setting up a scheme for remedial works to be carried out to such properties.

The mortgage condition required the Conveyancing Solicitor to confirm that a structural engineer's certificate existed to show that the property had been repaired to the standards of an approved repair scheme. If the house was part of a group of similar properties, evidence had to be provided that all adjoining properties had been repaired to the same standards, as the lender would not release mortgage funds until the relevant certificates had been seen by them.

As there was no such certificate with the information provided by the sellers' Conveyancer, Catherine had to ask for this to be provided. The sellers' agent faxed through a copy of the relevant certificate and associated paperwork, so that Catherine was able to forward this to the lenders, who then confirmed that they were satisfied and that the mortgage funds would be released in due course. As this point had been sorted out early in the transaction, delays were thus avoided.

Other enquiries were answered satisfactorily and the sellers' title was in order. Catherine then completed her report on title to her clients, setting out full legal details of the property title and explaining various points relating to the purchase. The clients then signed the contract and mortgage deed, facilitating a speedy exchange and completion.

Conveyancing Issues in Suffolk:

New-build Purchases

Suffolk is often described as a rural county, however,  there has been considerable development in more recent years with Ipswich and other towns in the county having expanded considerably. Suffolk Conveyancing Solicitors are well-experienced in handling the legal work on the purchase of new-build homes, as well as dealing with subsequent sales of such properties.

Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings

There are numerous conservation areas throughout the county.  There are also several grade II and grade I listed buildings. Buyers of such properties require expert advice from a Conveyancing Solicitor with local knowledge, and checks have to be made to ensure that any previous conversions or alterations have received the necessary approvals.

Buyers should be aware that any home within a conservation area is affected, whether it is a listed building or not. Owners of such properties will find that it is necessary to obtain consent from the local council for works such as the installation of replacement windows, which would not normally require any planning permission.

Flats, maisonettes and similar leasehold property

Many modern developments comprise flats and apartments, either in new purpose-built blocks or conversions of older industrial or commercial buildings. Larger old houses are often converted into separate apartments. These properties are invariably owned with leasehold title, which presents a number of additional factors in the Conveyancing process. Conveyancing Solicitors dealing with the transfer of such properties will cover such points as advising on the provisions of the lease, getting and checking details of the management of the building (especially important for apartments in larger blocks) and service charges, as well as ensuring that there are no outstanding issues with the freeholder or management company which may cause problems for purchaser.

Rural properties

Much of Suffolk is still preserved countryside and country homes within the county are sought after.   Purchasers of such properties should make sure that they receive the best legal advice. Such properties may not adjoin public roads, so buyers must be certain that the house enjoys a legal right of access. Also, drainage may be to a septic tank, which could be on a neighbour's property, and a Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor will be able to obtain the necessary information and appropriate advice.

Flood risks

With the North Sea bordering the east of the county and several major rivers crossing the county, Conveyancing Solicitors can check if a property is in an area where there is a significant risk of flooding. In recent years flooding has affected more properties and those which are seen as being at high risk can be expensive (or even impossible) to insure. This will affect property prices, so it is something that must be checked.

Environmental concerns

Generally speaking there has been little industry within Suffolk, but towns such as Ipswich and Lowestoft are associated with a number of industrial concerns. Land may still be affected by contamination even when industrial use has ceased. Although remedial works should have been carried out if such areas are redeveloped for housing, contamination may still be of concern with older properties adjacent to any such industrial sites. Environmental searches can be carried out as part of the Conveyancing process to ascertain whether a house might be in an area potentially affected by previous industrial operations in the vicinity.

Older properties

A common feature in legal title documents of older houses is the existence of covenants or restrictions affecting the property. Such covenants are often imposed when houses are constructed as part of a building estate. Developers will sometimes impose covenants and restrictions in the original transfer deeds with the intention that these will be binding on all subsequent owners.

Fridaysmove in Suffolk

Acting for the purchasers of a freehold house on Weston Way, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8, Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor Stephanie Gerstler noted that the house was subject to some typical covenants imposed when the property was built in 1982.

Details of the agreed terms were received from the sellers' agents Cheffins of Meldreth House, Wellington Street, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 0HT. Shortly afterwards Bendall & Sons Solicitors of 23 High Street, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8LY sent the draft contract together with copy of the seller's title.

Restrictive Covenants

The covenants were set out in the land registry title register and included the following:

• no hedge plant, shrub or tree erected in front of the building line or in any area designated by the highway authority as a visibility display shall exceed two feet in height unless the company and the highway authority have consented.

• property is defined as a private dwelling; trade/business not permitted                  

• no contamination of surface water draining from the property into any soak ways or drains

• nothing shall be done or permitted on the property which may be or grow to be a nuisance to the owners or occupiers of any adjoining property

• no hut, shed, caravan or similar adaptation intended for use as a dwelling or sleeping accommodation shall be erected or permitted on the property, nor shall any caravan be parked thereon unless consent has been obtained in writing

• no advertisement shall be erected, permitted or affixed to any building other than the one relating to the sale or letting of the property.

It might appear that most of the restrictive covenants would not normally be permitted under planning or other legislation, but often the council requires these conditions to be imposed on subsequent property owners as part of the planning permission. Such covenants could theoretically be enforceable by the owners of adjacent properties on the same estate and must be complied with.  Your Conveyancing Solicitor will check that there is no evidence of any subsisting breach of covenant by the seller.

Stephanie therefore included an enquiry to this effect when sending some further enquiries about legal matters to the sellers' Conveyancing Solicitor. The sellers confirmed that they were not aware of any breaches, so Stephanie was able to advise her clients that there were no additional concerns.

Contact Fridaysmove

If you require Conveyancing in Suffolk for your sale or purchase transaction, contact Fridaysmove at 0330 660 0286. You can also obtain an Instant Online Quote in three simple steps.

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