Legal home buyer issues in the Greater Manchester area

There are a number of legal areas where the local knowledge of a Conveyancing Solicitor in Manchester will be invaluable:

Environmental Concerns

A wide variety of manufacturing industry was based in the whole of the Manchester area. Although traditionally associated with the cotton industry, there were numerous industrial concerns, both large and small, throughout the Greater Manchester region. Many of these traditional industries caused pollution of all sorts, and some of this may still be of concern even when the industry has long since ceased. Where residential property has been built on land formerly used for industrial purposes, a soil survey should now be carried out and any necessary remedial work done before building commences.

Note that older properties may still be affected.

For this reason it is now customary for Conveyancing Solicitors to carry out environmental searches on all property purchases, which will show former recorded land use in the vicinity, as well as any current use which might be a potential source of pollution.

Local planning & building regulations

Planning permission is always required for new houses, and a copy of the relevant permission will be supplied by developer’s lawyers. Permission may also be required for extensions or other alterations to a house. Conveyancing Solicitors acting for buyers will therefore want to know if any works have been carried out which might have required consent.

Alterations to a building may have to comply with relevant building regulations, and the seller will need to provide a completion certificate from the council as evidence that the work has been inspected and approved.

This is a complicated area of law, and Solicitors acting for homebuyers usually err on the side of caution. If there is any doubt as to whether planning consent should have been obtained or whether building works comply with regulations, the seller may either be asked to obtain retrospective consent, (usually a time-consuming process) or pay the premium for an insurance policy to be obtained, which would indemnify the purchaser should the council take action.

Many may query why Solicitors get so concerned about these issues, as councils very rarely take enforcement action. Cases regularly arise where this does happen, and the financial consequences can be considerable. Since aggrieved clients will probably take action against Solicitors for professional negligence, Solicitors who fail to carry out proper checks will find themselves in trouble with their insurers.

See this article for an example of the complications which may arise.

Flats and similar leasehold property

There are many flats, apartments and other leasehold properties in the Greater Manchester area. A Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor will know all about the legal technicalities of such homes, and will give the necessary help and advice.

They will especially check on arrangements for management of the building; where a flat is in a large block the building should be properly managed and maintained for the benefit of the tenants. This will usually be done by a management company, who will ensure that regular maintenance work is carried out, such as cleaning common access areas. They will also arrange buildings insurance, and will schedule major works such as redecoration to be carried out. The cost of all such work will be passed to flat owners as a service charge, which may be payable yearly or half-yearly.

Buyers’ Solicitors will ask for a management information pack to be obtained, which will include service charge accounts for previous years as well as an estimate for the current year’s expenditure. A copy of the buildings insurance policy and current renewal schedule should be supplied, and also details of any particular rules and regulations imposed on flat owners in that building. Letting a flat on a short-term tenancy may not be allowed, or may require approval from the managing agents, which would be important for anyone buying to let.

Leases vary considerably, and anyone buying a flat will need to be advised on the provisions of the lease relating to their property. Many leases contain a prohibition on keeping pets, which may cause problems for some buyers.


Once the contracts have been signed and the purchaser has obtained a mortgage offer, the Solicitors involved in the transaction will contact their clients to discuss possible completion dates. Usually a date can be agreed without difficulty, but where there is a long chain of sales and purchases it may take some time for date acceptable to everyone to be settled. Once that has been done arrangements will be made for contracts to be exchanged, at which time the contract becomes binding. If not already done, the final transfer deed and any mortgage will be signed, and the mortgage lender will be asked to release funds for completion. The buyers’ Conveyancing Solicitor will also make a final search with the land registry, to check that there have not been any changes to the register since the date of the copy title originally supplied.

Assuming everything is in order the purchase is completed by the buyers’ Solicitor sending the purchase money to the other Solicitor; this is now invariably done by using the banks CHAPS transfer system, which normally guarantees the money being received within an hour or so of being sent, often less.

Once received, the vendors’ solicitor will phone to release keys, which are usually held by selling agents, so that the buyer can then move into their new home.

Whatever the area of the home you are buying or selling in Greater Manchester, a Fridaysmove Conveyancing Solicitor will give you the advantage of having someone working for you who knows the area.

This can make a difference to the speed with which your transaction will progress through to a Fast Completion.

Get a quote for Conveyancing Solicitors in Manchester.