What to look out for when buying a property in Bristol

1. Every year thousands of people move house within the Bristol  area.   Our conveyancing in Bristol team over the years have become re familiar with all  33 conservation areas spread throughout Bristol . Conservation Areas are "areas of special architectural or historic interest. " Many of Bristol City's Conservation Areas are in the central area. They range in character from the medieval and later City and Queen Square Conservation Area to the Georgian and Victorian maritime-orientated City Docks Conservation Area. The outer conservation areas are generally based on the historic villages that surround Bristol and which are now part of the urban area or distinctive housing schemes like the Sea Mills garden suburb. It’s a good idea to check with your conveyancing in Bristol property lawyer   as to whether or not the home you intend to purchase is within one of the Bristol conservation areas. If so, it impact your rights to obtain planning permission for alterations to the relevant property and in  some situations  may necessitate specific consent even for demolition of any part of the property and also affect the ability to prune trees. A conveyancing in  Bristol specialist may also be aware of area which are subject to review and therefore may become conservation areas in the future. The most recent conservation areas are: Arno's Vale, Bishopsworth and Malago, Ashley Down and Bedminster West.

2. Some properties in certain areas in Bristol may qualify for "disadvantaged areas relief". Disadvantaged areas relief provides for an exemption from stamp duty for property located in qualifying areas on residential transactions where the consideration does not exceed £150, 000. Areas within Bristol where a property may qualify for exemption include: Lawrence Hill, Filwood, Southmead, Knowle, Melcombe Regis, Ashley, whitchurch Park, Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe, Easton, Lockleaze and Kingsweston. To find out if the property you intend to purchase qualifies is exempt from stamp duty please contact our conveyancing in Bristol team. (After March 2005, disadvantaged areas relief no longer applies for non-residential land transactions ).

3.   Our conveyancing in Bristol team is starting to receive a lot of questions surrounding the possible impact of the Ashton Vale development . In July 2009 a planning application was submitted for a new 30, 000 seat stadium and associated development including housing, restaurants/bars, and a hotel on land at Ashton Vale and the former Alderman Moore's allotment site. The application site straddles the boundary between Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council.   The main vehicular access to the B3128 (leading to the A370 Long Ashton bypass) falls within North Somerset and the majority of the development site falls within Bristol. Your conveyancing  solicitor should  be able to let you know whether there are implications to your property.

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4. Property lawyers with experience in conveyancing Bristol transactions should point you to the Bristol City Council’s web site http://www.bristol.gov.uk where their service that allows you to view details of planning applications.   Bristol City Council works in partnership with the Planning Portal - the government's online service for planning - to provide services and information about the planning system. Your conveyancer is not obliged to provide you with information relating to planning applications for surrounding properties so it for you to  check out this information although our conveyancing in Bristol team can carry out a comprehensive planning search. This does cost a bit extra so please do talk to our Conveyancing in Bristol Department about this conveyancing search.

5. If you wish to purchase a new build apartment  in Bristol  - examples of newly built properties being  Christopher Thomas Court, Bristol City Centre, Bristol, Broad Quay, The Zone, Bristol City Centre, Bristol, Baldwin Lofts and  Bristol Harbourside, Bristol City Centre, Bristol -  there may be a chance of perfectly normal and acceptable  planning conditions or covenants affecting the property.   A conveyancer with experience in conveyancing Bristol properties should identify any such conditions,  restrictions and covenants (it may well be that they are contained within a planning document known as a Section 104 Agreement, Official Copies or Lease).   You may consider checking this point with your conveyancing firm if Fridaysmove have not been retained to conduct your conveyancing.
 
5.   As a landlord, Bristol City Council has one of the largest housing stocks still owned by a local authority in England. Under a process known as Options Appraisal, many local authorities transferred their housing stock to a Housing Association or Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO). In 2005 tenants decided that Bristol City Council should continue to manage and maintain their homes. In making this decision tenants remain secure tenants of the council, keeping all their current rights. In retaining management of council housing in Bristol, the council has not been able to access any extra funding. To reach the Decent Homes Standard by 2010 the council has had to make savings through projects such as the Priority Stock Project. When buying a leasehold property in Bristol you should specifically look to find out information about future works to your building as Bristol City Council will have very detailed plans for future works for all properties which Bristol City Council are the freehold owner.   Sometimes major works or service charge works can be very high.   Clearly, you do not want to purchase a property in Bristol only to find out that there are major works planned as you could be faced with a significant service charge bill shortly after completion of your conveyancing. Please ensure that your conveyancing solicitor makes appropriate enquiries.  
 
The intention of the points in this article is not that its contents be a comprehensive list of investigations that a thorough property conveyancer would conduct when conveyancing in Bristol. Every conveyancing in Bristol case is different and will require specific conveyancing enquiries. Friday's Conveyancing in Bristol team have completed hundreds of conveyancing in Bristol transactions and will know what to look for when it comes to your particular conveyancing in Bristol.