Top tips from a Bristol Conveyancing Solicitor

When it comes to choosing a Conveyancing Solicitor in Bristol for the sale or purchase of a house or flat, a local firm will usually have the requisite local knowledge of legal matters affecting properties in this area.   They will of course also have the general requisite Conveyancing expertise, and will be able to advise you on the various legal aspects which may affect a property in and around Bristol.

A major city in the west of England, Bristol comprises many residential areas, with a wide variety of property types.   Leasehold flats are now common, from modern flats in purpose-built blocks through flats in converted houses to flats converted from old industrial buildings.

A Bristol Conveyancing Solicitor will be on the alert for the following points:

Conservation areas in Bristol

There are over 30 conservation areas in Bristol, and although some affect central areas where they would be expected, several affect more outlying parts of the area.   Any property in one of these areas is covered by the relevant statutory provisions, so it is important that your Solicitor advises you if the house is in such an area.  

Your Solicitor will also check whether the seller or any previous owner has obtained appropriate consents if they have carried out alterations or other works to the property.  

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Many works which would not normally require specific consent, such as replacing window frames, require council consent if the property is in a conservation area, and the financial penalties can be severe if necessary consents have not been obtained.

Planning in Bristol revealed in Conveyancing Searches

Your Solicitor will conduct a local search of the correct local council which will show the planning consents that exist for the property. If it has been built since 1947 then the seller should be able to show that consent was obtained when it was built. Any consents for extensions or alterations will also be recorded, and your Solicitor will check whether any works have been carried out for which consent has not been obtained.

Coal mining in Bristol

Bristol is on a coalfield, and although little evidence now appears to modern eyes, in the past mining was  carried on in many parts of the Bristol area. There are now no active workings in the area, but where properties are in the vicinity of old pits there is a potential for subsidence. Local Conveyancing Solicitors in Bristol will make the necessary searches to ascertain whether a house has suffered in the past, or is in an area where there is a possibility of future subsidence.

Previous industrial use

Like many long-established cities, industrial activity of various types has been carried out in many parts of Bristol. Much of this has now ceased, and former industrial areas have been redeveloped for housing.   If a property is built on land which was formerly used for industrial purposes, it may cause problems if appropriate remedial works have not been carried out, and  Property Lawyers in Bristol can make necessary searches and will advise if there are any problems.

Flats - make sure your Solicitor has Leasehold experience!

There is a wide variety of flats in the area, and for anyone buying a leasehold flat your Solicitor will ensure that the form of lease is satisfactory and acceptable to mortgage lenders, and make checks and enquiries about the management of the building in which the flat is located.

Flooding

The river Avon flows through the centre of the city, and your Bristol Conveyancing Solicitor will check that the property is not in area where flooding may have taken place in the past or where there is a high risk of flooding in the future.   Properties where there is a high risk of flooding can be difficult or impossible to insure, which can have a substantial effect on their value and saleability.

Freehold rentcharges

These are one of the peculiarities of this area and there is a separate article on this web-site with more information.

Bristol airport

An aerodrome safeguarding zone restricts the height of buildings and structures within the vicinity of Bristol Airport, and limits certain types of development.   Although it is unlikely to worry house buyers in the area, your Property Lawyer should inform you of the existence of the zone in case it might affect future development.

Bristol City Council


Bristol City Council's area covers central Bristol and adjacent residential areas, extending to Avonmouth in the west and Bishopsworth in the south. Further information can be obtained from the Bristol Council website .

Bristol was traditionally in Gloucestershire, but areas to the south of the river Avon were formerly in the county of Somerset.   The area now covered by the city council was for some years within the county of Avon, but  although Avon as a county has now been abolished the name is still sometimes used in postal addresses.   Some residential areas with Bristol postcodes do not fall within the city council administrative area and are covered by neighbouring  authorities such as South Gloucestershire Council and Bath and North East Somerset (BANES).   Property Lawyers in Bristol will know the correct authority to obtain search information from.

If you are looking for a Quote for Conveyancing in Bristol - make sure the firm is familiar with the area.
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