When you are looking for a Conveyancing Solicitor in Manchester in connection with the purchase or sale of a house or flat, instructing an experienced Conveyancing Solicitor that has knowledge of local area is important.
As major city in the north-west of England, there are many residential areas in the Greater Manchester, with a wide variety of property types. Leasehold flats are now common, from modern flats in purpose-built blocks to flats in converted houses and old industrial buildings.
A Manchester Conveyancing Solicitor will be on the alert for the following points:
Local searches in Manchester
A local search will be made by your Conveyancing Solicitor with the local council. This will show planning consents that exist for the property – if built after 1947, the seller should be able to show that consent was obtained when it was built. Consents for extensions or alterations will also be recorded, your Conveyancing Solicitor will check information supplied by the seller to see if any works have been carried out for which consent has not been obtained.
These searches will also show if there are any plans for public works, such as a new road or widening of an existing road, which could affect the property.
Flats – your Solicitor should have Leasehold experience!
Flats can vary widely, from new properties in purpose-built developments, through conversions of older industrial or commercial buildings, to units in small blocks and converted houses. Whether buying or selling, ensure that your Conveyancing Solicitor has plenty of experience, as there are many pitfalls for a novice. Your Solicitor will ensure that the form of lease is satisfactory and acceptable to mortgage lenders, and advise you on any unusual provisions. He or she will make checks and enquiries about the management of the building and advise you about the service charges payable, and whether there have been any problems with the building owners.
Once known as “Cottonopolis”, Manchester was famous for its association with the development of the cotton industry, and the city was the centre of a large area of cotton mills and related industry. But like many such long-established cities, all sorts of other manufacturing and industrial activities were carried on in many parts of Manchester. Much of this has now ceased, or relocated to modern industrial estates, and former industrial areas have been redeveloped for housing. Previous industrial use of a site can still have adverse environmental implications, so when buying a property in Manchester your Conveyancing Solicitor will make an environmental search to find out if a building could be affected. In the case of recently built developments, appropriate remedial works should have been carried out following a geophysical site survey. Conveyancing Lawyers in Manchester will check that this has been done and advise if there are any issues.
Conservation areas and Listed Buildings in Manchester
There are several conservation areas in Manchester and the Greater Manchester area, as well as many listed buildings. These areas may include residential properties, so it is important to check whether a property is in such an area, or if a flat is in a converted listed building. A Conveyancing Solicitor will be able to verify this and advise accordingly. It is important to note that development of an affected property is substantially restricted, and consent will be required for many minor works which could elsewhere be carried out without approval being sought. Any property in a conservation area is affected, whether it is listed or not, so it is important that your Solicitor advises you if the property is in within these boundaries.
Your Solicitor will also check whether the seller or any previous owner has obtained appropriate consents if they have already carried out alterations or other works to the property.
Coal was once mined extensively in the Manchester region, but little evidence of past workings may now appear on the surface. 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 Manchester 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.
With a number of rivers and other watercourses in the area, your Manchester 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. Where a high risk is perceived, houses can be difficult or impossible to insure. This may have a substantial effect on their value and saleability.
Sometimes freehold houses in the Manchester area are subject to small annual payments known as rentcharges. These are one of the peculiarities of the area and I have written a separate article with more information on the topic.
If you are looking for a Quote for Conveyancing in Manchester, be certain that your Solicitor is familiar with the area. Local knowledge equates to a faster completion, and fewer issues in the future for your new home.