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Transfer of Equity

A transfer of equity occurs when a property owner wishes to change the legal ownership of the property. Reasons include marriage, divorce and tax planning.

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Homeward Legal's panel of solicitors carry out remortgage conveyancing for UK clients every week.

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The Conveyancing
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Conveyancing in your area Q & A's

Profile photo of Lorraine Imhoff

By Lorraine Imhoff

Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 28/08/16

Successful conveyancing is as much about having a rounded understanding of the practicalities involved in buying and selling a property as it is about a thorough command of the legal process.

Below we feature some recent common questions asked by home movers.

Q.

We need a discount conveyancing quote. How do I get a quote?

A.

The lack of clarity surrounding this point catches out many buyers, and can leave them paying far more in conveyancing fees than they budgeted. Many firms promote 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes'. Unfortunately additional costs are often hiding in small print. Any costs needs to be fair and only come into force where your lawyer must perform additional tasks for you, which could not be anticipated at the start of the process. Get a quote using the Homeward Legal quote calculator for the property you are buying.

Q.

Would getting a house survey be advisable if we are purchasing a property?

A.

It is firmly advised that all purchasers in the UK book an inspection. There are a range of defects that can affect a property. These can include cracked roof tiles. These will not be reported on by a solicitor.

Q.

How do I hold off paying SDLT?

A.

Homeward Legal do not recommend any form of stamp duty reduction scheme, as such schemes are often uneconomical and can be very unlikely to succeed. There have been a number of official schemes, such as for first-time buyers.

Q.

How can I find out what local authority my new home is in?

A.

During the course of the conveyancing transaction your solicitor will make a number of enquiries of the local authority. These enquiries are known as 'searches' and their findings will be reported back to you in the 'Report on Title'. Prior to submitting searches your solicitor will identify the correct local authority.

You may wish to identify the relevant authority in advance however, as it will have a bearing on things like council tax, local services and so on. Visit the Government website https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council which can identify the relevant authority from a postcode.

Q.

Which environmental factors will affect land in the UK. Are they an issue?

A.

Many of contaminants can impact residential property in the UK. Contaminants including proposed erection of mobile masts will be considered as part of the environmental searches.

Q.

What are conveyancing searches in relation to?

A.

Conveyancing searches are a commonly-used bundle of queries carried out for the buyer. Buyers should be aware that, searches cover solely legal-related matters.

Q.

I am buying a property in a disadvantaged area. Can I still claim Stamp Duty Relief?

A.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Relief was available for buyers of residential and mixed use residential property between 1st January 2010 and 5th April 2013 on property being sold for less than or equal to £150k Sadly the government abolished SDLT relied on 5/04 13 and there are currently no plans to reintroduce it. For more information see the HMRC website Update: As of the 2013/14 tax year, stamp duty relief for disadvantaged areas is no longer available.

Q.

The owner looks to have fitted cladding on the property in the UK which might possibly infringe local conservation area criteria

A.

Your instructed conveyancing solicitor to check if the property is located within a conservation area, and if so, whether any alterations have appropriate consents from the local authority.

In the absence of any consents, your solicitor will advise you of the alternatives which include getting retrospective permission from the planning authority or indemnity insurance.

Q.

What length of time may should I allow for the legal work when selling a residential property in England?

A.

For most residential property, the number of weeks required to sell or purchase a residence can vary. This is according to a number of issues affecting the property which may include cases where a property has a mortgage. Our conveyancers ensure your sale, purchase or remortgage receives communicative and proactive service, resulting in the fastest possible outcome.

Q.

May the charges for my conveyancing conceal any hidden fees?

A.

No. Homeward Legal's solicitors never hide any hidden extra fees. You should be aware that some solicitors do not give accurate quotes, only estimates. The final bill you receive may be much more.

Q.

When should I book the removal company?

A.

Many people are tempted to leave this until the last minute for the understandable reason that they may not be absolutely sure of their completion date. They may even be 'jittery' about whether completion is going to happen at all. As some removals companies charge a non refundable deposit or cancellation fee, home movers are often tempted to leave this to the last minute.

However, movers can end up in with difficulties finding an available removals company at the last minute and may end up spending more money due to having less choice.

Best advice is to identify a company early, negotiate a best price and ensure that there is no cancellation fee or, at the very least, this fee is not applicable with reasonable cancellation notice.

Q.

What is gazumping?

A.

Gazumping occurs when a property seller acknowledges an offer, then dismisses it, choosing instead a greater offer.

Though being gazumped is uncommon when property prices are falling, there is still a chance. Instructing a law firm early should help to mitigate this risk.

'Gazundering' is effectively the opposite of Gazumping and is not uncommon in the market once again. Gazundering is when a buyer reduces their offer at the contract negotiation phase usually during the conveyancing process

 

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