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Transfer of Equity in London

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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Remortgage Solicitors London

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

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The Conveyancing
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Conveyancing in London Q & A's

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Updated: 14/10/16

Conveyancing and the London Property Market

At the time of writing (29/05/13), the London property market is continuing to buck the national trend with continued growth in asking prices.

The average price of a house in the capital is reckoned to be over £500,000. Camden, Westminster and Kensington, three of London’s largest Burroughs, have seen increases to the point where an average house will cost in excess of £1m.

As a result, property journalists continue to speculate bout a bubble set to burst, this being a standard headline month in month out for about 10 years. It may well be that a degree of artificiality underpins the market (as a whole) with the government backing lending to the tune of £130bn and along with other schemes such as ‘Help to Buy’.

However, being based in London and having years of intimate knowledge of the market, Homeward Legal’s ears are very close to the ground.

What is clear is that demand massively outstrips supply and current economic turmoil seems to be exacerbating this disparity.

The situation might change rapidly of course, but with over 500 London clients buying a month through Homeward Legal, we can (anecdotally) report continued home buyer bullishness.

Homeward Legal has a national focus with offices throughout the UK. Despite this we frequently advise clients that it is not necessary to visit your solicitor’s offices as the conveyancing process can usually be completed by phone post and email.

The one exception to that is London as the pace of the market and the peculiarities with dealing with local authorities, managing agents and high concentration of leasehold should necessitate choosing a lawyer with local knowledge.  Solicitors based outside London tend not to have enough exposure to the London Market to offer the best and most pragmatic advice.

With our headquarters based in London, Homeward Legal attracts a disproportionate number of London based clients. As a result we have an excellent working knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of buying and selling in London such as leasehold and short leases.


How do we find the cheapest London conveyancing quote?


Both high-street and online solicitors offer theoretically 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes'. However extra fees will be included in the small print. Third party costs, termed disbursements, to be paid ought to be defined on the quote Any costs listed in terms and conditions should be fair and reasonable. Homeward Legal quotes offer a clear statement of your legal fees for a standard conveyancing transaction.


Why does conveyancing often taken so long?


The legal work needed to sell or purchase a home can be complex, and be drawn out and delayed for many reasons. Homeward Legal aim to reduce the effect of any delays by proactively pushing all parties involved to move faster, wherever possible. There are numerous reasons for delay, such as difficulties with mortgage finance, delays in the receipt of managing agent information, or slow responses to specific additional enquiries.


If I am intending to buy just outside central London, should we order a chancel search?


Whichever London parish in which you are purchasing, a conveyancer should recommend a chancel search and if necessary a suitable indemnity policy. Although some Parochial Church Councils have taken the decision to impose chancel repairs on new owners of affected property, a conveyancing solicitor cannot verify that a parish in which lay rectors have not been expected to pay chancel repair dues recently, may not be the case for new owners.

However all parishes are required to have formally notified the Land Registry by October 2013 of any chancel repair liability associated with properties in the parish. This will mean that your property lawyer will be able to identify any liability after reviewing the title documents, and can advise you accordingly.


I need to exchange contracts on the conveyancing process on a leasehold flat within 6 weeks - are you fast solicitors in London ?


We believe that our proactive CQS solicitors always take a highly active method to fulfilling the conveyancing work for clients We only allocate you to firm who attempt to communicate through the whole of the buyer and seller property chain . In addition Homeward Legals property lawyers are chosen because they implement speed focused land registry integrated and technology systems to complete on the property sale fast.


Should I get a Building Survey on a flat in London?


In a recent study commissioned by RICS, new homeowners were faced with bills for necessary and unexpected works for an average of nearly £6,000.

Given the cost of living in the Capital (not to mention issues such as the majority of North London being built on clay soil, which is prone to subsidence), one must assume this figure would be even higher in London.

Specifically your question is about a Building Survey, the RICS premium-level survey. You may find that this is not available for a flat as it requires the surveyor to access communal areas. However the HomeBuyer Report is suitable for flats.

Our advice would be to always get a survey, as it is a small price to pay for peace of mind.


Is experienced enough to move fast on residential property auction conveyancing in London?


The legal team are familiar with local and national auctions and regularly do the legal work for sellers at auction. Our specialist solicitors and conveyancers have in the past acted for countless bidders at national and local auctions that, amongst others, include Acuitus, Allsop (Commercial), Allsop (Residential), Auction House London, Award Property, Barnett Ross, Baxtons, Brendons Auctioneers, Countrywide Property Auctions and Drivers Norris.

Prudent buyers at auction always choose their chosen lawyer as ahead of time as possible for a thorough review of the auction legal pack well in advance of the day of the auction.

Immediately following the auction day itself your now prepared lawyer is thoroughly able to concentrate on briskly concluding the transaction in the limited time as usually required .


We are buying a property where the seller appears to have installed unsuitable window frames which I think might breach Birkby (Westminster) conservation area rules. Will the conveyancing process look into this?


Yes. The solicitor should identify if your new home is indeed within a designated conservation area, and if so, whether any modifications (such as unsympathetic window frames, including PVC) have the necessary appropriate consents from the relevant local authority, in this case Westminster council.


Are costs for obtaining copies of planning permission fees or disbursements?


If the solicitor has to spend time chasing and obtaining planning information, this may be charged as a fee. Some local authorities will charge for the supply of specific planning documents and these will be passed on at cost - i.e. as disbursements.

Fees and disbursements should be identified on your conveyancing quote, with no additional charges of any kind in the small print. Homeward legal always include all fees and known disbursements in the London Conveyancing Quote. Any unforeseen disbursements will be brought to your attention as soon as they become known.