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Conveyancing In Guildford Q & A's

How can I buy the freehold of the building in which I’m purchasing a flat?

When you buy a leasehold flat (usually for a lease lasting a long time), it means that you don’t own the building or the land on which it is built. If you want to buy the freehold of the building (either yourself or with other flat-owners), you’ll need to meet a few legal criteria before that can happen (such as the number of flats, the purpose to which the majority of the building is put to, and the number of flat-owners willing to by the freehold).

One additional point to note is that the shorter the lease on any flat, the greater the price of the freehold is likely to be.

You should talk to other residents about your plan as well as finding out how much the freehold will be and getting a professional valuation. Once you are in a position to move ahead, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor to manage the legal aspect of the planned purchase.

Homeward Legal's solicitors are well-versed in dealing with all types of freehold and leasehold purchases. So call us now on 0800 038 6699 and we'll guide you through the process and assign you to one of the best solicitors.

What specific things do I need to look out for if I’m buying a house on the coast?

With worsening weather and floods now becoming increasingly commonplace, with the media remarking on it in depth, buying a property that has a likelihood of flooding is a difficult decision to make. Not only is there the issue of cleaning up if it does flood, but insurance premiums will be much higher (and perhaps even prohibitive).

For homes in coastal areas, there is also the problem of coastal erosion, where some properties have been seen to literally fall into the sea.

However, the good news is that picking a home in a coastal region doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be subject to flooding or that it’s eventually going to slip into the sea. The searches ordered by your conveyancing solicitor will identify the level of risk associated with the property and, based on this, your solicitor may recommend that you take out specialist reports (e.g. from Landmark or other organisations) to get a more in-depth description of the risks and options. These are in addition to the standard set and will be charged to you as a disbursement at cost.

Your surveyor will also be able to identify evidence of previous floods and other problems during their inspection and provide advice in their report. If the problems are considered sufficiently severe, the surveyor may also note the specifics for further investigation by your conveyancing solicitor.

What can a Guildford property lawyer do when the home we hope to purchase is inside a local authority conservation area and has inappropriate dormer windows added?

The property solicitor will ascertain whether the property is affected by a designated conservation area and whether any alterations have essential consents. If no local authority consents be available, your solicitor will advise you of the options which can include obtaining an indemnity insurance policy or obtaining retrospective consent from Guildford council.

Environmental searches are based on archived records and when you consider recent weather changes for example the extensive flooding in the UK in April 2012, are they sufficient to check enough about the local Guildford flood risk?

Conveyancing searches carried out by your Guildford conveyancing solicitor should include a more specialist search (Landmark) if it is felt necessary.

If you remain concerned try to speak to a local resident.

We are buying in Guildford on a new development former industrial site. Is the soil potentially contaminated by waste minerals like iron (Fe)?

Given the history of industry and agriculture in parts of Guildford, top-soil contamination is inescapable. The local authority for Guildford will be able to provide more detail on cases of contamination.