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Conveyancing in North London Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 22/10/17

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in North London -

By road: North London is served by several major roads, including the M1, M4, M25, A1(M), A4, A10, A12, A13 and A406. By rail: As the largest city in the country, North London has a number of rail hubs, including: Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, King’s Cross, St. Pancras International, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross, Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Stratford International, and Victoria. By air: There are several local and international airports accessible from North London, including: Elstree Aerodrome (9 miles from Finchley), Northolt Jet Centre and London Heliport (both 12 miles), London Heathrow Airport (18), London City Airport (20), London Luton Airport (27), London Stansted Airport (36), TAG London Farnborough Airport (41), and London Biggin Hill Airport (54 miles).

Hospitals (selection): North Middlesex University, Sterling Way, London, N18 1QX The Priory Hospital North London, Grovelands House, The Bourne, London, N14 6RA Central and Northwest London, 7A Woodfield Road, London. W9 2NW The Wellington, 8A Wellington Place, St. John’s Wood, London, NW8 9LE University College London, 235 Euston Road, Fitzrovia, London, NW1 2BU Royal London, Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel, London, E1 1BB

Council: London Councils (www.londoncouncils.gov.uk).

Attractions: London Eye, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament, London Dungeon, British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, London Zoo, Globe Theatre, Churchill War Rooms, The South Bank, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Hyde Park.

Q.

Will the conveyancing costs for the sale of our flat in Islington include additional fees not readily apparent in your quote?

No. Homeward Legal's quotes never have anything hidden. A lot of other firms, though, tend to place the disbursement costs within the text buried in the small print of the terms of engagement. The final legal bill you receive therefore may be surprisingly inflated. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to obtain a fixed-fee quote, backed up with our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

We really need to cut our moving costs, and we’ve heard of a couple of schemes allowing us to avoid paying stamp duty on our Finchley house. But how do we go about it?

The simple answer, and one that Homeward Legal strongly recommends, is not to get involved with any stamp-duty-avoidance schemes, because they are very risky and uneconomical. Up to six years after your move, the scheme can be investigated and, if it fails, you will be liable for a penalty potentially running into thousands of pounds. Your solicitor will be aware of any authorised schemes that the government occasionally runs, and whether you are eligible for any that are currently in operation.

Q.

On average, how much time should be planned for the conveyancing for buying an apartment in North London?

The amount of time taken to transfer an apartment does unfortunately vary. The duration of the conveyancing is driven by several issues affecting the speed of the transaction (for example, situations where another party does not quickly respond an enquiry). Our solicitors at Homeward Legal ensure every sale receives communicative and proactive service, resulting in the fastest possible outcome.

Q.

Is contaminated land a concern for most homes in North London?

A range of contaminants may potentially impair residential property in North London, because of prior agricultural, waste management or industrial use. Contaminants such as landfill sites will be investigated during the conveyancing process, and detailed in your solicitor’s report.

Q.

Is a drainage search a fee or disbursement?

It’s not always obvious whether a charge is a disbursement or fee, particularly with the technical language used by different solicitors. A drainage search

charge is a disbursement and not a fee, and is passed on to the buyer at cost. Homeward Legal’s quotes make the distinction between solicitors’ fees and disbursements very clear, so you will be able to manage the legal expenditure during your move. Use our online quote calculator, or call us on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote reinforced with our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

Do we need a RICS-qualified surveyor to check for issues affecting the home purchase?

While there is no legal imperative for you to request a structural survey, Homeward Legal supports the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ advice that home-buyers book a surveyor when purchasing in North London. It is a fact that there are many defects that affect a property, that a solicitor will be unable to address, such as subsidence, evidence of damp, or cracks in walls.

Q.

I want to complete on the conveyancing process on my North London home inside two months, so are you very fast solicitors?

Homeward Legal’s conveyancing lawyers assume a take-charge approach to carrying out the transfer of title. We have invested in the very latest technology, fully integrated with HMRC and the Land Registry systems. And we always give you a CQS (Conveyancing Quality Scheme) lawyer incentivised to communicate with the whole buyer and seller chain (e.g. local authorities, estate agents, and mortgage lenders) to achieve a quick completion. Call our panel of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 or try our online quote calculator for a fixed-fee quote.

Q.

Why might purchase conveyancing legal work need such a long time?

A.

The legal work needed to sell or purchase a property can be delayed even where there is no chain. In some cases, the causes are out of a lawyer's control. Homeward Legal endeavour to curtail the impact of these delays by proactively handling all enquiries.

Q.

How will the North London lawyer advise us on the risk and history of possible flooding in North London for an Edwardian property we are intending to purchase?

A.

A qualified solicitor will conduct environmental searches that should include North London historical flood risk data.

Q.

Will your conveyancer in North London get any searches on the London forties mid terrace home I am purchasing

A.

If buying and obtaining a mortgage, your lender will expect at least a specified set of searches, including - Local Authority Search, Drainage Search and Environment Search,, and possibly specific local searches, which might include Chancel Check.

Q.

Do fixtures and fittings include things like the boiler?

A.

In the main, fixtures are fixed to walls, floors or ceilings and fixtures are easier to detach or remove. To avoid misunderstandings, a fixtures and fittings form should be agreed, stating what is included with the sale.

Q.

Are the many conservation areas in North London likely to affect us?

A.

Locales deemed to be of 'special architectural and historic interest', such as country house estates, will be designated as areas of conservation. The local authority will provide more details about local areas of conservation, and the lawyer handling your purchase will discuss the relevant responsibilities.

Q.

The owner has fitted ugly new windows to the maisonette in North London which we think might possibly break local conservation area criteria

A.

Your instructed lawyer will carry out searches identify if the property is affected by a designated conservation area, and if so, whether any alterations have requisite permission.Should no local authority consents be available, the solicitor will advise you of the best alternative which can include buying an indemnity policy or seeking retrospective approval.

Q.

How much time does be budgeted for conveyancing to buy an apartment generally need, on average?

A.

The amount of time taken to transfer a house does vary. This is based on several issues such as situations where another party does not quickly respond an enquiry. Our solicitors ensure every sale receives communicative and proactive service, resulting in the fastest possible outcome.