May 18

Whose land is it anyway?

Over 80% of England and Wales is registered with the Land Registry. The Register for each piece of land sets out who the legal owner is (who has ‘title’ to the piece of land), the extent of the land and any rights of third parties over the piece of land. The remaining 20% of England and Wales has never been registered, mainly because it has never been sold.

May 11

Collaborative law offers Chichester residents a no-court alternative

As family solicitors with offices in Chichester and Alton, we understand that couples facing separation and divorce in Hampshire and West Sussex may feel over whelmed and worried about the future. Collaborative law is a structured process that provides parties with an alternative to going to Court and deals with the issues that arise in a constructive and non-confrontational way.

March 25

How you own your property and does it really matter?

As a private client solicitor I often advise clients regarding estate planning and Wills. During our discussions I need to determine how they own their home to be able to properly advise them as to their options. What I find more often than not is that most of my clients do not know ‘how’ they own their property.

February 16

Conveyancing searches – what you need to know

As you may be aware, part of buying a property involves applying for several searches to be carried out on the property.

If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage then the searches are compulsory and will be applied for as soon as possible. If you are a cash buyer, it is entirely up to you whether you have all searches carried out, one search or none at all.

Even if you are a cash buyer, a prudent conveyancer will always recommend that you at least have a Local Authority Search carried out. The search provides the planning history of the property and any works that have been carried out under building regulations (for example, new windows, gas or electrical works). It will also confirm if the road is adopted by the Local Authority and whether the property is affected by any adverse matters such as an Enforcement Notice, Traffic Schemes, a Smoke Control Order or a Tree Preservation Order. The search also reveals if the property is affected by radon gas.

January 12

Stamp Duty Reforms – Slice not Slab!

In December 2014, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced overnight radical Stamp Duty Land Tax reforms. Under this new scheme it is anticipated that 98% of buyers will pay either the same or less than before. The change has effectively removed the ‘dead zones’ which occurred for properties just above each threshold and is intended to revive the housing market.

Previously, Stamp Duty was calculated on the entire purchase price and fell into different brackets. This caused vast problems for those with a property to sell worth around £260,000 as it meant that Buyers found themselves in the 3% band and liable for £7,800 or more in Stamp Duty. If buyers could negotiate the price to £250,000 then they would only be facing a £2,500 payment. And how do you add enough value to your house to make it worth people wanting to pay the extra tax?