Monthly Archives: August 2016

Law Society Solicitor

The Law Society Solicitor for Home Conveyancing

When selling or buying a house, the process is long and sometimes tricky, with all the steps to be followed, the solicitor and all the papers to be taken care of. The best way to go through this situation is to hire either a solicitor or a conveyancer. With so much information about you, how can you be sure you chose the right one. A solicitor is a confidential adviser who provides varied type of legal services, from selling a house to representing clients in the court. Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society, they have high quality and service standards. It usually costs more to work with a Law Society solicitor, but it might pay better forward. The route to being a solicitor requires an extensive time of academic studies and training before qualification.

Earning Law Society Solicitor accreditation

As a non-graduate, they can apply at the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), which is the governing body for chartered legal executives and then complete the Legal Practice Course. The LPC is necessary because it will prepare for the practical parts of the job. The recognised training is usually as long as two years, and they must work as a trainee in a solicitor firm, to gain experience and knowledge.

As graduates, they must go through the LPC and the recognised training period. The Professional Skills Course is mandatory for both non-graduates and graduates and requires completion during the training time. The SRA offers a list of institutions, where they can choose the proper law degree, according to their future plans.

As you can see, there’s a lot of work involved in becoming a solicitor and even more, to become a Law Society solicitor. The extensive, comprehensive legal knowledge sets the Law Society solicitor as a preferred option: while the Licensed Conveyancer is trained for a particular part of the law, the solicitor will have a wider perspective on a legal situation.

Benefits of getting Law Society Solicitor

The Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme sets the standards in quality when it comes to conveyancing. Since its beginnings, all the firms part of the CQS are accurately examined and tested, following knowledge, skills, experience and practice, to be sure they can provide the best service. The Law Society solicitors are rigorously checked, so you do not have to worry about not getting the best support there is.

When you choose a CQS accredited solicitor, you are reassured to receive high-quality services, from a knowledgeable staff, who can offer legal advice, with all the costs upfront. Even lenders like HSBC, Santander, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank added the firms on their panel.

Even though the Law Society does not offer any legal advice on their website you can look for a regulated Law Society solicitor for free.

selling shared ownership

Guide to selling shared ownership

In case you want to make a move from your shared ownership to an entirely new house, you will want to sell your shared ownership property. This may be the tricky affair as you do not own the whole property and are selling just the portion that you had fully paid. Keeping in mind that you maybe had made some serious steps regarding paying for the rented part of the house also. So how does one go about selling shared ownership property?

The Steps of selling shared ownership

To sell your home, you will first need a valuation of the piece of property. Under a shared ownership scheme, this might be a bit challenging, and you will need the services of a professional surveyor. Your housing provider will make recommendations on the surveyor to choose. Most of the times it is prudent to select from the list of surveyors that the provider offers. The cost of the whole process will be forwarded to you before it starts. The surveyor will visit your home and do a complete survey of the entire home. He/she will then set a price for the part of the property you own that will then go to the housing provider.

There are instances however when the seller will disagree with the valuation. If you think that the property has been underpriced or overpriced, you can forward your concerns to your housing provider who will then challenge the surveyor by providing three similar properties.

After the evaluation completes, you will have to fill out a contract of sale. Into you will need to include details of your solicitor or conveyancer that will be acting on your behalf. If you bought the property with someone else you will also have to incorporate them in the contract.

An Energy Performance Certificate is then needed, this you can get from an Energy Performance Certificate provider. It is a compulsory statement that shows the energy efficiency of the home and any recommendations on how to improve the home’s energy efficiency. Within the first 28 days of listing your property, the EPC must be ready.

The details of the property will be listed on the housing provider’s website during which potential buyers can view the details and contact you. The housing provider will then nominate a suitable buyer and at that point you can sell.

Buying shared ownership

The buyer, however, has to go through the regular process of purchasing the house. They have to be approved financially by the housing provider and after that, the housing provider will send their details to your solicitor. The buyer will have 12 weeks to complete the purchase of the property; he will agree with your solicitor or conveyancer on the completion date. Moreover, this is how selling shared ownership property goes. It is not straightforward as selling a freehold property, but it should not be too complicated with the help of an experienced conveyancer.

comparing online quotes

How do I choose my conveyance firm, when comparing online quotes?

One of the most important aspects of conveyancing is finding a moderately priced company, which offers cheap conveyancing quotes.  In a big city as London, this might be a bit more difficult, considering the number of firms and the different offers they advertise. This is why we recommend comparing online quotes before you make your decision.

What you want is a website that will do the job for you: compare all the quotes, so you can choose the firm that best suits you and make your job easier and worry-free. You can ask your real estate agent or financial adviser, but if they are usually working with a certain solicitor or a specific conveyancing firm, it can mean that they get a share of the commission, which makes that particular choice better for them and not for you.

Because the quote quality is different in any single case. Based on the area, your status (freehold owner, shared property owner), the household status (freehold or leasehold) and the house’s value. We have put together a list of well-known conveyancing websites and firms for you to find the cheapest option. This will make comparing online quotes slightly easier for you.

  • The Homeowners Alliance (http://hoa.org.uk/services/homeowners-alliance-conveyancing/) offers free, individual tips and advice, a forum where you can discuss with other homeowners that might have been in your situation and can help you with new, practical information. The tools they are using will help you check the house price, find a tradesman and compare conveyancing quotes. No hidden fees, a panel of more than 150 regulated conveyancing firms, multilingual support, dedicated guide through the process and even more, the quote will follow a 3-items comparison: best price, customer rating and location. If you are a member, you can also get discounts.
  • Compare and Convey (http://www.compareandconvey.co.uk/) gives you the opportunity to deal with a solicitor, without visiting his office. They have negotiated discounted prices when using their online service, meaning that if you choose to go directly to the same solicitor, you will pay more. Moreover, if the sale, purchase and or re-mortgage does not go through, you will not pay any fees. The contracts the solicitors signed with the firm obliges them to offer high standard services and transparency at all times. It is not free but does offer the guarantee of a well-done
  • HenryHyams Solicitors in Leeds (http://www.henryhyams.com/) is one of the cheapest conveyancing firms on the market. They started with a small office in 1930 and managed to expand into a stable business that won the Yorkshire Legal Awards in 2015. You can contact them on their website and from then on, a solicitor will carefully watch your case, to be sure you are on the fastest and easiest way from A to B.
  • When You Move (https://www.whenyoumove.com) With an app for the customer to be in constant contact with the firm and an online chat service, this firm seems to make its way on England’s property market, after acquiring MovingAhead. You can check the progress of the move at any time. They are accredited by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, and they have “no move, no fee” rule.
  • Meaby & Co (http://www.meaby.co.uk/) is authorised and regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, and they offer a range of services, from conveyancing to banking disputes. All the fees will be broken down in advance, so you will know exactly what the costs will be. You can contact them by phone or face to face, whatever suits you best.
  • Wilkins Solicitors (http://www.wilkinssolicitors.co.uk/) This independent firm does not work with any Estate Agents, so no hidden fees on your bill. They give you a prior offer, with particular mentions that might raise the cost until the end of the process. Once you pick a solicitor, you will work only with him, which makes the situations easier, having someone on your side who knows all the details.

Most of them offer similar services such as sale & purchase, sale only, purchases only, re-mortgage or transfer of equity. With a bit of research after comparing online quotes, you can find which conveyancing firm suits your budgets and need.

Conveyance Taxes: What Should You Know?

The transfer of property from one party to another can be a rather lengthy and complicated process. Perhaps the most daunting tasks during the transaction are the conveyance that includes with it a lot of taxes. Different countries around the world have their own system of taxing real estate when it is transferred but no matter the country tax is usually included in any real estate transaction. Similarly in the UK, the conveyance taxes depend on a range of things like property price, and or different local rates.

Conveyance Taxes in Brief:

Also called estate transfer tax, conveyance tax is the tax charged on the transfer of property at any level be it county, state or municipal. It is usually calculated as part of the sales price. The higher the transaction, the larger the amount of tax one has to pay such that if a piece of property is sold at a very low cost or if is even free as in the case of family members then there will be little to zero tax imposed.

The conveyance tax as stated earlier is imposed differently depending on a variety of factors. It may, for instance, rely on the type of property that has been or is being transferred. The different types of property are residential, unimproved land or nonresidential land. It may also vary from one region to another in one country. For instance, there are some areas in the UK where the conveyance tax rate is flat. In others, the conveyance tax is even non-existential at the federal level and only imposed at the local level.

The primary factor, however, is the value of the property. Transactions that reach the millions of pounds range may most definitely taxed much more than say one trying to buy or sell a home that is worth only a few thousands. However, the percentage of tax is still a factor that varies.

Now the conveyance process goes through some processes and in some of them you will be required to pay tax. You will, for instance, be necessary to pay the land registry tax when registering your property once it has been acquired.

Conveyance Tax and Conveyancing

Some conveyance firms may prefer just to aggregate the total tax from each process and present you with a comprehensive statement so as to make it easier for you to pay. When you start the transaction, it is important that you consult with your conveyancer. So as to get a clear picture of the amount of tax you will have to pay during the transaction.

Property Law Solicitors

How Property Law Solicitors can save conveyancing troubles

Transfer of property or conveyancing is the necessary process to own a house. It does not matter that you want to go for freehold or the leasehold properties, but the conveyancing is mandatory in the United Kingdom. This is the process to complete all the legal formalities to transfer the property from the seller to owner. However, during the course, there can be legal complexities and to deal with that Property Law Solicitors are required. The role of property law solicitors come after the conveyancing process runs into trouble for legal complications.

Legal Complexities before the conveyancing

The legal complexities during the conveyancing can start during the conveyancing and after the conveyancing process as well. The Property Law Solicitors are helpful in both the situations. As a seller, if you face issues like rent recovery, deposit disputes, claims of disrepair, service recovery and others then the solicitors can solve the problems with various approaches so that you can go for the conveyancing process. There can be different solutions like arbitration, litigation, negotiation and even settlement before the solicitors work for the dispute at the court. Tenancy occupancy and illegal occupancy are also under the restrictions of the property law. The legal complexities before the conveyancing involve the seller rather the buyer.

Legal Complexities during the conveyancing

There can be different legal obstructions during the conveyancing process. The title of the property is the most common reason for the dispute, and the property law solicitor needs enough experience to handle the situation. The title of the property is the name of the owner of the property. However, sometimes, it may not be in the name of the seller, and that can be real challenging. There can be a dispute regarding the same if it does not settle. There can be legal allegations for unlawful occupancy of the present owner of the property, and the concerned authorities may raise many questions about the planning of the house, environmental compliances, and others if these are not well executed. A conveyancing solicitor may not be able to handle all the situation that involve the Housing Act or the other property laws. A dedicated property law solicitor is capable of understanding and solving the various legal issues during and after the conveyancing period as well.

Why Property Law Solicitors are required?

There are various reasons for such solicitors. The first and foremost thing is the knowledge of the property laws. There are many conditions where the property gets into legal trouble. The conveyancing solicitors do not have the right exposure to handling the legal aspects of the property dispute. The dedicated property law solicitors, however, can be highly efficient to manage the conflict. Property dispute is much greater than the conveyancing process, and thus the significance of the property law solicitors is high.

countrywide conveyancing services

Countrywide Conveyancing Services all over the UK

Conveyancing is an important service all over the UK. Many people when buying or selling a home know how hard it is to get your legal work done. You need specialists who will ensure that all your legal documents are in order also checking the details of the transaction against the existing laws. It is thus imperative that one has the very best professionals working on their transaction as many mistakes done on the legalities of a deal might result in grave consequences for both the client and the conveyancer or the solicitor.

For companies or individuals who have a variety of property or prospective property in various places all over the country, you will need a conveyancer who operates all over the country. There is an option of choosing conveyancers who specify in a region or an area but the cost, the effort and the time you need will be long. You will have to search for a conveyancer in each region determining whether they are fit for you and after that, there is always the fees which vary from one service provider to the other and even from one area to the other.

It is, therefore, more prudent to choose a firm that operates all over the country as they have more resources to handle the transactions and will save you the logistical nightmare. The cost will also be lower since many of them might offer discounts when it comes to major deals. Firms operating countrywide will also come in handy to those who are planning to move from one area to another in the country. Dealing with them will be much easier, and they will have a better chance of finding a home that suits you.

Now many service providers are operating countrywide but as in any industry there are those that have built for themselves a reputation of excellence service, these are the ones that top the list.

  1. Countrywide Conveyancing Services

This is one of the leading transactional service providers in the country with offices in all the major cities. They pride themselves in hiring only the best conveyancers in the industry and thus offers have become known as the “the most successful property lawyer firm in the UK.” Their services range from sales and purchase to re-mortgage. Their statistics are also very impressive with over 60,000 to 100,000 completions every year.

  1. NBM Law

NBM has been one of the leading countrywide conveyancing services in the UK. Operating through many branches in many leading cities of the country. You can find them offering online and offline conveyancing service. They are often referred as the most cost-effective conveyancing service in the country.

Available for contact through their site, phone and email you can get quotes through a medium of your choice. And their online case tracking system makes it easier to check the progress from anywhere.

  1. Latimer Lee

Latimer Lee has been in the industry for over 75 years and boasts of providing one of the best customer experience. Their staff is very professional, and their fees are also very pocket-friendly to the everyday customer. They as well have countrywide conveyancing services.

  1. Bird and Co Solicitors

Based in Oxford, this firm boasts of having a friendly approach to customer service. Their lawyers are trained to be easily sociable and will make you feel comfortable. This quality has enabled them to gain quite a following all over the country.

House Purchase Fees

House Purchase Fees – What you need to know

It is time to buy a new home, and you have chosen the city of Kent in South England. However, do you know all the house purchase fees when getting a home?

Buying a property is such a great moment in life; the whole process of purchasing can be very exciting. From choosing the right neighbourhood until the completion when you are exchange keys and being ready to move in.

However, before getting to the best part, which is receiving the keys, you need to overcome many obstacles on the way. In other words, just because you have the amount of money asked for the house, doesn’t mean it is a complete and done deal for you. Some fees and costs need to be paid to finalise the process of buying a property. Be sure to you have saved enough money to afford not only the house or mortgage but also the upfront costs of the purchase of your new home.

The Major Purchase Fees

Firstly, let’s talk about the major costs. The first one you should have in mind is the deposit; it will likely require a minimum of five to twenty percent of the purchase price of the house. Then there’s the stamp duty, which is a government tax you need to pay when you are buying a house that costs over £125,001. A valuation fee is another cost to keep in mind; the costs of this fee will vary from £150 to £1,500. The mortgage lender will establish the cost based on the value of the property.

Another purchasing fee you likely to be facing is the surveyor’s fee, this could cost you from £250, and it can go up to £600 or even more. The surveyor’s fee is an important service where you get the house checked out before buying it. It will clarify if there are any issues with the house. Moreover, there is some legal work when selling and buying a house that only solicitors can conduct, and for that reason, you will likely be facing some legal fees, those could go from £250 to £300, but depending on the area it could be more. Together with the legal fees, there is also the VAT, and with those taxes included you could be facings from £500 to £1,500.

The buyer typically needs to cover the lender’s cost of transferring the money; this is known as the electronic transfer fee, and usually costs from £40 to £50. There’s also the removal cost; although it is something you could probably do by yourself, most people have the solicitors doing it for them. The replacement cost is around £300 to £600.

Conclusion

Keep in mind other expenses are not as significant as the above, but you are likely to find them in the buying process. Mortgage fees, for example, may include the booking fee which is £99 to £250, arrangement fee that could go up to £2,000 and also the mortgage valuation fee, usually £150 but maybe more. There are some other ongoing costs, things that might only appear during the process of buying a house.

Buying a property is the realisation of a dream, and for that reason, it must be well thought. Having all the costs and fees figured out will help you not to be facing major issues such as paying more than expected or even having to give up on the dream.

Shared Ownership Properties

Shared Ownership Properties

Shared ownership of a property happens when you cannot afford to buy a house outright. With a shared ownership you can purchase a share of the home and then rent the rest. Usually, you buy a shared ownership properties through a housing association.

How to become eligible for Shared Ownership Properties?

According to the UK government, you are eligible to obtain a shared ownership property when your household earns £80,000 a year or less; if you live in London, that amount goes up to £90,000. You also need to be a first-time buyer, or perhaps you used to own a house, but cannot afford to purchase another one right now. If eligible, you can buy a share of 25% to 75% of the property. You can use a deposit and a mortgage to complete the transaction.

If you are over 55 years of age, you can buy up to 75% of property by using the Older People’s Shared Ownership (OPSO). The good part about owning 75% or more of the property is that you will not need to pay rent on the rest. Physically challenged people also have the opportunity of owning up to 25% of the property by applying for the HOLD (home ownership for people with a long-term disability) scheme, when you need a ground-floor property, for example. Alternatively, up to 75% of the house by applying for the General Shared Ownership scheme.

Understanding Shared Ownership Properties

After becoming the owner, you can buy more shares of the house through a process called ‘staircasing.’ The costs of the purchase of a new share can vary based on the home market. You are likely to pay more than the first share if the prices of properties have gone up in your area or pay less than the first share when the home’s prices haven fallen. Supposing you want to sell your shares of the house, the rights to buy it first are with the housing association; they also have the rights of finding somebody to purchase your property.

Understand that shared ownership houses are always leasehold properties, which means you own the lease on the house for a fixed period. You might need to pay monthly for a service charge for the property as well.

Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages of shared ownerships. Buying additional shares as time goes on is a good thing or the fact that it is likely to be cheaper than renting. A downside to the purchase of a shared ownership is the fact that you have to buy where you find a housing association, and that might not always be your preferred location. Also if the property value increases you might not going to be able to staircase quickly as the shares will become more expensive.

There is no obligation or need to engage a solicitor to your purchase of a shared ownership property. However, they are professionals who can help you out with the purchasing, selling or even with the staircasing. It might be helpful to you using a specialist who knows more about all the legal work that needs enables you to get a shared ownership property.

Shared ownership properties gives people the chance of owning property, which is not an easy or cheap thing. The fact that is usually cheaper than renting is also a good point. Plus, you can end up buying the whole house while already living in it. Instead of just paying rent and trying to save for years to move to a house.

Free conveyancing advice

Where to get free conveyancing advice?

Conveyancing involves the transference of property between different people, and it proves to be a challenging and complicated process. You can obtain free conveyancing advice on property buying or selling with many free resources. But most of the time, expert knowledge and advice are crucial. Most people opt to undertake this process all by themselves, but there are some cases in which you do require the services of licensed conveyancers and conveyancing solicitors. These situations include when the property:

  • Does not appear in the records at the land registry.
  • Is not freehold
  • Involved are commercial properties and not a residential property
  • Owners are in the process of separating or a divorce.

 

How to get free conveyancing advice?

You can get free conveyancing by the following ways;

  1. Conveyancing books.
  2. Internet

CONVEYANCING BOOKS

You can purchase an excellent book that deals with the conveyancing industry and most importantly an updated version addressing your particular area of interest. This will give you some form of guidance in conveyancing, and it will greatly help you save on unnecessary costs you may have undergone. This does not mean though that the process will be free as there are some professional services that you need to pay for as only certain qualified people are accredited to do so.

INTERNET

With a countless number of websites dealing with conveyancing services, the internet can be one huge source of free advice and information. First, you can begin with searching for free information on the particular area of your interest through your favorite search engine. This will bring you tons of web pages and sites concerning what you asked for. It is important for you to ascertain that the source of your advice is reliable and won’t land you in any trouble once you commence the Conveyancing process.

Secondly, specific and numerous sites are user-interactive, and they have forums in which members and/or non-members can obtain free advice. All you need to do is go to the particular site, register as a member if it is a requirement to do so then you will be ready to ask your question. Once received, the professionals deal with the issue and who give you feedback immediately they get the suitable answer for your query.

Some free conveyancing advice you can collect

  • Some of the free advice you can manage to obtain from these sources include:
  • Fees and charges on conveyance. You get to know the different factors that influence the not so fixed conveyancing fee. Consider the quality of service before considering what price to go for. Among others, you need to be informed about stamp duty and land registry and search fee.
  • Get and compare the different conveyancing quotations that are available. The quote constitutes disbursements and basic fee chargeable in 3 different ways i.e. fixed, per hour or use of scale.
  • Apply for your preferred quote online. This can save on both costs and time, but its faceless nature makes some people feel less secure.
  • Advice on solo carried out conveyancing. You will get factors, pros and cons of this method after consideration of all the factors. If it seems suitable to proceed solo, then you can, but if the services of a professional are required, you need to get one.
Home Buying Schemes UK

How Home Buying Schemes can help you own a house

People often fall short of budget in the United Kingdom to buy homes. However, that is never the end of the road for them. There are many Home Buying Schemes from the Government that helps the people to buy home with distinct facilities. These are the facilities where a person can take advantage of and then buy different properties from within their limits. Various schemes run under different conditions, but the schemes are meant to facilitate the ability to own a home for everyone.

This helps people with difficulties to get the necessary budget in advance then continue the conveyancing process for moving to a new home.

Home Buying Schemes in the UK

Home Buying schemes are initiatives from the government. These are to enable to everyone who is struggling to own a house but with decent incomes or ability to pay for one in future. The schemes are available so that everyone can afford to own a house.

Equity Loan

This is the loan that is offered by the government to provide 20% of the amount to the home buyer. The remaining 5%, however, has to be arranged by the purchaser before securing the 75% mortgage deal from the financial institution. This is applicable for everyone provided the purchase amount of the house be under £600,000. This is an extension of the existing scheme which offered the same facilities for the first time buyers. However, the government has now extended it to everyone irrespective of earning cap and joint income criteria.

Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

This is one of the best home buying schemes from the government. The scheme allows people to secure a mortgage for the deposit of 5% amount only. However, the purchase price of the home has to be under the £600,000. This is applicable for both new built and existing homes and for the first time and existing homeowners.

Shared Ownership

This is a scheme that allows a person to buy a house whether new or existing in parts. The shared ownership can be very useful for individuals who have limited money. So, one can buy some portion of the house at first and then purchase the remaining slowly.

Rent to Buy

One can rent a newly built house to buy it slowly. This is also one of the most fruitful home buying schemes that help the buyers to take small steps purchase a house of their own.

Right to Buy

If a person stays at a flat or house in between 4 to 6 years, then he or she can buy the home at a discounted price. However, it has to be observed whether the person stayed ta the place for an extended time.

Armed Forces Home Ownership Schemes

This is a unique scheme for the people who have serviced the military for at least four years and a maximum of 6 years. Extra top up amount is made available on the mortgage under the scheme.

HOLD

Home Ownership for people with Long-term Disabilities or HOLD is particular for physically challenged people to buy a share in the properties by the government.

These Home buying schemes are helping many people to buy their houses in the United Kingdom. If you are struggling with the budget and amount, then these schemes can be hugely beneficial for you.