Conveyancing and Property Law

Home / Conveyancing and Property Law

Stamp duty on second homes is set to rise on 1 April 2016. The increase was announced by the government last year and will be a surcharge of 3% of stamp duty land tax on purchases of additional homes. The measure is aimed at curbing the rapid growth of private landlord buy-to-lets, but it affects all second-homes purchasers. People buying a second home will have to pay the 3% stamp duty surcharge in addition to the stamp duty ordinarily payable, even if...

From April 2015 some of the biggest changes we have seen to the pension system have come into force. These changes are making it possible for people to take pension benefits from personal pensions without having to buy an annuity. Put simply, people will be able to withdraw what they like from their personal pension. Commentators are expecting many investors to be tempted to look into the buy-to-let property sector. Property solicitor, Katy Kernahan, explains why: Investor interest appears to be on the...

Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) is a system whereby Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s) have their deposit protected. Deposits are required to be registered by the landlord with a relevant scheme within 30 days from the date of receipt. Furthermore, it is a requirement that prescribed information must be given to the tenant within that same time period. Failure to register the deposit or give the prescribed information can result in the following sanctions: A court order that the deposit is returned or...

Property lawyer, Terese Kingman, examines the concept of Title Indemnity Insurance and explains when it might be required in a Conveyancing transaction. You may find when you are buying a property that your lawyer advises that there is a defect on the title of the property. This is something which might prevent you from being in a position to use or enjoy the property to its full potential, for example, there may have been building works carried out but the seller...

Impending tax and benefit changes will require residential landlords to adopt a change of approach to their property lets. Slee Blackwell’s Terese Kingman and Iain Robinson review the new rules, their effect, and possible solutions for landlords. Landlords who let to benefit-dependent tenants need to be aware that Universal credit will soon start to replace a number of benefits, including housing benefit. Importantly, the housing component of this will not be as generous as housing benefit has been and it will...

Does a Landlord have a remedy against an Insolvent Tenant Insolvency is becoming more common. Official figures indicate that personal insolvencies - bankruptcy orders, debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangements - rose from approximately 8,000 in 2002 to approximately 35,000 in 2010. A bankrupt person’s assets are controlled by a trustee in bankruptcy. As a result, the bankrupt may be unable to sell his assets or access his bank accounts. Instead, the trustee settles the debts and liabilities of the bankrupt...

Conveyancer, Terese Kingman, looks at a new energy efficiency initiative for residential property The Government’s new initiative to encourage homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes was introduced in January this year. The idea is that Green Deal home improvements will help reduce the average homeowner’s heating bill. The improvements include: Replacement windows Draught proofing gaps around windows, doors, pipework Loft insulation, as heat rises and could escape through the loft Replacing an old boiler External and internal wall insulation ...

Property Solicitor, John Pearn examines the legal issues of entering into a solar panel lease It’s increasingly common for homeowners to lease part of their roof to an energy company who installs solar panels. However, there are a few legal points that a prudent homeowner should consider before going ahead. Owners often overlook the fact that they need the consent of their lender if they are to enter into such a solar power lease. Before consent is granted lenders will need to...

Property Lawyer, Terese Kingman looks at the remedies available to a lender if a borrower defaults on mortgage repayments. There are various remedies available to a mortgagee, or lender, if a mortgagor, or borrower, defaults on mortgage repayments. The usual mortgage scenario involves the borrower making financial payments to the lender in respect of money advanced to purchase a home. The property itself is used as security for the borrowing. If a borrower defaults on paying the mortgage instalments the lender can sue...

Squatting in a residential building as a long-term trespasser became a criminal offence as of 1 September 2012. How might this affect you? The displaced homeowner Before, squatters might take up occupation in your house when you were on holiday or in hospital. This was uncommon, but distressing. Bold squatters might assert ‘squatters’ rights’ and uncertain homeowners would at the very least have to swear an oath as to their position before bailiffs could be called in. Now such an act would...