Category

Residential Property

Top tips for first-time buyers

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The number of first-time buyers is at its highest for ten years, accounting for 51 per cent of the market despite rising prices and record deposits according to the Halifax.  If you are thinking about taking that first step onto the property ladder, the legal aspects of ownership may be the last thing on your mind.  However, taking a little time to think about these issues will help make sure your hard-earned money goes as far as possible, Rosie Taylor…

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Ground rent – some important questions answered

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Taylor Wimpey’s recent decision to set aside £130 million pounds to settle ground rent disputes has attracted a lot of media attention. So too have stories about exploitative ground rent provisions which have resulted in some home owners becoming liable to pay thousands of pounds a year and who may face difficulty trying to sell their property. In this article Sarah Harris, residential property lawyer with MacDonald Oates LLP based in our Petersfield office, explains what ground rent is, why…

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Leasehold vs Freehold

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There are a number of differences between Freehold and Leasehold properties and whether a property is Freehold or Leasehold can be an important consideration when purchasing a property. With a freehold property, you own the building and the land outright. You would not have to pay ground rent or service charges to a landlord but you will normally be solely responsible for any repair and maintenance. With a leasehold property you own the dwelling rather the land it is on….

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Why should you be careful if you are moving house?

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There have been many warnings not to give away too much information on social media websites, such as Facebook or Twitter as fraudsters are combing them for details. Property sales are targets for scammers and a type of fraud now known as ‘Friday afternoon frauds’ have become big business for them.  This involves fake emails asking for a deposit and other money to be transferred to the criminal’s account.  Fraudsters have intercepted email exchanges between solicitor and client, then just…

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Conveyancing – Frequently Asked Questions

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I have sold privately without an estate agent, what needs to happen to start the process? Both parties will need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer and pass on their details, in order to get the process started. You will need to let your solicitor know the agreed price and any other terms which form part of the sale, such as any agreed timescales for exchange of contracts and completion. How long does the conveyancing process take? Current averages are…

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How do you protect your property from fraud?

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Of late, we are sadly reading reports in the press of more and more instances of property fraud. This is where fraudsters sell or mortgage properties which they do not own and abscond with the proceeds.  The Land Registry have confirmed that the properties most vulnerable to fraud are: properties which are not lived in by the registered owner (such a buy to let property or empty properties), properties which are not mortgaged properties which have been in the same…

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How has the election and Brexit affected the property market?

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The summer months are one of the busiest times of year for people buying and selling and currently, it is difficult for property lawyers to see any negative effects of Brexit on a day to day basis, despite ongoing economic and political uncertainty. So where are we with property prices?  The ONS said that average house prices in the UK have increased by 5 per cent in the year to May 2017.  This time last year, it was 1.2 per cent. …

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How has Brexit affected the property market?

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Leading up to the EU Referendum property prices were surging, but post referendum, there have been mixed reports on possible long term effects. Figures from the Office for National Statistics actually showed property prices in May increased by 1.2 per cent (or £2,400) compared to the previous month. On the negative side, other reports have showed London suffering from a sharp slowdown, and one London estate agent recently told me that, “Brexit was decimating everything”. He added that buyers were…

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Is your address for service at the Land Registry correct?

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Recent cases of property fraud have highlighted the importance of property owners ensuring that their address for service recorded at the Land Registry is up to date, as this is the address the Land Registry will rely upon if they need to contact the owner. If the recorded address is not correct, it means that you may miss out on important correspondence. The Land Registry will allow you to provide up to three service addresses. The Land Registry also provides…

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New Joiners – Further Expansion at MacDonald Oates

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We are delighted to announce the arrival of two new, specialist conveyancing lawyers this month, with Sarah Maker and Rosie Taylor joining our Residential Property team. Rosie, who is experienced in all aspects of residential conveyancing including sales, purchases, re-mortgages and transfers of equity has joined our Midhurst office, whilst Sarah will be based at our Petersfield office. Sarah, who trained locally, joins us from a large regional firm where she developed her experience as a specialist property lawyer. The…

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