Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Our Conveyancing Services

We trust that our website has been of assistance in elucidating the conveyancing process as it pertains to your property transaction. The following are answers to some frequently asked questions that may be of further assistance.

Should you require any further information, please feel at liberty to reach out to us. To contact us, please dial 01206585050 or send an email to

Do I need to personally appear at the conveyancer's office in order to sign all pertinent paperwork?

Typically, an in-person consultation between you and your conveyancer is not required. It is possible to address any matter through correspondence, be it via email, letter, or telephone. Concerning your property transaction, the distance between you and your conveyancer is thus irrelevant.

Can I contact my conveyancer at any time if necessary?

During standard business hours, your personally assigned conveyer or a member of his or her support staff should be readily available to assist you. The maximum allowable response time for returned calls concerning left messages is four hours. When you call, a minimum of two points of contact will be accessible to you.

Why ought I to implement Property Transaction?

We provide an efficient, cordial, and individualised conveyancing service. Our objective is to furnish you with a proactive service that enables you to expedite the completion process in accordance with your instructions. Our primary service offerings consist of:

  1. Our Conveyancers deliver a service that is prompt, effective, and efficient.
  2. We provide quick and easy, no-cost estimates of conveyancing expenses.
  3. We provide a No-Move, No-Fee service.
  4. We offer complimentary seller packs.
  5. 24/7 Online Case Tracking is available.
  6. Our Conveyancers conduct business with 80 percent of all mortgage lenders in the UK.

To clarify, what is conveyancing?

Undoubtedly, many of you who have purchased or sold real estate are familiar with the term conveyancing. However, how many individuals are truly informed about the procedure and, more specifically, the functions that solicitors perform on our behalf?

Conveyancing, in its most basic definition, is the act of transferring land or property ownership from one individual to another. In actuality, it is considerably more complicated and bureaucratic. One must navigate through an extensive assortment of standardised forms and documents.

For a comprehensive look at the conveyancing process, from start to finish, please take a look at our Conveyancing Guide(link is external)

Although I appreciate your guidance regarding conveyancing, I remain uncertain regarding the expenses associated with purchasing a home. Could you please assist?

The expense of conveyancing can be broadly categorised into two components: the legal fee and the disbursements. The legal fee represents the actual cost charged by the solicitor for completing the conveyancing process. Disbursements, on the other hand, consist of costs incurred on your behalf and paid to third parties, including Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax if applicable, and searches.

The distinction between a legal fee and a disbursement is crystal clear; therefore, ensure that no supplementary "legal fees" have been negotiated into the disbursements. Although I can only speak on behalf of our company, we will consistently furnish you with a transparent and unambiguous quotation prior to receiving your instruction. Based on the information at the time, this will contain a comprehensive breakdown of all fees, including the standard disbursements, associated with your transaction. For instance, legal conveyancing fees at HS Legal Solicitors commence at £399 for initial purchasers and progressively escalate in explicit fixed brackets; any additional costs are subsequently added to the total.

Fees and disbursements will only be subject to change if circumstances arise during the conveyancing process that were not anticipated at the time the estimate was provided. It is customary for a competent solicitor to notify you prior to devoting further funds on your behalf.

There are additional expenses to consider in addition to the legal fees:

  1. The majority of mortgage companies charge a mortgage administration fee, which is essentially a processing charge and can range from several hundred to several thousand pounds. This should be disclosed to you at the outset of the mortgage application process.
  2. Mortgage valuation fee – You are responsible for paying for an independent appraisal of your property. A few hundred pounds on average.
  3. In order to save money, whether you decide to move yourself or hire a professional will depend on the amount of furniture you possess and the degree of anxiety you wish to avoid on the day of the move-out.

How do searches and surveys differ from one another?

Within the occasionally perplexing realm of transportation, these two concepts are frequently confused. Both offer a more comprehensive understanding of the property under consideration, typically entail a financial investment on the part of the client, and, naturally, commence with the letter "S." Despite their dissimilarities, these elements are equally significant:


A fundamental mortgage survey (also known as a "valuation report") is conducted if you are financing the property with a mortgage. Its purpose is to verify that the value of the property you are acquiring is equivalent to the amount lent by the mortgage company. That is to say, does it provide adequate collateral for a loan or can they recover their investment in the event that it is repossessed? They organise and manage this, but you are responsible for its cost.

While this survey may bring to light any notable flaws in the property, it does not provide the most accurate assessment of its overall condition or value. Moreover, this valuation report serves only the interests of your mortgage company and cannot be relied upon in the event of a future issue. Should you desire additional information regarding the property, you are free to request a more comprehensive survey, once more at your own cost. Here, you can obtain a Home Buyers Report (which is considerably more comprehensive) or a Full Structural Survey (which is even more comprehensive); the surveyor will identify any issues and offer recommendations.

It is advisable to invest a few hundred pounds in a reputable survey to ensure that the item you acquire is not only reasonably priced but will also not necessitate thousands of pounds in maintenance costs upon your move-in, given that purchasing a property is likely the most expensive investment you will ever make.


A search consists of a series of enquiries that are initiated by your solicitor and directed to multiple third parties, such as water authorities, local councils, the environmental agency, and the coal authority. The term "searches" is derived from the fact that your solicitor requests those organisations to conduct a record search for information pertaining to the specific property you are purchasing. Type and quantity of searches vary based on the location and object of purchase; however, searches that typically consist of the following are conducted when mortgage financing is required: –

  1. Local search: Your solicitor conducts this with the Local Authority and verifies whether the property is subject to any Local Authority Land Charges (such as smoke control orders or improvement grants); the Building Regulations and the property's planning history; and whether the property has adopted roads (i.e., those that are maintained and repaired by the highways department, as opposed to private roads that are the responsibility of the owner or a private management company to maintain). If any entries are revealed on the search, your solicitor will then make further enquiries with the sellers’ Solicitors to investigate any issues on your behalf.
  2. Environmental Search: This is a frequently performed search that reveals the history of the site where your home was constructed and identifies potential dangers within 500 metres of the property. It will determine whether the structure was constructed on a landfill or waste site and whether it is situated in a flood plain. This investigation is standard practice for the majority of mortgage lenders. If issues are once more detected, your solicitor will bring them to the attention of the sellers.
  3. A water and drainage search is carried out in conjunction with the local water authority. The authority verifies whether the property is equipped with a water metre and is connected to the main drains on behalf of your solicitor. It will also indicate whether or not the property is bordered by or in close proximity to public sewers, the presence of which could potentially impede subsequent construction or development.
  4. A Chancel Repair Search will ascertain whether a particular property is potentially liable to contribute towards the expenses associated with restoring the chancel of a nearby mediaeval church. Regrettably, a central database that easily accessible databases identifying properties liable for chancel repairs does not yet exist, and the records that do exist are insufficient. Liability may occasionally be reflected on the property register maintained by the Land Registry; however, this does not consistently occur.

When you are making a purchase in a specific region of England or Wales, your solicitor may conduct supplementary specialised searches, such as flood or mining searches, under certain conditions. Although costs for these searches can vary, you should generally set aside approximately £200 for a drainage search, an environmental search, and a local search.

Do the searches identify the precise location of the boundaries of a property, and can they be utilised to mediate a boundary dispute?

Boundaries and disputes about boundaries are a highly intricate domain within the realm of property law. The title documents and land register plans depict boundaries, although these depictions are not considered definitive or legally enforceable.

A common belief is that the demarcation between one's own property and the adjacent properties is determined by the land registry drawings. However, these are not designed to ascertain the precise location of boundaries. The qualities are typically depicted using bold lines for separation. Ascertaining boundaries can frequently be challenging, and they cannot be trusted to change or set borders again.

There is a prevalent misperception that the boundary follows a linear trajectory between the attributes. However, this is frequently not true: boundaries exhibit differences and fluctuations over time, undergoing modest shifts or alterations in direction as a result of the removal or replacement of the physical boundary, agreements made by prior property owners, and several other circumstances.

Due to the absence of a clear and indisputable boundary representation, the resolution of most boundary disputes requires the involvement of an expert, typically a surveyor. The surveyor will examine the title deeds, the properties involved, and other relevant factors such as historical photographs, testimonies from witnesses, and physical markers like posts. Based on this information, the surveyor will determine their professional opinion on the location of the boundary. Nevertheless, there is a potential scenario where an individual can direct a specialist who concludes that the boundary is located in a specific position, only for the neighbour to consult a different expert who asserts that it is actually situated elsewhere. The lack of clarity in these situations often leads to legal disputes, requiring a judge to determine the border based on the available information. The judge's decision regarding the boundary location is the final and authoritative legal pronouncement.

Nevertheless, resorting to litigation in the courts should only be considered as a final option. Most border conflicts are best handled through mediation or a meeting on site with specialists. If you are considering altering a boundary or if you want to oppose your neighbour's attempt to do so, it is advisable to seek expert guidance. It is advisable to prevent conflicts with neighbours, as boundary disputes may be capricious, distressing, and prolonged, and most significantly, they can incur significant financial expenses to resolve. Hence, it is prudent to verify the location in relation to your boundary prior to making any alterations. Commencing with a proficient property solicitor is the optimal initial step.

Q: What is the duration of the conveyancing process?

The answer to the question is indeterminate and lacks usefulness, as it can vary greatly. If all conditions are favourable, such as owning a freehold property without any encumbrances or financial requirements, and the property is unoccupied or sold with vacant possession, a conveyancing transaction can be completed within a few days. At HS Legal Solicitors, we have even achieved the feat of completing them in less than 3 weeks. Regrettably, we reside in a non-ideal world where delays can occur at almost every stage of the process. Searches and inquiries can give rise to issues that require clarification. It may come as a surprise to you that banks and lenders can be rather tough to deal with, especially in these challenging times. Extracting money from them can be extremely challenging. Another issue that often arises is the chain, which refers to the situation where the progress of reaching the exchange and completion is beyond your control; the chain's pace is determined by the slowest person involved.

Returning to the topic of the 'piece of string'. Typically, a standard conveyancing transaction should be completed within approximately five to six weeks from the time of initial instruction to the moment of exchange, followed by an additional week or so to reach completion. To facilitate this procedure, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary documents prepared and submitted to your solicitor in a timely manner. Additionally, it is crucial to obtain preliminary approval from your financial institution for the specific amount of funds required to purchase the property. Engage in open and transparent communication with both your solicitor and estate agent. Be forthright and assertive, while remaining within reasonable boundaries. Remember that you are the one responsible for the expenses, so make sure to clearly express your desires and expectations.

Q: Chains can impede or hinder the progress of matters, causing delays.

The primary cause of delays in property sales or purchases is typically due to disruptions in the transaction chain.

A property chain refers to a situation when there are multiple parties engaging in a series of interdependent sales and/or purchases. For example, you may be selling a property to someone who is then selling it to another person, and so on. In this context, the principle holds true that the overall speed of the team is determined by the slowest person. However, in this particular group, there are not only individuals with different speeds, but also diverse goals, timetables, and corresponding levels of honesty.

To fully comprehend the multitude of factors that can lead to a delay in your conveyancing transaction, and to grasp the complexity of coordinating multiple parties with their own unique interests in the chain, one can begin to understand why most property transactions involving multiple properties do not proceed seamlessly. This is also why property solicitors often experience stress and physical manifestations such as greying hair or thinning hair, as in my case. Advancing chains requires a significant investment of time, diplomacy, and patience. At HS Legal Solicitors, we employ a team of determined individuals specifically for this purpose, as is common among solicitors. Ultimately, even if all parties involved are prepared, a single individual has the power to alter the completion date or, in a more severe scenario, withdraw from the agreement, causing the entire chain to crumble like a deck of cards. However, further details on that will be provided in the upcoming week.

Despite the challenging circumstances, there are ways to make progress. While you may not have control over every aspect of the situation, practicing patience, honesty, organisation, and tenacity can be beneficial. Adopt a pragmatic approach and engage in a conversation with your lawyers and agency.

Q: If the chain collapses, it will result in a breakdown or failure of the chain.

Until the exchange of all contracts takes place, individuals in a property chain are free to withdraw without any restrictions; the transaction remains "subject to contract" until the exchange occurs. When this occurs, as many individuals depend on the profits from their sale to finance the subsequent purchase, a single cancelled transaction can frequently result in the entire chain collapsing, leaving everyone in a state of uncertainty, vulnerable, and at a financial loss.

In the event of a chain breakdown, your counsel will investigate the reasons behind the party's withdrawal and explore potential solutions to restore progress. Is the issue only a matter of hesitancy or is there a more substantial element at play, such as an unsatisfactory assessment or financial troubles arising from employment issues or a rejected mortgage application?

Renegotiation frequently has the ability to correct or resolve issues. If the issue is to finances, it is possible that the other entities involved in the process would be inclined to provide assistance in order to sustain the continuity of the chain. Occasionally, certain parties in the chain may agree to lower their sale price in order to facilitate the movement of another party, thus maintaining the continuity of the chain. Alternatively, estate agents may choose to decrease their commission in order to provide a financial incentive to one of the parties involved.

When a buyer withdraws from a sale, it is important to keep all parties involved, including lawyers and others in the transaction, updated as you look for a new buyer. It is important to maintain fairness in pricing and honesty in describing the state of the home. This will generally ensure the satisfaction of surveyors and keep potential buyers calm and consistent.

If your purchase is being hindered by your financial circumstances, consider renegotiating a reduced offer with the seller. Undoubtedly, anticipate the possibility of receiving a negative response, but there is no harm in making an enquiry.

In the event that the chain breaks and you are unable to find a buyer for your current house, resulting in the loss of your desired new home, it is important to approach the situation pragmatically. If your property was suitable for one individual, it will also be suitable for another person, and, based on my experience, it is quite likely that another 'dream' home will also become available. Engage in conversation with the nearby real estate agents; they will recognise your commitment, efficiency, and want to move forward.

Q: Gazumping refers to the practice of a seller accepting a higher offer from another buyer after already accepting an offer from a different buyer. Gazundering, on the other hand, is when a buyer reduces their offer just before the exchange of contracts.

During the period when the buyer and seller have agreed on the sale price but have not yet exchanged contracts for the property, there remains the possibility for a third party to make a greater offer to the seller. When the seller agrees to this offer and later backs out of the agreement with the original buyer, the third party has "gazumped" the initial buyer. The original buyer faces considerable repercussions as they not only miss out on the desired property, but also bear substantial expenses such as surveys and legal fees. In addition, they lack the ability to seek compensation from either of the other two parties for these amounts; every transaction involving the sale and purchase of goods is considered provisional until a formal agreement is reached.

Contrary to popular belief, this situation typically does not occur because the estate agent wants to increase their commission by getting a greater selling price for the home. Indeed, their primary objective is for you to optimise the selling price of your property, which is precisely the reason why you hire their services. Indeed, estate agents are only fulfilling their professional obligations by informing the seller of all offers made on their home, as mandated by law. This encompasses offers that are made subsequent to the formal acceptance of another offer. A real estate agent has the legal authority to provide advice, but they are not allowed to make recommendations. Ultimately, it is up to the seller to decide whether or not to accept a higher offer.

It is important to recognise that the highest price does not always result in a successful transaction. There are instances where a seller, despite receiving greater bids, chooses to remain with the original lower offer due to the smooth progress of the transaction or a personal belief that it is the best decision. Furthermore, the addition of a new participant is not necessarily negative; occasionally, a "gazumper" can rescue a sequence of transactions. If the original buyer is delaying or attempting to lower the price at the last minute (known as 'gazundering'), it can cause the transaction and the chain of dependent transactions to collapse rapidly. However, a new buyer who is financially capable and committed to completing the sale can salvage the situation for all parties involved. As a buyer, what measures can you take to mitigate the risk of gazumping? If your offer has been accepted, you can request that the property be taken off the agent's register and no more viewings be allowed. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate a "Exclusivity Agreement" with the seller, granting you the first opportunity to purchase the property within a specified timeframe. Nevertheless, certain sellers opt to retain their property on the market until the exchange of contracts, allowing them to have an alternative buyer in case the sale fails. Paying the asking price clearly demonstrates your commitment and significantly reduces the chances of being gazumped.

'Gazundering' refers to a situation where, just before the transaction is finalised, the buyer decides not to proceed unless the price is lowered. Once again, the seller has no recourse in this situation other than to engage in price negotiations or risk losing the contract. The estate agent will act as a negotiator for the seller or, if that is not possible, will make every effort to quickly find a suitable new buyer for you. Fortunately, gazundering is seldom, but prevailing market conditions often result in more price negotiation and provide purchasers more leverage.

Q. In the event that my transaction fails, what fees will I incur considering the rising occurrences of broken chains, gazumping, and gazundering?

Engaging in property transactions entails inherent risks, including the potential for the conveyancing process to fail owing to external causes beyond your influence. Regrettably, in most cases, expenses associated with this situation will have already been accrued.

In the event that circumstances beyond your control lead to this situation, the majority of solicitors will impose a fair percentage of their fee based on the extent of work they have completed, in addition to any expenses or disbursements that have been accrued up to that point. Speaking on behalf of my firm, HS Legal Solicitors, we would definitely consider undertaking this task. However, the fee to you will vary depending on the specific stage of the transaction.

Additionally, we provide a 'Fair Deal Conveyancing' programme that ensures if your sale falls through due to circumstances beyond your control, you will not be responsible for our fees related to handling the unsuccessful transaction. Instead, you will only be required to cover the costs we have incurred on your behalf, such as search fees. By adopting this approach, you can effectively reduce the expenses linked to the potential hazard.

It is advisable to inquire with your solicitor at the beginning about their policy about unsuccessful deals. This information must to be incorporated into their terms and Conditions as well. Ensure that you give special consideration to the allocation and settlement of both charges and expenses.

Q: What is the required deposit amount?

The topic of deposits can be perplexing, as there are essentially two forms of "deposit" that are commonly mentioned throughout a conveyancing transaction. Typically, when people mention the deposit for buying a house, they are referring to the amount that is subtracted from the mortgage loan to determine the actual purchase price of the property. Typically, the funding for it comes from the buyer's own private funds, however, it can also be borrowed from a third party, such as a family member. However, when a solicitor mentions the deposit, they are specifically referring to the amount of money that the buyer pays as a down payment on the property at the time of exchanging contracts. The remaining amount of the purchase price for the property is then settled on the completion date.

Conceptually, the deposit is expected to represent 10% of the purchase price. Nevertheless, the actual payment will vary based on the nature of the transaction and the borrowed amount. For instance, when obtaining a 95% mortgage, it is occasionally feasible to make a payment of just 5% as a deposit at the time of exchanging contracts. Your counsel will negotiate the final sum payable in advance. In chains of transactions, the deposit is typically transferred up the chain, meaning that the buyer at the lowest level of the chain physically pays a deposit based on their purchase price. This deposit then serves as the deposit for all other participants in the chain.

When you are buying a property, your solicitor will ask for the deposit when they send you all the contract documents to sign. Once both parties have signed and exchanged their separate contracts, your solicitor will transfer the deposit to the seller's solicitor. Subsequently, the deposit is retained by the party until the completion date, at which point it is deducted from the purchase price. Payment for the deposit can be made through three methods: cheque, electronic bank transfer, or bank draft. It is important to be aware that if you make a payment by cheque or bank draft, your solicitor will need to wait for the funds to be processed and cleared by the bank. This might potentially cause a delay of up to 5 business days in the exchange of contracts.

What precisely occurs during the contract exchange process?

Contract exchange is an opportunity to put into practice precisely as advertised. Historically, the process involved one solicitor transporting the signed contract and deposit cheque to the office of the opposing solicitor, whereupon they would exchange contracts with the solicitor of the other party. Thankfully, in the present day, with the advent of telephones, computers, and similar devices, the two solicitors exchange contracts via telephone.

The buyer's solicitor will transfer the buyer's deposit (the money you pay in exchange) to the seller's solicitor subsequent to the formal exchange. This is typically non-returnable and serves as the seller's security in the event that you are unable or unwilling to complete the transaction. In such a scenario, the seller may retain your deposit and may pursue legal action against you to recoup any further damages sustained as a result of the breach of contract.

After the exchange of contracts, both solicitors will coordinate a mutually convenient date for the finalisation process. After that, they will commence final preparations to ensure that everything is in order by the specified date. This consists of:

  1. Land Registry: At the outset of the process, the seller's solicitor will have sent a copy of the registered title for the property. They will now conduct a final verification to ensure that nothing has changed.
  2. The transfer deed is the legal instrument that notifies the Land Registry of the buyer's acquisition of land as the new legal owner. This will be prepared by the buyer's solicitor and sent to the seller's solicitor prior to completion.
  3. Money transfers: The conclusive arrangements for the payment of the remaining funds will be handled by the buyer's solicitor. This encompasses the receipt of mortgage funds on behalf of the lender.
  4. Your solicitor will be responsible for preparing the final accounts. These will contain information regarding any additional funds required for completion. Your solicitor will withdraw the loan amount from the lender in time for the completion of your mortgage application.

You must ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the request, including precisely what is expected of you and when. Ensure that you have access to the necessary funds in particular when necessary. Ask any questions that may be present.

What occurs on the date of completion?

On completion day, the moment everyone has been anticipating arrives: the buyer is granted access to the premises upon receipt of the keys; the seller, or their bank, receives payment in full for the property. As there may be multiple transactions operating concurrently within a chain, it is challenging to provide an exact time estimate for what will occur on the day of completion. We consistently strive to conclude our work at HS Legal Solicitors by lunchtime, allowing ample time for you and your removal men to enter. Nevertheless, it is crucial to emphasise that the execution of the transaction is dependent on third-party entities and the banking system. Therefore, it would be prudent to schedule a few hours off from work in order to ensure a seamless process.

The payment will be transferred from the buyer's solicitor to the seller to initiate the process. In the case of a mortgage, the lender will have transferred these funds. This process can take several hours to complete, depending on the length of the transaction chain, in which funds must be transferred from the buyer at the bottom of the chain to the seller's solicitors at the top.

Actual transaction completion occurs when the funds are received by the seller's solicitor; at this juncture, the seller's solicitor will forward the transfer deed and any other pertinent documents to the buyer's solicitor. Additionally, they will relinquish the keys to the property on a practical level. Typically, these are obtained directly from the real estate agent in charge of coordinating the sale. In the absence of a real estate agent, direct negotiations between the seller and the buyer would take place.

Stamp duty on land tax returns will be prepared by the buyer's solicitor, who will also cover any outstanding stamp duty on your behalf in relation to the transaction. They will subsequently coordinate the registration of your ownership with the Land Registry and, if applicable, the lender's interest as a mortgagee.

When must the property be insured?

Typically, the "risk" of the property is transferred from the buyer to the seller at the time of contract exchange. This means that the buyer is responsible for the property even though they do not yet have access to or rights over it; therefore, building insurance is required. This safeguards the structure and provides sufficient protection for the purchaser and their mortgage lender in the event that a significant incident occurs prior to the property's finalisation that could result in substantial harm. It should be noted that this holds true irrespective of the seller's current insurance coverage for the property.

You are not required to insure your property, but failing to do so will expose you to a certain degree of risk. Additionally, if you are obtaining a mortgage, your mortgage lender might require you to obtain building insurance prior to the loan's completion. Likewise, while you are not required to insure your personal belongings with a contents insurance policy, it is generally advisable that you do so.

Building insurance should ideally be procured prior to the exchange date in order for it to be "triggered" and commence offering protection at that moment.

While exceedingly uncommon, circumstances have arisen in which properties have been entirely demolished during the period between contract exchange and completion. Despite the fact that the house is essentially reduced to rubble, the purchaser remains obligated to finalise the transaction and remit the payment by the completion date. The Buildings Insurance policy will then be obligated to pay for the reconstruction of the property, if feasible.

When purchasing a newly constructed property, building insurance coverage is typically commenced upon the property's completion; the builder provides coverage under their own insurance policy until the designated completion date.

Additionally, when purchasing a leasehold property, it is common to discover that the entire building is insured by the freeholder (also known as the "landlord"), with each leaseholder in the building responsible for a proportional share of the annual premium. While it is not mandatory for you to obtain a building insurance policy for the flat in question, it is advisable that you do so nonetheless to safeguard your household contents.

How do I obtain a mortgage?

It is undeniably a timely enquiry that demands a more intricate response than I am capable of delivering. However, despite the fact that I am not a financial adviser, I will do my absolute best, having worked in the real estate industry for many years. While not financial advice, this could be considered a beginner's guide.

Prior to extending a mortgage or building society loan for the purchase of a home, they will essentially consider the following three factors:

  1. The property's total market value
  2. Lending amount secured by the property in question.
  3. Your capacity to fulfil loan repayment obligations

The significance of the overall property value and the loanable amount lies in their ability to establish the lender's security interest in the property. Thus, despite the fact that the property is your domicile, it serves as their security; should they reclaim it, they must guarantee that its sale proceeds are adequate to satisfy the outstanding balance. The Loan To Value (LTV) is determined by the amount lent in relation to the value of the property. For example, if a deposit of £25,000 is required to cover the additional £75,000 lent on a property valued at £100,000, the LTV would be 75%. Currently, lenders are maintaining relatively low LTVs out of risk aversion; in particular, 100 percent mortgages appear to be becoming obsolete. The general rule is that the mortgage product and interest rate associated with it are more favourable as the deposit amount increases and the LTV decreases.

Lenders will then give significant weight to your practical capacity to fulfil repayment obligations. In this stage, your income is evaluated, typically by applying a multiplier to your total salary or, in the case of joint mortgages, the combined salaries of you and your partner. In addition, they consider any substantial expenditures that you may have, in addition to your overall credit rating.

To illustrate, a mortgage provider may lend you up to 3.5 times your annual salary in the simplest form possible. In the case of two individuals, the formula typically varies marginally. It may adhere to a fixed figure representing the combined salary, such as 2.5 times, or it may result in an unequal distribution, including 3.5 times the first salary and 1 time the second salary. These formulas may be intricate; they differ among mortgage providers and lenders; therefore, it is advisable to verify them.

In summary, the deal improves with the amount of effort invested. It is advisable to conduct thorough research and consult with a professional financial adviser prior to making any decisions.

How can I determine which fixtures and fittings are supplied at no additional cost?

The list of fixtures and fittings will be furnished to you in duplicate by your solicitor prior to the exchange of contracts. The seller will have completed this task. In general, everything permanently attached to the house should be included; however, the seller may remove anything, including curtains, carpets, and so forth; therefore, it is essential to take the time to verify that everything you believed or desired to be included is in fact included.

Additionally, it is beneficial to obtain verification that the appliances that are being sold are operational properly. If the provided list of fixtures and fittings is in dispute, you have the option of negotiating with the sellers directly, through real estate agents, or with the assistance of your solicitors. It is imperative that you notify your solicitor of any modifications to the list of the agreed-upon sale price, notwithstanding the final decision.

What is the deadline for the final payment when I make a purchase?

We kindly request that the final balance be received a few days before the scheduled moving date. Formal notification of the preferred date will be included in the contract documentation. By submitting the funds request in advance, we afford you the opportunity to arrange your finances accordingly. Additionally, by procuring the funds in advance, we ensure that they are available in our client account without any unnecessary delays—as banks have been known to misplace funds. Anytime you suspect that you may be unable to make the final payment, you must immediately inform your solicitor.

HS Legal Solicitors, similar to numerous contemporary solicitors, accepts payment by bank draft, telegraphic transfer, or credit card.

Once my transaction is finalised, when can I expect to receive payment from you?

You are entitled to the remaining balance upon selling your home, provided that you have repaid the mortgage loan to the lender and incurred any legal and estate agency fees associated with the sale. If the funds are in order, a competent solicitor will coordinate the transfer of this sum to you on the day of the closing or the following day. In that case, you should inquire as to what they intend to do with it.

We can pay your outstanding balance at HS Legal Solicitors via cheque or, as with the majority of contemporary law firms, we can arrange a direct bank transfer of the funds via electronic means.

What are the steps to purchasing a home with a partner?

There are essentially two ways to purchase a residence with another person: as tenants in common or as joint tenants. Notwithstanding the nomenclature "tenants," this pertains exclusively to the manner in which a joint interest in the property is transferred in the event of one of you passing away.

The majority of cohabiting couples who purchase a property together do so as "joint tenants," which entails that both parties own the property jointly; they each receive an equal portion of it. In the event of one partner's demise, their portion of the property automatically transfers to the other joint tenant or tenants. The legal term for this is the right of survivorship.

Even in the majority of cases, if you or your partner have created a will under a joint tenancy, the surviving partner will continue to receive their share of the property, regardless of the provisions of the will. In the absence of a will and in the event of one partner's intestate death, the property and other assets shall be distributed in accordance with the "law of intestacy." However, the property shall remain inherited by the surviving partner.

In contrast, if you are co-owners of the property and reside as "tenants in common," your shares are not necessarily equal; rather, each partner has a distinct share that is well-defined. If you have contributed unequal amounts to the purchase price and wish for this to be reflected in the sale of the property, or if you simply desire more control than joint tenancy permits, you may deem this to be acceptable. Thus, in the event that one of you passes away prior to the other, the deceased's share does not automatically pass to the surviving partner; rather, it is distributed in accordance with the provisions of the deceased partner's will or the law of intestacy. When joint owners of a property hold tenants in common, it is recommended that a distinct Declaration of Trust be prepared to specify whether each individual owns a different proportionate share of the property or an equal share. Preparation of this document is relatively inexpensive; however, it has the potential to avert thousands of pounds in legal expenses should a future dispute arise regarding ownership.

Each partner has a legal share in the property under either form of ownership, and in general, both parties have rights and responsibilities pertaining to the property. For example, in the event that one cohabitant vacates the premises and ceases making mortgage contributions, the remaining cohabitant will remain obligated to maintain the payment schedule. Likewise, in the event that one partner fails to make credit card payments while registered at the property, it may have repercussions for the other. Therefore, in addition to the fundamental framework of homeownership, there are numerous practical concerns that necessitate meticulous deliberation and legal counsel.

Q: What factors should be taken into account while purchasing property with a partner?

One must acknowledge the importance of recognising and appreciating the less romantic, yet crucial, aspects of a growing relationship. Shifting societal standards and economic factors are increasingly driving couples to purchase a property together before to being married. While this choice offers certain benefits, it unfortunately also leads to certain misunderstandings that can result in uninformed choices by one or both individuals.

Purchasing a house with your partner is a momentous undertaking, carrying both emotional and financial weight. It is crucial that both individuals comprehend their legal standing from the beginning. Failing to do so can lead to complications in the relationship and potentially have severe consequences on their legal and financial situations if the relationship ends. Before proceeding with the acquisition of a home, there are several factors that should be taken into account:

What is the percentage of property ownership for each individual?
What amount will each party contribute as an initial deposit?
How will the regular mortgage payments fees be allocated?
How will the allocation of expenses for the upkeep and repair of the property be distributed?
How will the utilities and mortgage payments be paid when they are due, and what will be the consequences if one person is unable to pay their portion of the bill?
Recognise that circumstances are subject to change. Regrettably, couples do separate. If that is the case, then who remains and who departs? What is the method of dividing the property?
These modifications have repercussions. For instance, if the property is only owned by one individual, typically, according to legal principles, the non-owner does not own any entitlement to a portion of the property. Therefore, it is imperative to thoroughly consider the long-term financial aspects of purchasing and financing the house, as well as to anticipate and plan for the potential consequences of a separation. Similarly, what occurs if one individual starts to contribute more than another? Analyse the available choices, determine what is just, then assess how this will be manifested.

Addressing these practical factors will help prevent future complications and alleviate tension in the relationship. Practice transparency and candour, and bear in mind that while discussing these issues is beneficial, it is essential to record this information in an official contract, such as a Declaration of Trust and/or a Cohabitation Agreement. Additionally, it is advisable to create a will at this period, as it will assist you in addressing and contemplating further existential concerns.

Prior to concluding any cases, it is highly recommended that both you and your partner seek separate legal counsel from a specialised professional.

Q: What additional legal safeguards should be considered when purchasing a home together?

Regrettably, the majority of individuals fail to contemplate their personal legal standing within a relationship till said connection deteriorates. At that point, attempting to come to a consensus is frequently hindered by the presence of financial and emotional burdens. However, by the process of assessing, reaching consensus, and formally recording your and your partner's primary factors, such as assets and finances, a significant amount of stress and expenses can be eliminated from this situation.

A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document that establishes the shared ownership of a property between you and your partner. Nevertheless, a Declaration of Trust is restricted to the specific number of shares that each individual possesses in the property at the moment of acquisition. If you desire to present the facts and data in a more comprehensive manner, it is recommended that you create a cohabitation agreement. The agreement can be characterised as the expressed desires of the persons involved, with potential factors to be taken into account including the following:

  • The distribution of ownership percentages of the property.
  • Both parties are responsible for making initial deposits.
  • Regardless of whether it was purchased independently prior to or jointly during your relationship,.
  • Ownership refers to the legal right or claim that an individual has over specific goods, whether they already exist or are obtained while living together.
  • How do you plan to divide the expenses for the mortgage and property-related bills?
  • Consideration of potential scenarios where one party purchases the other's share of the property in the event of a separation, the process of reaching an agreement, and the determination of the purchase price.
  • Cohabitation agreements enable couples to establish clear guidelines for their relationship from the beginning, ensuring clarity after they have chosen to live together. While it may be challenging to consider entering into a written agreement, engaging in discussions about it can foster transparency and maturity in the partnership.

While Cohabitation agreements lack legal enforceability at now, the Courts are progressively attaching significance to its provisions. If information has been honestly disclosed, there is a higher likelihood that the Courts will hold both parties accountable for fulfilling their respective obligations. Similarly, if both parties have obtained the advantage of impartial legal counsel, there should be no doubt regarding any excessive coercion in entering the agreement.

The agreement is highly adaptable, allowing for simplicity or complexity according to your preferences. It may encompass:

Financial obligations related to earning and spending money,
Practically speaking, if an individual possesses the residence that both parties plan to divide,
Strategies for repaying a mortgage,
The respective shares of the property refer to how the proceeds will be divided in the event of one partner's death.
Ante-nuptial agreements, often referred to as "Pre-nuptial agreements," are written contracts that outline a couple's entitlements regarding jointly owned or individually acquired property, debts, income, and other assets (such as those obtained via inheritance) that they bring into their partnership. They are now widely regarded as a crucial component of practical wisdom and individual strategizing. Emphasising and analysing the fundamental facts in a relationship can bring about clarity, thereby preventing any contentious matters or conflicts in the future. A pre-nuptial agreement typically encompasses rules for the allocation of assets in the event of a future dissolution of the relationship. Pre-nuptial Agreements lack legal enforceability at present, although the Courts will take into account the Agreement in conjunction with the surrounding circumstances.

From a legal standpoint, once married, all of these assets are classified as "matrimonial assets" and, unless explicitly safeguarded, are combined into a unified financial pool. An Ante-nuptial Agreement is primarily intended to restrict the possible demands on the assets of one of the individuals involved in the marriage in case of a future divorce.

Before entering into marriage, individuals should carefully evaluate the necessity of a prenuptial agreement. As is customary with important matters of this nature, seeking expert legal counsel is highly recommended.

Q: In the event of a family member's death, what is the process for selling the house?

The current conveyancing process remains fundamentally unchanged; nevertheless, some critical procedural concerns must be resolved before the transaction may take place. Estate Administration is the process of carrying out the wishes of a deceased individual. The first step in this procedure is to hire a solicitor to ensure proper implementation. If a person has a will, it will be carried out with the help of the executors. If there is no will, it will be carried out with the help of the next of kin.

often, an executor lacks knowledge about the property and therefore leaves the forms, often completed by the seller, unfilled.

Q: What exactly are disbursements?

Disbursements refer to the act of distributing or paying out funds or resources. It involves the transfer of money or assets from one party to another.

The cost of conveyancing can be categorised into two main components: the legal fee, which is the solicitor's charge for performing the necessary tasks, and the disbursements, which are expenses paid to third parties on your behalf, such as Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax (if applicable), and searches.

There are well-defined regulations on what constitutes a legal fee and what qualifies as a disbursement. It is important to ensure that there are no hidden "legal fees" included within the disbursements. Speaking on behalf of my organisation, I can assure you that we will consistently offer a straightforward and unambiguous price estimate prior to receiving your instructions. This will entail a comprehensive analysis of all charges, encompassing the customary disbursements for your transaction, as per the available information. For instance, at HS Legal Solicitors, our legal conveyancing rates commence at £350 for individuals purchasing a property for the first time and increase based on clearly defined predetermined categories. Any additional expenses are thereafter added on top. The fees and expenditures will only be modified if any unforeseen circumstances arise throughout the Conveyancing procedure, which were not anticipated at the time the quote was provided. A competent solicitor will consistently communicate with you prior to incurring any additional costs on your behalf.