Since I first qualified as a Solicitor in 1977 I have gained 25 +years excellent wide-ranging experience of property law and conveyancing mainly in the central London area. My clients have ranged from private individuals to major PLCs.
I now wish to put my knowledge and experience to use for the benefit of my clients in S.W. London. I can offer the following services: –
For Buyers of Freehold Residential property
- Assistance with negotiating the best price in the current market.Research on the prices in the area you wish to purchase and the type of property and “must haves” i.e. No. of bedrooms/garden/outdoor space etc.
Research on the area and the history of the property.
- Planning and development advice.
- Initial check on the title.
- A site visit with you to identify any of your proposals and check any problem points before they arise.
- Checking the boundaries and ownership thereof and the plan.
- Advice on restrictive covenants and easements, if any, such as rights of way, rights of light etc.
- Checking on the possibility of having to contribute to Chancel repairs.
- Indemnity policies and premiums payable to overcome possible problems.
- Helping you obtain the best mortgage with introductions to reputable mortgage brokers.
- Advice and guidance on survey and introductions to surveyors.
- Stamp duty, land tax + land registry fees – what are these likely to cost?
- Advice and guidance on best solicitors or licensed conveyancers to use.
Additionally, if Leasehold
- Length of the lease and advice on how to extend the lease, where relevant.
- Advice on service charges and whether there is any reserve fund.
- Verbal advice on the terms of the lease and whether it is good and marketable – and also whether it’s acceptable to any lending institution followed up by a written report, if requested.
- Some modern leases provide for the ground rent to double every year or so soon the rent becomes £1000’s making the flat harder to sell. See article “New outrage over rip-off leaseholds” – Daily Mail 16th March 2019. Consumers are being exploited and little is being done. I can save you from an expensive mistake.
- Possible repairs to common parts such as boilers, parking, roofs etc. Contributions can end up costing you a small fortune. I can help you with the necessary advice and enquiries you should be making.
- Who manages the block? Do you have a say? Who are the managing agents? What do they charge and are they reputable?
- Reserve funds and retentions? Are the service charges up to date?
- Insurance. Is there a block policy in place? Is the cover sufficient? Does it cover all appropriate risks?
These days solicitors often use junior and qualified staff to effect the conveyancing and to get the transfer/lease done as cheaply as possible. Fees are being driven down so that even volume factory style conveyancing firms struggle to make money and do not give you a personal service nor adequately help you with the good specialist advice, I can provide at reasonable cost.
Many solicitors overcharge – see The Times article from April 8th 2019 – “Homebuyers hit with hidden bills from solicitors”
Proper detailed reports and checks can be overlooked. Many properties are freehold title but not all. If one finds a legal problem, it makes sense to contact an acknowledged expert by myself and I will do my best to solve it and provide you with the expert professional advice. Sometimes it may be necessary to negotiate a price reduction and I can assist you with this. If the problem is serious and cannot be resolved it may be better to pull out of the purchase. You should never buy into a “headache” and have problems on a resale. A house or flat purchase is likely to be your biggest personal transaction that you are make in your life. In London the average property price is now £472,163!
A consultation with me before you commit yourself to exchange contracts with follow-up advice in writing by email can save you a great deal of money, stress and either avoid a costly mistake or ensure the problem is dealt with.
Please call me on 0203 935 9490 before you exchange contracts for advice and help.
Residential property-advice for Sellers.
I’m offering an entirely new type of service!
How I can add value: –
Based on my extensive knowledge and experience including acting as an estate agent in France, last year I can offer the following: –
Advice as to how to present your property for sale.
- Great photography with 360-degree photos. What to include and when to take photos and how to improve them.
- Assistance in completing the property enquiry forms and collating all relevant information for the buyer and their solicitor or licenced conveyancer. For example, preparing a file with information containing guarantees, latest council tax demand and water bill.
- Ensuring your title is in order and making application to the Land Registry to correct where necessary.
- Advice on choice of appropriate firm of estate agents and whether to give a sole agency or multiple agency and cost implications and timing.
Market conditions and pricing.
- Help and advice with the asking price +the final contract price
- Pre-empting any problems that may cause difficulty in selling your property such as disputes with neighbours, noise, boundaries, trees, roofs, past flooding, insurance claims, tenants or lodgers etc.
- Capital gains tax advice where relevant (where sale not your principal residence)
If you’re thinking of selling a property call me on 0203 935 9490 and we can set up a meeting at your home/the property you are selling. We can discuss any of these issues and get prepared so that your sale completes with a minimum of stress and at a good market price.
- In the course of my career I have dealt with: –
- Leisure property of all descriptions including pubs off-licences, restaurants hotels, cinemas, nightclubs and so on.
- Greenfield development sites
- Lock up garages” Lugs”
- Ecclesiastical property such as redundant churches, rectories and Glebe Land
- What sort of problems arise in commercial property transactions?
- These can be similar to residential additional factors come into play such as: –
- Changes of use+ planning
- Licences e.g. for sale of alcohol.
- Fire regulations
- Environmental issues such as “brown “land
- Utilities and pipes
- Access and sight lines
- Ransom strips
- Protected habitats for wildlife
- Inventories and equipment including leases/HP
Frequently there is a commercial lease and if you are taking or acquiring such a lease you need to look closely at the following clauses: –
- Assignment and Sub-letting
- Keep open/non-competition clauses
- Length of term
- The right of renewal +whether the lease has the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 as amended providing for some security of tenure and protection of rent so that it does not exceed market value.
- Rent reviews-landlords’ solicitors to make these fiendishly complicated and onerous. You will need advice!
- Whether the premises are sold as a going concern or not.
- Health and safety issues.
- Employment issues if so, you are taking over staff at a restaurant.
- Stamp duty land tax.
- Registration at land registry. Is it required?
- Use of offshore company or special company?
- Tax considerations
- Are you being asked to give a personal guarantee?
This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many pitfalls even for an experienced business person.
If you come to me first, you will get a good overall view of the legal problems and issues that arise. If requested I will follow up my advice in writing.
Call me now on 0203 935 9490 to arrange an appointment or send me an email.
Richard Buxton LLB
Mortlake Law Ltd