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Home News Advice Clinic Importance of a good solicitor when buying or selling property in the UK

Importance of a good solicitor when buying or selling property in the UK

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Conveyancing is the legal process involved in property deals, and this process may be executed by either a solicitor, who is a qualified lawyer or a licensed conveyancer specialising in property deals.

Conveyancing process

Starting with thorough documentation

Once you’ve appointed a solicitor to carry out your property transaction, they will create a file that compiles all the crucial documents related to you and the property. These will include your address and identification proofs, bank details, property details such as area, ownership history, details of the estate agent, mortgage agreement and lender’s details if applicable, deposit and payment proofs and the service fees of the conveyancers for each of the necessary items required for transfer. An expert conveyancer will be completely aware of the latest amendments and updates to the property laws of the land.

Ensure full disclosure about the property

Whether you are buying or selling, property transactions require full disclosure, such as property tax receipts, building work, restrictive covenants, prior alterations and so on. If you are the buyer, certain information even the seller may not have for which your solicitor will work closely with the seller’s solicitor to get all the necessary details on record via several legally binding transfer forms. These include:

London property

i. TA6 – This form consists of all the property information, including physical details, completed building work (for new builds), local council permissions, prior notices, warranties and insurance details.

ii. TA10 – This form includes all the fixtures and fittings that come included with the property. From larger appliances like heating and kitchen equipment to wardrobes and electric sockets, as a buyer, you will know everything you get and don’t get as part of the deal.

iii. TA7 – This form applies to all leasehold properties and contains vital information, such as the ground rent, service and maintenance charges that may be applicable.

Ownership and local searches

Once all the transfer forms are in order, your solicitor needs to verify the ownership details via the HM Land Registry based on the freehold or leasehold status of the property. Since leasehold properties require extra documentation, the process can take longer and involve additional costs. Next are the local searches carried out by the conveyancer, where information about the local authority, such as planning permissions, road maintenance, drainage and sewer systems, as well as the environment around the property, such as air quality, cleanliness and noise levels, are collected. Some of these searches may require enquiries with the local authority, where the connections of a good solicitor can help.

Contract exchange and handshake

Once the buyer and seller are happy with all the terms of the deal and all legal obligations are covered, the solicitors exchange contracts and complete the transaction. While an average conveyancing process takes anything between eight to twelve weeks after instruction, several factors can delay the process. An experienced solicitor or conveyancer will anticipate potential roadblocks and have a ready solution for most challenges.

At Benham & Reeves, we work with several established solicitors across the UK, and we can connect you with them based on your property requirements. If you are considering buying or selling a property, get in touch with us today, and we’ll be your partner through this reqarding journey.


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 15 international offices.