Our main specialisation is Residential and Commercial Property.
The Head of Residential Conveyancing’ is Andrea Egan. We are a Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited firm and part of our accreditation requirements is that we must comply with the National Conveyancing Protocol.
We can offer on most occasions a competitive fixed fee conveyancing service throughout the transaction to ensure that the process is easy and simple. We provide an accurate estimate of all charges, duties and expenses, so you know what finances you will need to have available to fund the transaction.
Our previous experience in conveyancing will provide you with the best decision when it comes to buying or selling your property.
We deal with such transactions from initial instruction, undertaking searches and pre-contract inquiries (on purchases) dealing with pre-contract enquiries on a sale through to exchange of contracts and completion and land registry registration (if applicable).
There are 4 stages to a typical purchase:-
- Pre Contract – when initial instructions are obtained, enquiries raised, searches submitted and thereafter reports on title are prepared and sent
- Exchange of contracts – when the buyer pays a 10% deposit to the seller through their solicitors and the date is fixed for completion. After exchange of contracts has taken place between the parties solicitors, the parties are then legally contracted to complete on the date inserted in the contract. Completion can be as long or as short after exchange of contracts as parties agree. Completion must be on a working day.
- Completion of the transaction – when through the parties solicitors the balance of the completion funds are sent to the sellers solicitors by the buyers solicitors. Once completion has taken place which is usually when the sellers solicitors have received the funds, the sellers solicitors authorises release of keys to the buyers usually through the estate agents.
- Registration – when the buyers solicitors submits the application to register the change of ownership and any legal charge to the Land Registry. The Land Registry have a huge backlog and registration can take up to 3 months and in some cases over 6 months. Once registration is complete evidence of registration is then sent to the buyer along with any title deeds received from the sellers solicitors.
Typical transactions we can deal with include:-
Residential sales and purchases Residential re-mortgages Shared ownership sales and purchases New build purchases and sales (including Help to Buy Equity Loans) Leasehold flats and houses, sales and purchases Lease extensions Unregistered titles sales and purchase Transfers of part of a title Purchasing the Freehold Title of your Leasehold house
Please note we only deal with the legal aspects of transferring title and ownership. We are not qualified or regulated to nor do we give advice on the value, state and condition of the Property or survey reports. We are also unable to give advice on the suitability of mortgages or loans being used. We are not regulated to give any tax or financial advice. You should obtain specialist advice in relation to such matters.
The timescales for completing a transaction vary enormously on a case by case basis as it depends whether on such things as whether there is a chain, how long searches take, how long mortgage offers and surveys take to be in place, The average straight forward house purchase takes around 9-16 weeks to complete and the average flat and new build purchase takes usually in excess of that. This does however vary and can be more or less than this timescale, depending on circumstances.
We realise that moving home can be a stressful and expensive time and our aim is to make it less stressful and cost effective from the conveyancing side of the transaction.
Client Identification and Money Laundering
In a bid to tackle serious organised crime, since 2003 new anti-money laundering laws have been implemented. Under these laws, solicitors undertaking certain types of work have more onerous reporting and record-keeping requirements that must be adhered to.
Accordingly, we take a robust approach in respect of our requirements and will require from all clients, without exception, documentary evidence verifying that they are who they say they are and where they live, and evidence as to the source of funds, in order to satisfy our obligations. For that purpose, before we carry out any work on your behalf, we require you to undertake a digital ID check or provide at least two original documents to confirm your identity and address, such as:-
- Passport or full (picture) driving licence AND
- Receipted utility bill (but not mobile bills) less than 3 months old, or Council Tax statement for the current year
- Evidence of the source of funds and where they originated from
We will take copies of these documents for our records. If you are unable to attend at our office with your ID then we will require copies certified by a Solicitor or someone that is FCA registered or the post office. We will also undertake an electronic ID check.
PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to take any steps on your behalf until we have received adequate identification documents and evidence as to the source of funds to enable us to carry out our client due diligence. If you delay in sending these it will delay the transaction. We do not recommend that you send important documents through the post as we cannot accept any responsibility for items lost in the post.
Client Identification and Cyber Fraud, funds and the Banking System
We want to make you aware that fraudsters are currently hacking into email chains between a house buyer or seller and their solicitors. The fraudster monitors the communications using malware that looks for key words like house purchase, deposit, buy and payment – and then they make their move.
They hack into the email account and contact the client disguised as the solicitor’s company they have been liaising with. The fraudsters tell the client by email that the solicitor’s bank account details have changed or they amend the account number before the client gets it.
The fraudsters give the details of the ‘new’ account for the deposit to be sent.
Unknowingly, the client transfers their money to the ‘new’ false account.
The false account is owned by the fraudster, leaving the solicitor or client at a substantial financial loss. Unfortunately in these circumstances, we can’t recover the funds because they are authorised.
- Don’t feel pressured into changing any bank details. If you receive an email stating a change in our bank details, you should ring us on a previously used telephone number. We cannot accept responsibility for funds sent to the wrong account
- Check the email address carefully and if in doubt call us to check the information is correct.
- Buyers and sellers should avoid using public Wi-Fi systems to check emails when house purchases are being made. Fraudsters can easily hack into vulnerable Wi-Fi systems.
- Avoid sharing social media posts about buying/selling your house. Fraudsters may get hold of this information and know the next step is a large financial transaction.
Please always call the office to verify our bank details before sending any funds. You could transfer £1.00 initially and check with us that we have received before transferring large sums of money.
We do not accept any responsibility if you send funds to the wrong account.
We also will not accept any liability should funds be held up or delayed due to the banks internal processes and procedures. Sometimes this can happen due the banks money laundering and fraud checks. Whether and when funds are received by us or the recipient where we transfer funds, cannot be guaranteed as it is in the hands of the banking system and their checks.