Understanding UK Property Law

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Property law in the UK is quite complex. Indeed, there are a lot of things that are not actually governed by ‘UK property law’ as such but by English law, or Scots law. If you are considering buying a property, or taking out a leasehold or a freehold, then it is important that you seek professional legal advice before making such a large commitment. Property law governs ‘real property’ as opposed to personal property or intellectual property. Land can be considered property in some cases, but unregistered land is treated differently to registered land. Seek the advice from a reputable law firm so you know exactly where you stand.

Personal property covers goods, money, and moveable items, while real property is buildings and houses. This is a generalisation, but it covers the majority of cases. Personal property can simply be ‘given to someone’ but real property, in general, would need to be transferred by a deed.

The recording of the transfer of property – either permanently or through a lease, is something that is an important element of the law.

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What do Property Lawyers Do

Property lawyers can help with both commercial and residential property issues. They can help people with the buying and selling of property, and with rentals as well. Some of them can help with planning law or with construction. Many property lawyers will choose to either focus exclusively on residential work or on commercial work.

Residential conveyancing specialists are likely to be based on the high street and will deal with people face to face. Commercial lawyers may work with clients from all over the country and will handle much bigger cases but potentially with less face to face contact.

The housing market in particular is quite busy at the moment in the UK, and this means that lawyers are in a lot of demand. There have been some high profile cases of home buyers running into difficulties with poorly constructed houses on new builds, and this is something that a lawyer may be able to offer advice regarding. If you are buying a newly built property then you want to know that the property that you get will be fit for purpose. Engaging a property lawyer to help ensure that you do indeed get something that is in a good state of repair is important.

Commercial Property

Commercial property leases can range from two months easy in/easy out, through to decades-long leases. Purchases can involve massive sums of money. There are many different types of lease, from FRI leases where you are responsible for rent, repairs and insurance to leases where you simply occupy the building but within reason the landlord does all of the work. Make sure that you get the agreement properly documented, and that you are able to meet all of your obligations.

Don’t forget, also, that there are business rates and insurance requirements that must be met in commercial properties. Business rates are a percentage of the rateable value of the property and can increase the cost of the property by 20 percent to 50 percent in some cases.

How A Conveyancing Solicitor Can Help You

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conveyancing lawConveyancing work is necessary regardless of whether you are buying or selling property. The main role of conveyancing solicitors and legal professionals is to ensure that they rights of their clients are protected and that they meet their obligations throughout the buying or selling process.

Since both sellers and buyers are supposed to meet various obligations and have various rights in the property selling and buying transaction, it is important that both parties hire their own professionals.

Read on to find out more about the roles of a property conveyancing solicitor.

Preparing Documents

It is upon the conveyancing solicitor to prepare all the necessary documentation for the property transfer transaction to take place.

On the seller’s side, the conveyancing solicitor usually prepares the Contract of Sale as well as the Vendor’s Statement. These are by far the two most important documents that the seller must have for the transaction to go through. It is however worth noting that the solicitor may also be required to prepare any other necessary ancillary documents.

On the other hand, it is upon the buyer’s solicitor to prepare the necessary documents needed to ensure that ownership of the property in question passes to their client. The documents must meet the legal requirements in that specific jurisdiction.

Legal Advice

It is upon the solicitors involved to offer accurate legal advice regarding the transaction at hand to all involved parties.

As a seller, your solicitor should be able to properly advice you on the documents, included in the Contract of Sale, you need to facilitate the transaction. This professional should also point out all the documents you will need to hand over to the buyer to complete the transaction.

The conveyancing solicitor working on behalf of the buyer should be able to advise their client on the terms and conditions of the transaction. The solicitor should go through the Contract of Sale and Vendor’s Contract and point out any conditions that you should be aware of.

Finalising The Transaction

The conveyancing solicitors representing both parties are in charge of coordinating the final details of the transaction. Even though the settlement day is set out in the Contract of Sale, it is upon the two professionals to agree upon the most appropriate time for their clients. Once the settlement is completed, the seller’s solicitor will contact the realtor and direct them to hand over the keys to the buyer or their solicitor.

As you can see from the above, conveyancing solicitors usually handle the challenging details of a property transfer transaction.

Save Money On A Conveyancing Solicitor

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Every year millions of pounds are spent on conveyancing costs, even without the property exchanging hands. This represents a huge, and unnecessary, waste of money on the part of the seller and buyer. Saving money on conveyancing is to negotiate for the best deals. Ask a local law firm to charge a fixed fee for their services, instead of an hourly rate, which is bound to be costlier if the deal involves a lot of work.

You can also consider asking your conveyancer to include a “no sale, no fees” guarantee, to ensure that you avoid paying any fees if the property deal falls through. It is however worth noting that you will still have to cover some costs, such as those associated to property searches, even if they agree to this condition.


Conveyancing solicitors have an important role to play when it comes to the fulfilment of obligations and protection of the rights of both sellers and buyers involved in the sale or purchase of properties.

Minimise the money you spend on conveyancing solicitors, while still getting the most out of them.

Freehold Property Is Cheaper

Conveyancing costs, including fees paid to the solicitor, tend to be lower when the property involved is freehold. This is mainly due to the fact that freehold property deals are straightforward, requiring less work, on the part of the solicitor, to get done.

Leasehold property deals tend to require more work as they involve complicated legal agreements.

Choose An Online Service Provider

Opting for a conveyancer who operates purely online, through emails or by post, may be more cost effective as compared to hiring an out-and-out solicitor.

It is however worth mentioning that any losses you incur due to mistakes made by following their advice will be solely upon you. Conveyancers who offer their services in-person are usuallyconveyancing advicelicensed and insured. This means that their clients have someone to turn to in the event that they suffer losses occasioned by mistakes made by the professional.

Take Advantage Of Free Services

You can make substantial savings on conveyancing solicitor fees by simply taking advantage of free conveyancing services offered under the mortgage deal at hand. However, be sure to note that the fees may be included in the mortgage payments.

To ensure that you don’t have to hire your own conveyancer even after using the services of the free option, be sure to ask your lender, beforehand, whether they are happy with the one provided.

Now you stand a better chance to save money on a conveyancing solicitor the next time you are involved in a property transaction.

Knowing Property Law

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understanding property legal issuesFrom home ownership to purchasing business premises, property law is one of the most varied career options. If you are interested in helping people and companies as they complete important transitions, it may be time to consider a career as property law solicitor or conveyancer.

What Is Property Law?

Property law is one of the most thriving areas of legal practice, particularly during these periods of economic boom. The land’s appreciative value as a fixed asset will always be valuable. As a lawyer in this field, you could work in either a corporate or residential setting. Commercial property law can also be divided into public and private projects; therefore, you will be able to provide assistance for investors, businesses, developers, individuals and government bodies.

What Does Property Law Include?

For the majority of people purchasing a property is the largest transaction they will make. Most will commit to a large level of debt when making this purchase that they will continue to pay off for years, if not the rest of their lives. Working in this field, you could be dealing with these issues. At the beginning of the career, you will start drafting contracts; however, you can progress toward negotiations between the two parties.

It is common for people in property law to specialise in a particular area, while others opt to be ‘general practitioners’ working in all areas of property transactions. The average tasks of a property lawyer including structuring arrangements for investments, negotiating transactions, preparing documents, and finalising transactions.

What Makes A Lawyer A Good Property Lawyer?

To be a successful property lawyer you will require specific characteristics – you must be observant, pay attention to detail, have an ability to collate and present information meticulously. You need to have a logical mind when dealing with the different parts, and your drafting skills must be logical. You must have a thorough understanding of the various regulations and legislation associated with property law. Moreover, you communication skills need to be high quality because most of the work needs to be consensual. Client management is also significant as you will need to translate complex terminology for your clients.

What Ares Of The Law Are Covered By Property Law?

Property law covers various areas of law, including the following:

1. Administrative/Constitutional Law

This area is the core legal field as it holds all the other legal areas together – the “glue”, if you will. Regardless of whether you are looking at a specialty or general practice, the administrative and constitutional law area is the primary foundation.

2. Public Law

Public law is the area that arises between the public and the state, meaning it includes criminal, constitutional/administrative and tax law.

3. EU Law

As Brexit comes closer, EU law is becoming more important to legal professionals. As a primary area of law, EU law deals with all elements relate to the European Union and the power it has over the members. If you are interested in law on an international scale, then EU law is the best career option.