Buying a House

Whether you are buying your first house, moving home, or adding a property to your portfolio, buying a property can be both exciting and stressful and exciting. It also has major financial implications, so you need to have an experienced solicitor on your side to manage all the legal aspects. Your conveyancing solicitor will guide you from pre-contract stages right through to completion as smoothly as possible.

Home Buyers Guide

Buying a house at auction

Auctions are often efficient and economical platforms for buying or selling a property. The contract is completed at the close of bidding, so the process can be far quicker and less complicated than other property transactions. However, sales at property auctions are binding, so ensure  you have proper legal guidance.

Auction Property Guide

Buying your first home

Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, so buying a house for the first time can be both exciting and daunting. The process of buying a house is particularly confusing if you have never done it before, so make sure you have a reliable conveyancing solicitor to guide you through the process.

First Time Buyers Guide

Joint Ownership

Joint ownership allows couples to buy and own a property together as either “joint tenants” or “tenants in common.” There are different legal consequences attached to each, so it is important to investigate the option that is best for you.

Joint Tenancy

This means that a property is owned by two or more individuals known as “co-owners.” The most common form of joint ownership for couples in marriages and civil partnerships, it may also be appropriate for unmarried couples. The property is held in “undivided shares,” which means that the property is owned as a whole by all co-owners without any division of shares or specific parts of the property. The joint owners are equally responsible for obligations such as the mortgage, so that the lender can pursue either or both of them if they fall behind with repayments. The surviving joint tenant inherits the entire property automatically if the other joint tenants dies. This is called the “right of survivorship” principle. The property does not form part of the deceased's estate, so any will is unaffected.

Tenancy in Common

This form of co-ownership specifies what shares in the property each party owns. These shares can be passed down normally in a will and do not transfer automatically to the other co-owners as they would in a joint tenancy. Similar to joint tenants, tenants in common have joint responsibility for the property and obligations such as the mortgage, but these responsibilities between the owners should be set out in a Declaration of Trust or Trust Deed. 

Shares in the property do not have to be equal in a tenancy in common, although the law will presume the division to be equal unless the documentation states otherwise. The property itself is not divided physically between the parties.

The key difference between joint tenancy and tenancy in common is the effect on ownership of the property when one party dies. For joint tenants, the surviving co-owner inherits complete ownership, whereas tenants in common may decide to pass on their share of ownership to other parties in their will.

The difference between leasehold and freehold

Freehold means outright ownership of a property, including the land it is built on. A freeholder has responsibility for maintaining and insuring their property.

Leasehold means ownership of the property for the length of term of the lease. Leaseholders have landlords and, possibly, managing companies. If you take over a lease, you receive only what remains of the term at that time. The asking price will reflect the length of the term of the lease. The Landlord is usually responsible for maintaining the property and arranging buildings insurance. It is also possible to own a share of freehold. If you own a leasehold property , you may be able to buy the freehold of your property or extend the lease.

Buy to Let

Buy-to-let properties are a perennially popular investment vehicle. They offer certain challenges, however, so you should consult a reliable solicitor to guide you through the process. Specialist buy- to-let mortgages and ongoing obligations after the sale is completed are among the challenges you won’t find with residential properties. An expert property solicitor will help you to add a new property to your portfolio by making the process as clear, smooth, and efficient as possible.

In the market for a new home? Contact us today to see how our solicitors can help.

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