Frequently Asked Questions

We will provide you with a written breakdown of anticipated fees at the outset. We will only charge you more than the estimated fees if there are unforeseen or unusual difficulties or “extras”. If your purchase falls through, we do reserve the right to make a charge for the work we have done.

There is no simple answer to this question. Most property transactions involve a chain of sales and purchases. Some or all of the people involved in the chain may require finance from a mortgage company. The whole process can, therefore, take several weeks.

However, as a very general guide, Rightmove state that once every link in the chain has been made and Solicitors instructed completion of the purchase should take place within 20 weeks (stated June 2022).

This is not a good idea without first speaking to us. Before we can give a realistic estimate of how long the transaction might take, we need to know from all the Solicitors in the chain, the circumstances of each party. This information is not usually available at the outset. Agreeing on a date prematurely can unnecessarily put all parties under undue pressure in a transaction which can be stressful. Unless you do have a crucial deadline to meet, try not to put yourself under added pressure to meet a date which may turn out not to be achievable.

The estate agents will send us the details and we will start the conveyancing process. We will request from the seller’s Solicitor the contract and other supporting documents including a form listing the contents which are included or excluded in the transaction and a form completed by the seller giving some general information about the property. We will also receive and check title documents and other papers.

We will carry out searches and will probably ask some additional questions of the seller’s Solicitors.

If you buy a freehold property, in law you are buying the land on which the building is standing, together with the air space above it and the soil beneath it, together with the garden (if any). Since you cannot own slices of air space, properties which overlap one another such as flats are nearly always sold as leasehold. This means that there will be an individual(s) or a company which will own the freehold of the site on which the building stands. The owner of that freehold creates leases for each flat in the building.

A lease is a lengthy and comprehensive document which creates the relationship between landlord and tenant. This is inevitably a far more complex relationship than being the owner of a freehold property. The lease needs to make provisions for:

  • repairs of the whole building as well as the repair of your particular flat;
  • insurance of the whole building;
  • the rights to use common staircases, footpaths, gardens etc.

You will almost certainly have to:

  • pay ground rent to the landlord;
  • contribute towards the insurance;
  • contribute towards the services and repairs of the development

These service charges may be collected monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.