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Frettens Launch Online Client Portal

Matthew Fretten
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Launched in February, the Frettens Client Portal has already received praise from a number of clients, who particularly like the user-friendly interface, as well as the security and simplicity of the software.

Owning a share of the freehold - why do I have to pay leasehold fees?

Jennifer Smith
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A 'share of the freehold' is a phrase which appears countless times in sales particulars up and down the country. What does this mean? The usual leasehold relationship Most flats and apartments are leasehold, which means that you will have a...

What is an option agreement?

Ben Cobb
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With the demand for land on the increase, many landowners are starting to think about how to make their land work for them, and an option agreement is one way of doing this. Option agreement An option agreement is a contract that gives a party the right to...

Landlords, are you ready for changes to Section 21 notices, from next week?

Michelle Hayter
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Buy-to-let landlords need to prepare themselves for changes to the Section 21 Notice coming into force next week. On 1st October 2018, all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), regardless of their start date, will need to comply with guidelines as to when and...

Another Stamp Duty attack on landlords?

Bernitta Russell
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Buy-to-let landlords and owners of holiday homes could face another stamp duty rate hike in the Autumn Budget to further curb the acquisition of second homes. It is rumoured that the Treasury is looking for fresh ways to raise money ahead of the Budget this...

What is a flying freehold?

Sarah March-Paschal
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Flying freehold is an English legal term to describe a freehold which overhangs or underlies another freehold. This is fairly commonplace, for example a room situated above a shared passageway in a semi-detached house, or a balcony which extends over a...

Proposals for three year tenancy agreements

Sarah Nineham
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Tenants could be given minimum three-year letting agreements to increase security for those who rent a home. Three year tenancy terms The Government is proposing to allow people who rent in the private sector to opt for three-year tenancy terms as this...

Can someone illegally sell our house?

Kym Gaisford
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There are occasionally stories in the press about properties which are illegally mortgaged or sold without the owner’s knowledge. This can be particularly relevant for investment properties or holiday homes which is occasionally used by the family, or...

Frettens Promote Two Associates

Clare Hallett
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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce that Michelle Petersen and Niki Adkins have been promoted to become Associates at the firm. Michelle Petersen Michelle Petersen has been at Frettens since 2014, initially in the Residential...

83 years of Frettens experience coming to Ringwood

Michelle Hayter
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors were delighted last week to announce the opening of a second office in Ringwood in July 2018. Who will be based at Ringwood?             The Ringwood team has...

Hello Ringwood!! Frettens opens second office

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners of Frettens Solicitors are excited to announce that they will be opening a brand new office in the heart of Ringwood in July 2018, making Ringwood a second home for the ever-growing Frettens family. A full service law firm for Ringwood ...

ToLATA - A guide for unmarried couples who are separating

Michelle Hayter
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What happens when a couple who are not married but own a property together decide that they need to separate ? Most people are surprised to find out that the legislation that governs this situation is completely unrelated to the Family Law legislation,...

Extending your lease - What's the difference between a non-statutory and statutory procedure?

Niki Adkins
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Why should I extend my lease? If you are selling a property with an unexpired lease term of less than 80 years, a potential buyer is likely to insist that you extend the lease on, or before, completion. When a lease drops below 80 years the cost of...

A common mistake Landlords make with Form 6a Section 21 Notices

Kerri Hunter
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Section 21 is the no fault way of obtaining possession from an assured shorthold tenant . What is a Section 21 Notice? A Section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice is the first step to obtaining the property back. These are used when the landlord wants...

Purchasing a flat with a short lease - extending the lease as part of the process

Sharon Windsor
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When purchasing a leasehold flat you must think carefully about the number of years left on the lease and the ground rent risks you may expose yourself to. There are two reasons for this:  Your mortgage lender is likely to require a certain number...

Commercial Property expansion - new solicitor

Ben Cobb
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks as Ben Cobb becomes a member of the firm's Commercial Property  Team. Ben joined Frettens from the start of 2018, having trained and qualified as a...

New energy efficiency standards for privately let commercial property

Michelle Hayter
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From the 1st April 2018, there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). New tenancies and renewals The regulations...

Money laundering and proof of ID

Shelley Dancer
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Many of our clients wonder why we have to be so strict about money laundering. At Frettens, we always endeavour to give our clients the best service and it goes without saying that we must protect them from the fraudulent use of their names and addresses by...

Stamp Duty abolished for first time buyers on homes up to £300,000

Clare Hallett
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In yesterday’s budget, The Chancellor abolished Stamp Duty Land Tax for first time buyers with immediate effect on properties costing up to £300,000. The government’s aim is to help first time buyers and they estimate that this move will...

Buying a property with rights of way

Matt Collis
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There is little that divides a community more than disputes over access and rights of way. The law affecting rights of way has evolved over many years rather than being introduced by a single Act of Parliament, and therefore this area is quite confusing. ...

Protecting cash flow - recovering unpaid invoices

Kerri Hunter
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Protecting cash flow is vital for the survival of any business and pursuing unpaid debts to your company is frustrating and time consuming. You have up to six years to recover an unpaid invoice or outstanding debt, but ideally you would act quickly to...

Legal glossary for buying property

Sarah Leach
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At some time in our lives we all have to sign or read something that contains confusing legal jargon. If you’ve ever moved house or rented a property then you will know what a difficult job it can be to wade through contracts full of legal terms. ...

Will new house buying rules clamp down on gazumping?

Jennifer Smith
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The government is reviewing house buying regulations, aiming to end time-wasting offers. Gazumping Gazumping, as it is known, is when when an offer has been accepted for the purchase of a property and the buyer proceeds with their purchase by instructing a...

When must you pay the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Clare Hallett
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In November 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) would apply from April 2016 to purchases of additional residential properties, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties. Since then, a number...

Conveyancing Team expands with new Solicitor

Matt Collis
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks as Matt Collis becomes a member of the firm's Conveyancing Team .         Matt joins Frettens having trained and qualified as a...

Legal 500 accreditation again for Frettens - Every Partner recommended

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to report that it has been recognised in specialist areas of 'The Legal 500' again for 2017-18. This marks the eighth year in a row that the firm has been recognised by the independently researched guide to law firms...

First time buyer guide to home-buying

Kym Gaisford
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Buying a home is a huge financial commitment and can be daunting – especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Kym Brook , a Solicitor in our Conveyancing Team, outlines the steps you need to take when buying your first home . Find a property you...

New Faces at Frettens

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome three new members of staff to their Property, Wills & Tax and Commercial Teams. Kym Brooks joins the Conveyancing Team . Kym is a dual qualified solicitor, having qualified in South Africa as an...

What's the difference between freehold and leasehold?

Simone Bayly
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The tenure of a property relates to Land Laws and Land ownership. Simone Bayly is a Senior Paralegal in our Conveyancing Team. She has explained the different types of tenure and some of the considerations when buying a flat or house . Freehold When you...

Landlord fined for changing the locks

Michelle Hayter
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A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay just under £3,000 after pleading guilty to a charge of ‘harassing an occupier to give up the occupation of their premises’. The tenant had not paid their rent, so the landlord changed the...

Buying a property at auction

Bernitta Russell
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Buying property at an auction can be a fairly stress free way to buy a property - one of the main advantages is the straight forward approach to the sale. The traditional route to buying usually takes around twelve weeks from the day an offer is accepted...

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Natalie Neil
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When two or more people buy a property together, there are two forms of ownership for the property which co-owners should consider. Joint Tenants When the co-owners are both named on the title deeds, they can hold the property as joint tenants. This means...

Plans to ban leaseholds on new build houses

Jennifer Smith
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It is widely being reported in the news today that leaseholds on new build houses could be banned, and ground rents dramatically reduced, under government plans which are subject to consultation. In February this year, we reported that reported that about...

Deposits from the "bank of mum and dad"

Sarah March-Paschal
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As the size of deposits required for property purchases increases, it’s not surprising that many first time buyers need help from their parents or family members to achieve the required amount. However, the combination of family members and large sums...

Landlords experiencing rent arrears

Kerri Hunter
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Rent arrears are a real concern for UK landlords as it can have a significant impact on their ability to pay their mortgage. Fresh research by the Residential Landlords Association shows that 28% of landlords have experienced rent arrears in the past 12...

Help to Buy Options

Clare Hallett
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The government has created a number of Help to Buy schemes aimed at helping people to take steps to buy their own homes. Some of the names are similar and ambiguous; clients calling for a conveyancing quote often get confused, so Clare Hallett ,...

What are my options to extend my lease?

Niki Adkins
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A short video article featuring Lease Extension Specialist, Niki Adkins , outlining the options for someone wishing to extend the lease on their flat or apartment.   For more information read our lease extension page. If you would...

Property Solicitors join Team Frettens

Clare Hallett
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Frettens are delighted to welcome two new Solicitors to their Residential Conveyancing Team. Sarah March-Paschal is a Conveyancing Solicitor with Conveyancing experience largely in the Poole and Bournemouth area, as well as additional...

Property fraud & the importance of registering your property

Clare Hallett
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In September 2016 the Land Registry had reported that since 2009 they had “prevented frauds on over 200 applications representing properties valued in excess of £92 million.” Although Land Registry have reported that property fraud...

Leasehold property guide released

Clare Hallett
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A conveyancing trade body is stepping up efforts to highlight concerns over leasehold properties with fresh guidance for consumers. The Conveyancing Association, which has long called for leasehold legislation to be reformed, has designed a guide to...

Lease Extension Q&A

Niki Adkins
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Niki Adkins is a Leasehold Specialist at Frettens who helps clients to extend their lease on their apartment or to buy the freehold. She has put together this Q&A as a starting point for any property owners who are considering this. Q. What Is A...

Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners Membership

Niki Adkins
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The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners, or ALEP, is an association of organisations experienced in the residential leasehold sector. All member firms are rigorously vetted so that members of the public can be confident that they have...

What a Landlord Needs to Know About the EPC Changes

Oonagh McKinney
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After lots of uncertainty, on 23 February 2017 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) finally published their guidance on how the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will apply to commercial property. From the 1st April...

Frettens Appoint Niki Adkins to their Property Team

Oonagh McKinney
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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce the appointment of Niki Adkins to their Commercial Property Team. Niki joins from a Salisbury firm where she was head of the Leasehold Property Team. Niki joins Frettens at a time when they are expanding...

An update on the future of the conveyancing process

Clare Hallett
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Following discussions at its ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ Conference, the Conveyancing Association, the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has announced it will set out a template for the future and produce a list of actions all...

Beware of Rentcharges and the perils of ignoring them

Clare Hallett
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It is uncommon to come across rentcharges, but the recent case of Roberts v Lawton illustrates the harsh nature of the powers granted to rentcharge owners and the risks to a land owner of ignoring the rentcharge. What is a rentcharge? A rentcharge is a...

Property lettings - changes affecting a Section 21

Michelle Hayter
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The Deregulation Act came in on 1st October 2015 and made changes which affect whether a landlord can serve a valid Section 21. All tenancies that began on or after that date, including renewals are affected. Statutory periodic tenancies are not if the fixed...

Help to Buy Scheme to cease

Clare Hallett
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The Government has recently announced that the Help to Buy Mortgage Scheme will not continue to operate after the end of the year. The scheme which was unveiled in 2013, offered first time buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with a Government backed...

Bank of England base rate cut - what it means for you and your mortgage

Clare Hallett
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The Bank of England recently cut the base rate for the first time in more than seven years, reducing it from 0.5% to a new low of 0.25%. The base rate is the Bank of England's official borrowing rate, which influences what borrowers pay. For those who...

The effect of BREXIT on the property market

Clare Hallett
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We were warned by the UK Treasury that house prices would be hit by Brexit. Prior to Britain voting in the referendum, the UK Treasury said that house prices could crash between 10% - 18%. Now, after the British electorate voted to leave the European...

Has the housing bubble burst?

Clare Hallett
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The housing bubble has burst, analysts have said, after sellers started slashing money off their asking prices and accepting offers up to 10 per cent less than when the property was listed. According to Zoopla, the average discount on the original price of...

Purchasing a Property with an Unadopted Road

Clare Hallett
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When buying a property, one of the aspects you should be wary of is whether the main road to which the property fronts is adopted by the Local Authority. Unadopted roads refer to roads which do not have to be maintained by the Highway Authority under the...

Flood Re (Part 2)

Charlotte Bunch
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In order to identify what properties are covered by Flood Re we need to understand how it works. How does it work? In brief Flood Re is a non-profit scheme designed for specific task over a specified period of time that allows insurers to insure...

Flood Risk - the new 'reinsurance' scheme (Part 1)

Clare Hallett
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Since 2000 there has been a series of voluntary agreements between the Association of British Insurers and the Government that has made flooding insurance widely available to households at high risk of flooding. However these agreements did not cover the...

Every residential landlord's worst nightmare

Michelle Hayter
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Squatters. How do you prevent this happening? How do you remove them if it does? Don’t despair it is possible to evict squatters and regain your property. Squatters are people who do not have a right to be in your property. There is no legal definition...

How will the new Stamp Duty Land Tax changes affect you?

Jennifer Smith
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The Government has announced that higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will come into effect from 1 April 2016. Higher rates will affect additional residential purchases such as buy to let properties and second homes which will be subject to an...

Flood Search - when should they be requested?

Clare Hallett
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Flooding causes concerns to landowners, buyers and tenants alike, even more so now that we are increasingly aware of the impact frequent and deep flooding has on property and the lives of those it affects. "It is therefore vitally important, when...

Landlord's - avoiding and dealing with problems with tenants

Michelle Hayter
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It’s been a boom time for the rental sector, 40% more people now live in rented accommodation than in 2006. Michelle Hayter ,  Dispute Resolution Partner says, "Arguably there has never been a better time to be a landlord but problems can...

What to check out when buying a new home

Clare Hallett
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Having decided to search for a new home, here are a few tips on what to check out:- Heating and Electrics – you are about to spend an awful lot of money on your new property. Check the boiler and electrics because what could be worse than moving...

Landlord's immigration 'right to rent' checks

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If you are a residential landlord you will be obliged to check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your property from you for any new tenancy granted from 1st February 2016.. This will be done by inspecting original documents which entitle the tenant to...

Will the Help to Buy ISA boost the housing market in the New Year?

Clare Hallett
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You might be surprised to hear that January is a buoyant time for the housing market. Rightmove, who had over a million visitors to their website on Christmas day 2014, say that on the first working day of January 2015 nearly three million people visited...

Anger from landlords at Stamp Duty hike

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The surprise announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of an extra 3% charge on Stamp Duty for buy to let homes has met with an angry reaction from landlords and letting agents. Mr Osborne is hoping the new charge will raise £1billion by...

Landlords Beware - 1st October further changes. Are you ready?

Michelle Hayter
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SECTION 21 NOTICES The Basics : For all tenancies beginning on or after 1 October 2015, landlords will not be able to serve a section 21 notice within the first four months of the tenancy. From 1 October 2018 this will affect all tenancies. The...

Changes afoot - should tenants be able to sub-let?

Michelle Hayter
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Rules on sub-letting in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) are clear – as a landlord you can simply refuse your tenant permission to sub-let. Most residential landords have a clause written into their rental agreement to this effect. An important reason...

Buy to let to boost retirement income

Oonagh McKinney
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Judging the right time to acquire a buy to let property is tricky but with the Government’s new pension reforms that come into effect this month, savers will have unprecedented access to their nest egg. There will be the freedom to seek out...

Housing market slows due to election uncertainty

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Prospective house buyers are waiting for the outcome of the election before deciding to move house. The March report by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has found that demand for property is at the lowest level it has been for a year. Housing...

Home Sweet Home

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The Prime Minister’s announcement last December that first time buyers will be eligible for a 20% discount on new homes is still under consultation while the exact details of the scheme are worked out. The Government has confirmed that the initiative...

Stamp Duty reforms boost house purchases

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The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last December, which made radical reforms to the Stamp Duty system has helped boost the middle market and encourage prospective home buyers. Figures released by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAES) show...

Heavy penalties for not controlling Japanese Knotweed

Amy Langlois
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Guidance issued recently by the Home Office has said that people can be fined up to £2,500 and face criminal prosecution under new antisocial behaviour laws, for failing to control the spread of Japanese Knotweed in their gardens. This invasive plant...

Guide to the changes in Stamp Duty Land Tax

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The Government have announced that with effect from 4 December 2014, SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) for residential property is now going to be calculated differently. It will be charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that...

Conveyancing terminology explained

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At some time in our lives we all have to sign or read something that contains confusing legal jargon. If you’ve ever moved house or rented a property then you will know what a difficult job it can be to wade through contracts full of legal terms. ...

Transfer of Equity explained

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A Transfer of Equity is when the ownership of equity is changed. This is most common when a property is jointly owned and there has been a relationship breakdown. The person who is leaving the property is removed from the Deeds, or they transfer their share...

Online tool to aid Local Authorities avoid SSSI damage

Clare Hallett
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Natural England have recently launched a new online tool to help Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), developers and ecologists assess whether a proposed development is likely to impact negatively on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The Impact...

Co-ownership schemes - Look before you leap

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“Buying a house is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make and in these uncertain times it has certainly become more difficult for a lot of people”, says  Conveyancing  Executive  Charlene Rimmer . Co-ownership...

Buying a property with Rights of Way

Michelle Petersen
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There is little that divides a community more than disputes over access and rights of way. The law affecting rights of way has evolved over many years rather than being introduced by a single Act of Parliament, making this area quite confusing. There are...

Mortgage Market Review

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who regulate residential mortgages in the UK have been reviewing the market over the last few years to make sure that it works well for consumers. The process was called the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) and is due to be...

Boundaries of Waterside Properties

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The exact line of a legal boundary is often left unclear in conveyancing. Trying to describe it exactly without precise measurements and accurate large scale plans can be problematic. For example, a boundary may be marked by a physical boundary, which may be...

Essential things to know about boundaries

Amy Langlois
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It is quite normal for boundary definitions set out in the conveyance or transfer deed for your property to be inaccurate, particularly in older properties. The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 rectified this to a certain extent although dimensions found on...

Business affected by bad weather, flooding or storm damage? Force Majeure explained

Matthew Fretten
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The recent spate of storms that have devastated parts of England have caused many problems for businesses. Through no fault of your own maybe your customers have been let down or suppliers have let you down. What are your obligations? The answer lies in your...

Conflicting reports for housing boom in 2014

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Property prices in Britain will increase more than expected in the next five years according to official figures released by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). These figures, which formed part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, indicate...

Making Moving Day Manageable

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Here is an essential guide to make your moving day manageable: The dreaded utility provider calls: Council tax, gas, electric, water, sewerage, tv licence, phone, internet, tv, home insurance… You can make the calls after exchange, before...

Money Laundering and Proof of ID

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Many of our clients wonder why we have to be so strict about money laundering.  Charlene Rimmer  , Conveyancing  executive says,”At Frettens Solicitors we always endeavour to give our clients the best service and protect them from...

First time buyers guide to buying a house

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Buying a house is a massive investment and getting it just slightly wrong can be costly. Unless you have big savings, chances are you’re going to have to get a mortgage – a loan for buying a house. A mortgage is secured against the property which...

Help to Buy Scheme - Who Will Benefit

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Good news for home buyers as the Government brings in phase two of the Help to Buy scheme three months earlier than planned. The first phase of the scheme was introduced in April and 7,000 people have already benefitted from this although it only applied to...

Is it a seller's market? Increase in gazumping?

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As the economy slowly makes its’ way towards recovery and house prices are reported to be on the rise, some conveyancing firms are seeing an increase in gazumping. Gazumping is when your offer to buy a house has been accepted by the seller, but then...

New Recruits in the Forest

Lee Young
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Malky Chaloner  and  Amy Leung  have joined Frettens’ New Forest Offices, expanding the Wills & Tax and Conveyancing Teams. Malky is a solicitor in the  Wills & Tax Team , working in both the Brockenhurst and New Milton...

Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 - good news for developers?

Oonagh McKinney
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The Growth and Infrastructure Bill received Royal Assent in April this year, introducing a number of reforms that will affect the planning application process. The measures are in theory intended to reduce red tape and make it easier for housing development...

LFS Awards finalists

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The Partners and Conveyancing Team at Frettens are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted as a finalist for the LFS Conveyancing Awards 2013. LFS (Law Firm Services Ltd) created an awards event in 2012 to recognise the outstanding work...

Chancel repair liability - legislation change in 2013

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Chancel repair liability originated in ancient medieval law on people living in a parish on church land. They were obliged to contribute to the upkeep of the Chancel (the space around the altar). Conveyancing  Partner David Walton says...

A landlord's obligations

Michelle Hayter
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It is estimated that there are close to a million buy-to-let landlords in the UK and there are strict regulations which landlords must be aware of and adhere to. M ichelle Hayter , of our  Dispute Resolution  Team, says “Most residential...

Solicitors promoted to Associates

Matthew Fretten
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Employment Solicitor   Paul Burton  and  Commercial Property Solicitor  Kerry Houston-Kypta have both been promoted to Associate status at Frettens Solicitors. Paul joined Frettens in 2009 and specialises in both contentious and...

A guide to the Green Deal

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The Government’s much vaunted Green Deal has been under way for some months now but seems to have had little impact on the general public since its launch. There have been criticisms that public awareness of the scheme is low, or maybe people are put...

Disputes with co-owners of property

Natalie Neil
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Property is the most valuable asset that you own and in these tough times when getting on the housing ladder is becoming more and more difficult, co-ownership may become an attractive proposition. When a property is to be bought by two or more owners it...

SDLT annual charges on companies owning high value residential property

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The Government has introduced new rules this year, affecting the tax treatment of residential UK properties worth over £2m which are held by companies. These charges will affect those holding, buying or selling such properties. The charges will apply...

Separate legal representation for mortgage lenders?

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Separate representation is when your mortgage lender uses a different conveyancing lawyer to the one who is acting for you. They will usually expect you to cover their legal fees which could run into hundreds of pounds on top of the fees you will pay for...

Landlord's remedies for tenant insolvency

Michelle Hayter
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These are difficult times and many landlords are finding their tenants are having difficulty paying their rent . Where does this leave you as a landlord? It is possible, but by no means certain, that you can agree to a temporary reduction in rent for your...

What is an SDLT Power of Attorney?

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Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax on the purchase price of land and buildings. If you buy either a freehold or leasehold property and the purchase price is more than £125,000 you must pay SDLT. This is on a sliding scale of between 1%-15%. As the buyer of...

Frettens Conveyancers Regional Excellence at the LFS Awards

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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce their firm’s success in the LFS Conveyancing Awards  on 20th September 2012. LFS (Law Firm Services Ltd) created an awards event to recognise the outstanding work of conveyancers,...

Insuring a property after exchange of contracts

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It is usual for a seller and buyer to insure a property during the period between exchange of the sale contract and completion. Charlene Rimmer , a Conveyancing Executive in our Brockenhurst office, explains “Usually the seller’s home...