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Advice for you

Residential Property

Communication is key when buying and selling property or moving home. Our expert property team are bright, modern and accessible.

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Everyone knows the pressures and uncertainties of buying or selling your home. Usually, it involves a chain of transactions which extend beyond your control.

We know the value of communicating with everyone involved, of acting quickly to avoid delays and, most importantly, in providing a professional and value-for-money service. Our team know that timing, negotiation and often a sense of humour all play a vital part in achieving a successful outcome for you.

Frettens underwent rigorous assessment by the Law Society to secure the Conveyancing Quality Scheme Accreditation (CQS), the mark of excellence for the home buying process.

We can help you with:

Call us for a quotation and free consultation

Every sale, purchase, lease or remortgage is different, and you will inevitably have queries and questions about your transaction. For this reason, we find it's always best to have a free initial call to discuss your needs and answer your questions.

Our Ask Us Team are on hand to talk to you Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:15.

Call us at your local branch in Ringwood or Christchurch, Dorset for a free initial conversation and a quotation. You can also fill our online enquiry form and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Alternatively, use our conveyancing calculator to see the estimated costs for your transaction.

Our residential property solicitors’ expertise

We have a team of specialist residential property and conveyancing solicitors on hand to guide you through your transaction. The hallmark of our service is our approachable nature and rigorous commitment to producing positive results for clients.

Our advice is practical and reliable and our overall service is efficient and proportionately priced.

We can handle all legal aspects of your conveyancing matter, whether you need help with buying, selling, extending your lease, or any other property-related matter. This includes:

  • Protecting your interests at every stage of the transaction, such as reviewing title deeds, carrying out property checks, and advising on your rights, duties and obligations under legal contracts
  • Promptly responding to your correspondence and proactively taking steps to progress your matter by chasing the other parties involved, including solicitors or other personal representatives, managing agents, freehold landlords, and banks
  • Liaising with your mortgage lender if needed in relation to the financing of your property transaction
  • Ensuring all legal documentation is drawn up accurately
  • Making sure your transaction is registered correctly with HM Land Registry

We can help you with:

Buying a home

Buying a home may be the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime. It is therefore essential that it is done right. Our conveyancing solicitors know the process inside out and can skilfully provide advice, guidance and support from the moment your offer is accepted to the exciting day you move in.

The most important part of the process is ensuring that your new home is suitable for you. This includes carrying out property searches and assessing title deeds and plans to check things like the property’s boundaries.

We will carry out these checks and searches meticulously and provide a detailed breakdown of our findings so you can make an informed decision about whether you’re happy to proceed with the purchase.

We will also provide advice about matters such as Stamp Duty (and first time buyer’s relief) and Government schemes such as Help to Buy or Shared Ownership.

Selling a home

For whatever reason you are selling your home, whether you are upsizing, shifting an inherited property, or downsizing for retirement, we can provide a fast and reliable conveyancing service.

Our conveyancing solicitors will handle every legal aspect of the sale on your behalf, including:

  • Helping you prepare information about the property to provide for the seller
  • Liaising with your mortgage lender about the redemption of your mortgage
  • Carefully coordinating your sale with your purchase (if you are buying a new home)
  • Preparing and negotiating the draft contract with the buyer
  • Dealing with exchange of contracts and collecting the deposit on your behalf
  • Efficiently completing the sale, finalising the purchase payment, and ensuring the transfer is properly registered at the Land Registry

Remortgaging

There are many reasons why you might want to remortgage your home such as, getting a better deal on interest rates or to pay for home improvements. Remortgaging can save you a lot of money if done right. Our remortgaging solicitors can provide advice on the strict legal process you must go through and handle all legal documentation on your behalf.

Buying a new build property

Buying a new build property is a great option for many home buyers, particularly first time buyers who can take advantage of government schemes such as help to buy and shared ownership. Our new build conveyancing solicitors can handle the legal aspects of the purchase on your behalf, including:

  • Checking the developer’s planning permission
  • Checking the property’s access to services such as roads and sewage systems
  • Liaising with your mortgage lender
  • Handling the relevant legal documentation, such as the sale and purchase contract and the Land Registry transfer forms

Lease extensions

Buying a leasehold property can be more affordable than buying a freehold property , however, it is important to understand your rights as a leaseholder.

As the time on your lease decreases, your property may decrease in value. If the lease falls below 80 years your home could become very difficult to sell or remortgage. For this reason most leaseholders have the legal right to extend their lease once they have owned their home for at least two years. So long as you fulfil certain criteria, the landlord may be unable to refuse to extend your lease for a fair purchase premium.

We can help you negotiate a lease extension with your landlord, either using a formal statutory method or by starting voluntary negotiations. Our services includes serving formal notices, responding to the landlord’s counter notices, and applying to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) if you cannot agree a purchase premium.  

We can also provide advice on other leasehold related matters such as collective enfranchisement, freehold purchase of house, right to manage, and right of first refusal.

Residential Property FAQs

What is Help to Buy?

The help to buy scheme was introduced in April 2021 and is set to run until March 2023.

The scheme will lend buyers up to 20% of the cost of a newly build property (40% for London properties). Of course, this requires a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price (purchase price limit is up to £600,000). To be eligible, you have to be a first time buyer.

Read more here, including the regional price caps and further infomation.

Can I buy with a 5% deposit?

Yes - a 5% deposit scheme is currently in place, these mortgages are available between April 2021 and December 2022.

The scheme allows homebuyers who provide a deposit of at least 5% to take out 95% loan-to-value mortgages.

This only applies to potential buyers looking to purchase a main residential home in the UK worth up to £600,000, you do not need to be a first-time buyer to be eligible.

You can read the full article on the scheme here, or get in touch with one of our friendly conveyancers here.

Can I use money from my parents for my purchase?

Yes! This is one of the most common ways in which people raise funds for a deposit or simply as additional funds towards their purchase. We will need to carry out money laundering checks and confirm the details with your parents as to how the monies are being used i.e. loan, gift or secured legal charge. If you are also obtaining a mortgage for your purchase we will also need to confirm these details to your lender.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty was originally introduced by the government hundreds of years ago to raise extra funds and whilst the amounts payable have changed drastically over the years, the general function is still the same to this day. In England and Northern Ireland you are liable to pay Stamp Duty when you buy a residential property, or a piece of land, costing more than £125,000 (or more than £40,000 for second homes). This tax applies to both freehold and leasehold properties - whether you are buying outright or with a mortgage. If you are buying a property in Scotland you will pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and in Wales you will pay Land Transaction Tax (LTT) instead of Stamp Duty.

How much is Stamp Duty?

On a Standard rate transaction:

  • Up to £125,000 Zero
  • The portion from £125,001 to £250,000 2%
  • The portion from £250,001 to £925,000 5%
  • The portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million 10%
  • Anything above £1.5 million 12%

In certain circumstances there are different rates payable such as first time buyers, second homes and purchases by companies. Please ask us if you require further information.

Do I qualify for first time buyer Stamp Duty?

A first-time buyer is someone who has never owned freehold or leasehold interest in a dwelling before and who is purchasing their only or main residence. Previously or currently owning a residential property, or an interest in a residential property, anywhere in the world is counted when determining whether someone is a first-time buyer. Where there are joint purchasers, all purchasers would need to be first-time buyers. A first time buyer cannot claim this tax relief on a buy to let purchase.

I am a first time buyer but my partner is not - can we get first time buyer's Stamp Duty relief?

Unfortunately no, the HMRC treat married couples as a single entity for First Time Buyer’s Stamp Duty relief. However you may be able to take advantage of the Help to Buy ISA bonus. Click here for details.

When do I pay the deposit?

The deposit is required in order to Exchange contracts. We usually ask for you to ensure we have funds the working day before exchange to ensure matters run smoothly on exchange.

When is my first mortgage payment?

Most lenders will take their first payment by direct debit on or around 10 days after the formal completion date. This payment will usually include the first months mortgage instalment along with the interest for the period from the completion date up to the date your second mortgage payment is due. Your lender should write to you following completion to confirm full details and we recommend telephoning your lender if you have not received any paperwork from them in the first few days in your new home.

Do I need planning permission?

If you are in any doubt about whether you need to apply for planning permission you should contact your local area planning office. The Planning (General Development Order) (NI) 1993 sets out the types of development that are given planning permission through 'permitted development' rights. If you want to confirm whether any development that you have already carried out or that you propose to carry out is lawful for planning purposes you may apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development.

In general terms you must apply for planning permission if:

  • You want to make additions or extensions to a flat or maisonette (including those converted from houses). (But you do not need planning permission to carry out internal alterations or work which does not affect the external appearance of the building.) This is alongside any required permission from the landlord or freeholder under the terms of any lease.
  • You want to divide off part of your house for use as a separate home, for example; a self-contained flat or bed-sit or use a caravan in your garden as a home for someone else. But you do not need planning permission to let one or two of your rooms to lodgers so long as the main use remains that of a private residence.
  • You want to build a separate house in your garden.
  • You want to divide off part of your home for business or commercial use, for example; a workshop or you want to build a parking place for a commercial vehicle at your home.
  • You want to build something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house, for example; your house may have been built with a restriction to stop people putting up fences in front gardens because it is on an "open plan" estate. Most local authorities have a record of all planning permissions in your area and these can generally be accessed online.
  • The work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users.
  • The work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

Can you give me an estimated exchange and completion date?

Conveyancing matters tend to take 12 weeks from the receipt of the contract to completion.

Can you do it quicker than that?

We can expedite a matter but this entails putting your matter before all of our other matters so we have to charge £350.00 plus VAT for expediting your matter. If there is a chain of transactions however the chain will proceed at the pace of the slowest matter so please consider this before you pay for expedition. Your solicitor may not be the one who is holding matters up!

    Call us for a quotation and free consultation

    Call us at your local branch in Ringwood or Christchurch, Dorset for a free initial conversation and a quotation. You can also fill our online enquiry form and we will call you back as soon as possible.

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