In the work associated with residential property sales and purchases (Conveyancing) those who carry out such services (known as Conveyancers) are required in many instances “to be all things to all men”.
From many years of dealing with residential conveyancing transactions it is now more important than ever to be aware that we should also be offering advice and suggesting other legal services to our clients.
For those clients who sell properties without buying another property they frequently need information regarding investment of sales proceeds. If selling a second home; then advice needs to be considered concerning Capital Gains Tax.
For those clients who purchase a property in their sole name but whose partner will also be residing in the property then, if the buyer has a mortgage, the details of the partner must be disclosed to the Lenders who will usually request the partner/occupier to complete a Consent to Mortgage Form.
In addition to this, what about a sole owner whose partner resides in the property too and who in some way contributes towards the household bills/shopping etc. and who, if the relationship breaks down in the future, may have a claim on the property?
Most clients are not aware of such matters until their transaction is discussed with the Conveyancer.
From discussing this with a client very recently, he had no idea that his partner may potentially have a claim on the property.
In this instance he was advised to seek the advice of one of the firms’ family lawyers on the merits of completing a Living Together Agreement.
In addition to this, as the client, or his partner do not have children, and with nil prospect of having children together, the client had not even considered the merits of completing a Will. He was incorrectly of the opinion that should he predecease his partner, then his property would automatically pass to her. Once again he was directed to another department of the firm, Wills & Probate, to seek advice on the merits of completing a Will.
Local knowledge of the area is also a useful weapon in the conveyancer’s armoury.
Having just been instructed by a purchase client to act with a particular property, the address thereof automatically “ rang the alarm bells”. It transpired that the area in which the property lies may potentially be affected by Japanese Knotweed and the client in question could then be warned of this possibility. The alarm bells rang in this instance as the conveyancer in question recalled a local newspaper article reporting problems with Knotweed in that area.
Similarly, in many parts of the Black Country in particular, several areas may potentially be effected by past coal mining. Again the conveyancer saved the client money by firstly carrying out a coal mining search against the property in question only to discover that the property was affected by disused pit shafts. Needless to say the client did not proceed with the purchase of that property and was most thankful of his conveyancer’s local knowledge!!
So whilst many clients may think that the process of buying and/or selling property is easy there is much to take into consideration, apart from and, in addition to, the usual conveyancing procedures.
To discuss how we can assist you in your conveyancing transaction, or to find out more about our fixed fee conveyancing quotes please contact our property teams on:
Kidderminster: 01562 820575
Worcester: 01905 730450
Halesowen: 0121 227 385
Sedgley: 01902 904060
Stourport: 01299 827517
Solihull: 0121 624 4000