Category Archive Conveyancing

ByMichael Morrison

Retail Property Purchases Will Add Fuel to Strengthening Employment Market

Commercial property solicitors in London have ‘inboxed’ their employment departments to brace themselves for a substantial increase in contract work.

Purchasers have spent £1billion on retail space in central London in the first six months of this year originating particularly from Singapore and Hong Kong. The City unfortunately is not faring as well due to the Brexit vote and the uncertainty of its position with the European Union.


Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Brexit and the Property Market

Conveyancing solicitors in London are anticipating a surge in clients from the Middle East due to the fall in sterling; who enjoy shopping where English is spoken. Other new instructions are expected from dollar investors and those from Commonwealth countries especially Australia, New Zealand and India who view this as a buyer’s market.

The combination of low mortgage rates and the housing shortage should keep prices up.


Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Conveyancing Climbs in November

Conveyancing solicitors in Camden, along with those in other London boroughs, enjoyed an increase in instructions last month as nearly 71,000 mortgage approvals were recorded. The Bank of England has confirmed that the rate of mortgage lending growth is at its peak since 2008 and various sources suggest that this trend is continuing.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Disqualified Drivers Driving

Nearly 1500 car drivers who had received a driving ban after being convicted of serious motoring offences were found still driving last year in London. The figure comprises 23% of the national total meaning that more people were caught in the capital than in any other part of the United Kingdom. Almost 500 were apprehended in Manchester which came in, in second place.

With a significant number of people being injured in hit-and-run accidents these figures are a cause for concern.


Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

House Prices Slow Growth leads to Conveyancing Boost

Conveyancing solicitors in London are reporting a gradual increase in new instructions due to the slowest pace in annual growth of house prices in two years. This should delay further any rise is interest rates currently being contemplated by the Bank of England.

There was less than a 0.5% rise in residential property prices this month with the annual growth rate just below 3.5% , the lowest since mid 2013. It would appear price growth is becoming proportionate to earnings.

However house building has faltered and needs to be stepped up dramatically if this market upturn is to be sustained over the long term.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Residential Property Briefing

Suburban house prices are still increasing dramatically as buyers seek homes that match their budgets. This contrasts currently with prices in central London which have levelled off mainly due to the increase in stamp duty rates on houses that are sold for more than £1,000,000.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Government cuts – Thousands of families shut out from justice.

Bench Council has warned that families throughout England and Wales have actually felt the full brunt of the Government’s civil legal help cuts, with a drop of 15,000 per quarter, comparable to 60,000 a year, in the number of individuals getting legal aid for family cases which litigate, and 40,000 per quarter, equivalent to 160,000 a year, in the number of individuals receiving suggestions on their household law issues.

The Ministry of Justice’s own statistics for legal aid for Q2 2014 expose that because cuts to civil legal aid came into result in April 2013 under the Government’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act the variety of individuals getting legal representation on legal help plunged from 40,090 in January-March 2013 to 23,149 in April-June 2014, with the bulk of the cuts striking household law cases.

Nicholas Lavender QC, Chairman of the Bar, stated that The quarterly legal aid data are a welcome contribution to a more transparent approach to the workings of legal aid. They also demonstrate the complete effect of the cuts to civil legal help, which is having a profound effect on the lives of numerous vulnerable individuals across England & Wales. We alerted the Ministry of Justice that the cuts would mean that countless households would be denied access to justice and our prediction, sadly for those impacted, has become a reality.

The current quarterly figures reveal that households dealing with major concerns, such as disputes worrying children, are efficiently being shut out of the justice system. The human effects of cutting a huge part of family law out of legal aid are plainly being seen.
Previously, the Bar Council report LASPO: One Year On, discovered the impact the modifications were already having on access to justice. The official legal help statistics echo some of those workings with, states bench Council.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Notification duration for marital relationships and civil collaborations extended

New plans planned to prevent sham marital relationships

This, together with closer joint working with registrars, has resulted in over 2,000 reports of believed sham cases between July and December 2014– up by over 80 % compared to the exact same period the year prior to (1,099).

Where a sham is believed, couples may undergo an extended notification period of 70 days, to allow investigators additional time to consider whether the proposed marriage is a sham.

The new arrangements– part of the government’s Immigration Act, which ended up being law in 2013– represent the greatest shake-up of marital relationship and civil collaboration preliminaries in recent times. The changes will give the Home Office more time to examine whether couples are trying to flout the migration system.

The latest steps to prevent sham marriages indicate that the notification period for marriage and civil collaboration has been extended from 15 days to 28 days.

The brand-new powers improve previous modifications under the Immigration Act introduced in July in 2014 which widened the duty on registrars to report thought sham marriages to the Home Office.

Migration and Security Minister James Brokenshire stated:

Non-EU nationals who try to take part or organise in a sham marriage face being right away detained until their enforced elimination. Any outstanding leave to stay can be curtailed.

The government has actually likewise presented brand-new elimination and re-entry ban powers for EU nationals who try to abuse free movement rights by participating in sham marital relationships for cash.

In between April and December 2014, the Home Office carried out over 2,000 sham marital relationship operations leading to over 1,200 arrests and more than 430 illegal immigrants have been removed from the UK as a result.

“Marriage can no longer be seen as a ‘fast track option’ for those seeking to abuse marriage to cheat their method into the UK.”.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Commercial Property Rents Up 7%

Commercial conveyancing solicitors in London are reporting strong rental growth rates and no significant evidence of any downturn.

Areas such as Covent Garden and the streets to the north of Oxford Street near Selfridges are booming. Developers who have invested heavily in these locations also set their sights on for example Earls Court for its redevelopment potential and London’s Tech City near Shoreditch.

The rising rents of properties in these locations have seen more than a quarter increase in their freehold values.

Solicitors in London who have clients in Mayfair with commercial property portfolios have noted a slowdown in sales, however, as their clients enjoy the security of the yields from their investments made over the past ten years.

Share This:-
ByMichael Morrison

Stamp Duty

You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property in the UK over a certain price. This is charged on all purchases of houses, flats and other land and buildings.

Different rates apply in Scotland from 1 April 2015 when Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaces SDLT.

The SDLT rate depends on:

  • the purchase price of the property
  • whether the property is residential

SDLT may also be due if you lease a property.

SDLT rates from 4 December 2014

SDLT is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls into each rate band.

Before 4 December 2014, SDLT was charged as a single percentage of the property price.

Where contracts have been exchanged on or before 3 December 2014, and the transaction is completed on 4 December or later, you can choose whether you follow the new or the old rules.

Residential properties

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 2%
£250,001 – £925,000 5%
£925,001 – £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Corporate bodies

SDLT is charged at 15% on residential dwellings costing more than £500,000 bought by bodies like:

  • companies
  • collective investment schemes

There are some exceptions. For example, you pay SDLT based on the new rates and bands where the property is used for:

  • a property rental business
  • a property development or resale trade
  • providing admission to visitors on a commercial basis

Residential leases

If your residential lease is for more than £125,000, you’ll pay 1% SDLTon the amount above the £125,000 threshold.

Conveyancing solicitors in London have reported that since the new rules were introduced there has been a fall in asking prices throughout London e.g. from 7% in Hammersmith and its environs to 0.5% in Hounslow.

Non-residential and mixed-use properties

Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is less than £1,000 Zero
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is £1,000 or more 1%
Over £150,000 to £250,000 1%
Over £250,000 to £500,000 3%
Over £500,000 4%


Share This:-