Residential Sales and Purchases
Moving home is one of life’s most stressful challenges and with three quarters of UK homes owner occupied, most of us will be buyers and sellers at some point in our lives. Calm, focused, solicitors can make all the difference in the transaction, keeping the process smooth and under control. We remain on your side throughout, offering crystal clear advice from the start, through all of the legal and technical details until completion and beyond if necessary.
Whether you are buying or selling your house or flat (existing or new build), we will ensure that you are aware of everything that you need to know so that the transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
If you have a residential or commercial property which you intend to sell by public auction, we have experts to deal with the preparation and submission of the legal pack to the auctioneers. We will deal with all the pre-auction legal enquiries and, if you are successful at the auction we will handle the sale through to final completion.
If you are intending to purchase a residential or commercial property at public auction our solicitors are on hand to examine and report to you on the legal pack, before you legally commit to the purchase at auction. This is absolutely essential! You must be aware of any issues, defects and/or matters relating to the property before you enter into the contract. If you are successful in your bid at the auction, we will handle your purchase through to completion . We will then attend to the stamp duty land tax and all of the registration formalities.
Mortgages, Re-Mortgages, Equity Release
Whether you need to release equity from your home or would simply like to obtain a more competitive mortgage rate, a smooth running re-mortgage is essential. We understand your need to finalise the re-mortgage as quickly and as simply as possible. That is why we have designed our system to provide a personalised service to our clients, ensuring that your re-mortgage is completed without undue delay.
We are on the panels of most banks and building societies (including all of the major lenders) and can therefore provide the speed, expertise and service you need.
Transfers of Equity/Ownership
A change in circumstances, for whatever reason, may mean that you need to alter the ownership of your property. For example, there may have been a relationship breakdown or you may have taken advice from your tax adviser. Our Property Team will deal with the transfer for you, and, if you have a mortgage secured against the property, we will ensure that your lender’s requirements are met. Whether residential or commercial, freehold or leasehold, mortgaged or not, our Team members will simply do what needs to be done.
Co-ownership/Declarations of Trust
If you are buying a property or already own a property with a co-owner (be it your spouse/partner, a family member, close friend or business partner), it is vital to ensure that your respective shares/ownership of the property are well documented. We will advise you on the different ways of jointly holding property and the implications, so that you can decide which is the best for you.
Things can and do go wrong; relationships break down and situations change. By documenting your shares at the outset, potential future expensive disputes over ownership can be avoided.
We can draw up a deed of Declaration of Trust for you to reflect your requirements, based upon your individual circumstances.
Gifts of Property
We are being consulted more and more by clients who wish to transfer or gift their home to their children or other family members. There are however potentially serious implications which you need to know about and considered carefully. Our qualified Team regularly advise on these issues and will ensure that you have the information to make a fully informed decision.
On the death of a person there will nearly always be property which will need to be dealt with. In order to transfer the property into the ownership of the Beneficiary, the Personal Representative(s) will need to execute an Assent. In order to do this the Personal Representative(s) will first need to obtain a Grant of Representation (see our Private Client services). Following completion of the Assent, an application will need to be made to the Land Registry in order to register the change of ownership in the property. Our specialist solicitors will deal with this for you, at what can be a very difficult time.
Landlord and Tenant
Whether you are a landlord intending to rent out your property or a tenant intending to rent a new property, a tenancy agreement will be required. Our Property Team will ensure that your tenancy agreement is properly and legally drawn up, containing everything to suit your individual circumstances.
We advise clients on their obligations under the agreement and on what they can expect from their landlord/tenant.
Under the law you have rights to purchase the freehold of your property or to extend the term of your lease. There is also provision for collective enfranchisement (e.g. where all tenants in a block of flats buy the freehold and usually set up a management company of which they are all members). We can advise you, whether you are the current landlord or a tenant wishing to exercise your rights.
Buying your Freehold
If you have lived in your house for 2 years or more and your lease is for a term of 21 years or more, you may be entitled to purchase the freehold from your landlord. The formal procedure is complicated, but our team of experts can guide you through the process to make things as straightforward as possible.
If you are a landlord or freeholder and have been asked to sell your reversion, or you wish to “tidy up” your Estate or realise some capital, our solicitors have experience in dealing with freeholder clients of both large and small Estates.
Extending your Lease
If your lease has a remaining term of 80 years or less, you should consider asking your landlord to extend the term. If you have owned the lease for at least two years, you may have a statutory right to extend the lease term.
You should know that the shorter the term of the lease, the more difficult it becomes for prospective buyers to obtain a mortgage and the more expensive it becomes to extend the lease term.
Some of the benefits of extending the term of your lease include:
Opportunity to remedy any defects in the existing lease.
Opportunity to ensure compliance with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ requirements.
Reduces the rent to a peppercorn.
Our Property Team are able to help and guide you through this complicated process whether the extension to the lease is a stand alone transaction or part of your existing sale or purchase transaction.
The solicitors in our property department have experience in dealing with collective enfranchisement matters. We have acted for both freeholders and leaseholders of a building comprising flats and maisonettes in connection with extending the individual lease terms, and collectively purchasing the freehold reversion and setting up a management company.
Solar Panel Leases
With the rising cost of household bills, more and more people are considering alternative forms of energy. You may be considering having solar panels installed on your house. Whether you are buying the panels outright or intending to lease your roof space, you need to take legal advice before doing so.
Solar panel leases are classed as business tenancies which means that the tenant (the energy company) will have security at the end of the lease term, effectively meaning that the lease will not necessarily come to an end at the end of the term (usually 25 years). Unless the lease is contracted out of the relevant Act of Parliament this will apply. There are strict notice requirements for contracting out and it is essential that you take proper advice.
It is not simply a case of signing the paperwork as it is vital that you understand what your obligations under the lease will be.
There may also be implications if your property is leasehold or mortgaged as you may require the consent from the freeholder and/or your lender. You should also consider that the implications will be if you decide to sell the property at a later date.
Commercial Property Sales and Purchases
Buying or selling your business property can be a stressful challenge. Calm, focused, experienced, solicitors will make all the difference. Our Team will keep the process smooth and under control, offering crystal clear advice from the start, through all of the legal and technical details until completion. Whether buying or selling we will carefully monitor the transaction, ensuring that you are kept informed of everything relevant to the transaction.
Whether you have a residential or a commercial property which you intend to sell by public auction, we have Team members who can deal with the preparation and submission of the legal pack to the auctioneers. We deal with all pre-auction enquiries of a legal nature and, if you are successful at the auction, we will handle the sale through to completion.
If you are intending to purchase a property (residential or commercial) at public auction, our expert solicitors are on hand to examine the legal pack and to report to you fully on it before you legally commit to the purchase at auction. This is essential. You must be aware of any issues, defects and/or matters relating to the property before you enter into the contract. If you are successful in your bid at the auction, we handle your purchase through to completion. We will then attend to the stamp duty land tax and registration formalities on your behalf.
Whether you need to release equity in your property or would simply like to obtain a more competitive mortgage rate, a smooth running re-mortgage is essential. We understand your need to finalise the re-mortgage as quickly and simply as possible. That is why we have personalised our service to ensure that your re-mortgage is completed without delay.
We are on the panels of most banks and building societies (including all of the major lenders) and can offer you the speed, expertise and service you need.
At BWL our Property Team specialist solicitors are experienced in acting for both landlord and tenants in connection with drafting and approving commercial leases for all types of commercial property. Our solicitors recognise that commercial clients require their lease to be finalised without delay, so as to minimise disruption to their business. We will advise both landlord and tenant clients of their rights and responsibilities contained in the lease.
Terminating your Lease
There are several ways in which a lease can be brought to an end. You may be a tenant wanting to end your lease and vacate the property, or you may be a landlord whose tenant has already left the property without formally surrendering the lease. You may want to sell the property with vacant possession or enter into a new lease.
Whatever the circumstances, BWL specialists are able to assist in dealing with terminating the lease properly and expeditiously. For advice on surrendering your lease, forfeiting your lease, serving a break notice or notice to quit, contact one of our Commercial Property Team members.
Agreements for Lease
In some cases it is not possible or sensible to proceed straight to the lease, and so an agreement for lease is required. An example of such a situation would be where either landlord or tenant is to carry out considerable repair works to the property before it can be occupied. Clearly it is in both parties’ interest to have a legally binding agreement securing commitment to the lease. We are experienced in drafting and approving agreements for lease. For specialist advice, speak to a Commercial Team member.
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial property, there may be rent review provisions in your lease. Whilst you would need to take independent valuation advice, we will assist in advising you on the process and procedure of the rent review.
Authorised Guarantee Agreements
Are you a tenant who has been asked to enter into an “AGA”?
Are you a landlord who wishes to protect your income?
An Authorised Guarantee Agreement is an agreement in which the outgoing tenant ,the person selling or assigning the lease, guarantees the performance of the tenant covenants in the lease by the new tenant, the buyer or assignee. Therefore, if the new tenant defaults on paying the rent or carrying out repairs for example, the outgoing tenant becomes liable.
As a landlord you will want to ensure that you protect and safeguard your position.
As an outgoing tenant you will want to ensure that you are not entering into onerous liabilities which are even more so than when you were the tenant under the lease.
The law contains anti-avoidance provisions and issues can arise for both landlord and tenant. Serious considerations need to be given by both parties. Our team will provide clear and focused advice to both landlord and tenant clients.
Our solicitors have experience in acting on behalf of landlord clients in connection with the granting of licences to assign, sub-let, make alterations, change of user?Whatever the consent requirements of the lease, we will be able to help.
Is your property subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order? Have you received correspondence from the Local Authority? If so, contact our Property Team so we can help you through the complicated procedure.
We have acted for farmers and rural land owners for generations and understand their special requirements. These include sales, purchases and lettings of agricultural property, and the multitude of property rights and interests incidental to the ownership of the land. If you want to benefit from our experience, speak to a member of the Property team.
You may not be aware that it is possible to submit an application to the Land Registry for voluntary registration of your property if the title is still unregistered. There are many merits in doing so, some of which include:
No risk of losing the title deeds and documents as your register of title is stored electronically by the Land Registry.
More protection for you against squatters trying to claim title to your property as the Land Registry would notify you of any such claims. It is almost impossible for a squatter to succeed in their application if the property is registered.
One register of title will detail all matters relating to the title rather than having a plethora of various deeds with the risk that one or more may be lost, mislaid or destroyed.
A better quality plan.
We have extensive experience in dealing with voluntary registration applications including large Estates and residential, agricultural and commercial properties.
Adverse Possession/Squatters Rights
Have you occupied land which is not owned by you for a long period of time? If so, it may be possible to make an application to the Land Registry to have the land registered to you. To succeed, strict requirements must be met and our team can help assist you to ascertain whether you are able to establish the requirements for an adverse possession claim. We will guide you through this complicated process.
*Please note that squatting in a residential building is illegal and we are not able to advise on this.
We have a long history of providing focused commercial and corporate legal services to the business community of Swansea and the surrounding areas. We have significant experience of dealing with all legal matters relating to businesses of all sizes and complexity. Understanding our clients’ businesses – whether small, medium or large – enables us to respond quickly and deliver the highest standard of service. We can draw on a wealth of experience and knowledge in a full range of commercial and corporate disciplines.
We offer comprehensive advice, guidance and assistance in establishing the kind of partnership that will suit your needs. We also specialise in drawing up partnership agreements, an essential ingredient in smooth running businesses. Sound, legal guidance and assistance ensure that you are able to anticipate and protect your business interests now and in the future, and save the cost and impact of reacting to problems that may arise later.
Our commercial property solicitors are also able to offer advice on the following:
Option Agreements and Pre-Emption Agreements
Portfolio Sales and Purchases
Deeds of Easement, Variation and Release