Complete Residential Property support
We provide advice and guidance across a variety of areas:
- Residential sales
- Cash purchases
- Investment properties
- Sales for executors and trustees
- Individuals downsizing
- Voluntary first registration
- Trust planning
Our team of solicitors are trusted by high net worth (HNW) and ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals to manage their property portfolios, often looking after large numbers of assets held in multiple countries.
The firm has been built around the needs of individual clients and their families for generations, and is at the heart of our firm.
The team to trust no matter how big or small your requirements
We are experienced in structuring acquisitions and holdings to take into account tax-planning efficiencies, utilising expertise from across our property and private client teams to provide a comprehensive service to our clients.
We pride ourselves on being trusted, independent, successful and helpful in all transactions with our clients, either directly, or in partnership with mutually trusted advisers, including accountants, banks and wealth managers.
Pricing Information and Processes
Current hourly rate as at September 2020:
- Directors, Senior Solicitors, Senior Legal Executives and other members of relevant professional bodies with 8 years’ or more experience after qualification - £260 - £300 plus VAT
- Solicitors, Legal Executives and members of relevant professional bodies with 4 or more but less than 8 years’ experience after qualification and fee earners with equivalent experience - £195 plus VAT
- Other Solicitors, Legal Executives and fee earners of equivalent experience not falling within A or B above - £170 plus VAT
- Trainee Solicitors, Paralegals and fee earners of equivalent experience not falling within A-C inclusive above - £145 plus VAT
We do not routinely take on residential conveyancing work for new clients and we no longer have anyone in the team that deals solely with house conveyancing for individuals moving house.
All of our property team experts are able to assist existing clients with residential conveyancing and examples of when we are likely to help with this are:
- For the executors of an estate which includes a house which the executors wish to sell or transfer to a beneficiary
- For the trustees of a trust when the trustees wish to purchase a house for a beneficiary to live in, for example, a beneficiary that has received compensation following a personal injury. In these cases often part of the award of compensation is ear-marked to purchase, build or adapt a property to provide the best environment for living with an injury or to help with rehabilitation.
- For our family business owner clients, whether upsizing or downsizing.
In relation to a purchase, depending on the type of transaction, we will guide you through the following stages:
- If the purchase is for a beneficiary of a personal injury trust, we will work alongside property agents and other professionals such as architects and carers to help indentify an appropriate property to meet requirements.
- Taking your instructions at a face to face meeting to thoroughly understand what you wish to achieve from the purchase both in the short term and in the longer term for you and your family.
- For more complex builds, attending site visits and accompanying you on the property viewing if required.
- Carrying out thorough due diligence to make sure our fact finding exercise provides all relevant information you need, to help you to decide whether to go ahead or not. If the seller’s advisers provide clear and helpful information in a timely manner this helps avoid unnecessary delays and minimizes the risk of us having to request further additional information. Usually this stage can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to 3 to 6 months depending on the type of property and the quality of the information supplied. The sort of factors that can cause delays are:
- problems with the title deeds
- buying listed buildings
- services not connecting to the mains system for example water bore holes and septic tanks
- having to raise finance rather than purchasing with your own cash
- the property being leasehold not freehold
- Approving the draft contract, exchanging contracts, preparing the purchase transfer document and dealing with legal completion. Exchange of contracts is when you are committed to proceed with the purchase and may be required to pay a deposit. Legal completion is when the keys are handed over and the residential property is yours.
- We have experience of achieving legal completion within 28 days from instruction but it is more usual for the whole process to take 2 to 3 months.
- We choose not to participate on any lender panels to maintain our independence and generally our existing clients are cash purchasers. If you are purchasing with the help of a mortgage then your lender will need to instruct their own solicitors to represent the lender and you will be responsible for paying their costs too.
- Assisting with the completion of Stamp Duty Land Tax returns and Land Registry applications and payment of the tax and the registration fees.
Our legal fees in relation to a purchase vary depending on the particular circumstances. The legal fees are charged on a time basis at our hourly rates and in our experience it is not possible to deal with a residential purchase in less than 10 hours. Properties with a sale price of over £1million with the most complex issues may take up to 40 hours based on our past experience. Our legal fees can range between £2000 plus VAT and £10,000 plus VAT but typically are around £4000 plus VAT. Disbursements will include:
- Search Fees of between £700 - £1000
- Stamp Duty Land Tax based on the purchase price and your personal circumstances and there is a calculator tool on the Government website which you can use to calculate your tax (www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax)
- Land Registry fee based on the purchase price and there is a calculator tool on the Land Registry website which you can use to calculate your registration fee (www.landregistry.data.gov.uk/fees-calculator)
In relation to a sale, we will guide you through the following stages:
- Identifying any title defects or other issues that we anticipate a buyer’s adviser may raise concerns about and offer practical as well as legal solutions at the outset. By tackling problems at an early stage delays can be avoided and risks minimised of the buyer withdrawing, if such problems have not been resolved or if the buyer seeks to negotiate a price reduction.
- Taking your instructions at a face to face meeting to thoroughly understand what you wish to achieve from the sale and whether the sale proceeds are required for example, to invest in another property, a business venture or lifetime gift planning.
- Attending site visits and meeting at the property if required.
- Answering questions from the buyer’s adviser in a helpful and detailed way to enable them to carry out their due diligence exercise as quickly as possible.
- Preparing the sale contract, exchanging contracts, approving the purchase transfer document and dealing with legal completion. Exchange of contracts is when you are committed to proceed with the purchase. Although a deposit may be paid it will usually be held in our client account until legal completion. Legal completion is when the keys are handed over and you are paid the sale price. We have experience of achieving legal completion within 28 days from instruction but it is more usual for the whole process to take 2 to 3 months.
Our legal fees in relation to a sale vary depending on the particular circumstances. The legal fees are charged on a time basis at our hourly rates and in our experience it is not possible to deal with a residential sale in less than 6 hours. Properties with a sale price of over £1million with the most complex issues may take up to 20 hours based on our past experience. Our legal fees can range between £1000 plus VAT and £5000 plus VAT but typically are around £1750 plus VAT. Disbursements will generally not be more than £50 and include:
- Land Registry, Land Charges or Local Authority copy documents
- Colour photocopying or plans
For more than a decade Claire has carried out all the legal work on my commercial and residential property purchases and sales, both in Hull and elsewhere in the UK. Claire's advice and service has been first class and I would always turn to her with regard to both my business and private affairs.