Bishop & Sewell
Flower

For many of us, buying a property is the single biggest financial responsibility we ever undertake. Because there is no such thing as a standard property transaction, you need a solicitor who is flexible and believes in delivering the right result for you.

Bishop & Sewell has an unparalleled reputation, established over nearly 40 years, as one of London’s leading residential property law practices. This is gained from an in-depth understanding of property law, coupled with a talent for communicating the key aspects to our clients in an accessible way.

How We Can Help

Our highly experienced conveyancing solicitors offer the following advice:

  • In relation to freehold and leasehold sales and purchases;
  • Regarding joint ownership arrangements and buy-to-let schemes;
  • Planning issues;
  • Property management, equity release issues and ‘lock out’ agreements;
  • Ownership, redevelopment and use of basements or vaults.

Our residential property solicitors understand that no two transactions are the same and we believe in delivering a tailored and flexible service. If you are using property as an investment vehicle, or are buying significant property, you will find our service levels second to none for both availability and discretion.

Client care is at the heart of what we do; as are the practical solutions we tailor to help achieve our client’s property requirements. We keep you up-to-date with developments throughout the life cycle of your transaction, and will help you make decisions when that need arises. Our approach ensures you feel at ease throughout the conveyancing process, and that you understand what is happening and, crucially, why it is happening.

Residential property transactions can be stressful, and one of our aims is to help alleviate that stress wherever possible. At Bishop & Sewell, a dedicated person will always deal with your transaction, allowing you to have a familiar and consistent point of contact.

As part of our conveyancing service, we also act on behalf of all major building societies and lending institutions. We hold the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation.


Next Steps

For initial advice, a quotation or to arrange a meeting with one of our conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the residential team. Alternatively, please use our enquiry form above or email us at mail@bishopandsewell.co.uk.

Whether you are releasing capital in a single property or in a portfolio, bridging finance can be used to deliver quick access to funds at short notice.

As the name implies, bridging finance, or bridging loans, should only be used as a short term funding solution. Bridging lenders will almost certainly charge higher rates of interest than the usual high street or commercial lenders. The lender’s fees may also be significantly higher owing to the complexity of the loans and the need for them to be completed in a short time-frame.

The most common reason for taking out a bridging loan is where someone is attempting to complete on a property purchase quickly. Bridging loans can enable you to buy a new property before you have sold your existing home. A typical example is someone purchasing a property at auction, where the completion date of 28 days, or less, is required and arranging normal lending would take longer than the notice period for completion.

Bridging loans should not be your first port of call. In most cases it may be more advantageous to seek out a high street loan-to-value mortgage. If so, you may be able to negotiate a mortgage with your lender that requires you to make a large overpayment when you complete on the sale of your existing property.

When you take out a bridging loan, you will need to provide your lender with some form of security, in addition to your obligation to repay the loan. This most often takes the form of a legal charge against your land or property. It is also possible that assets such as classic cars and jewellery can be taken as acceptable security.

By their nature, bridging loans need to be actioned and completed within a short period of time. They should only be handled by a solicitor with expertise in the area, who understands the mind-set and the requirements of bridging finance lenders and their solicitors.

With nearly 40 years of experience, Bishop & Sewell can help ensure that your loan is processed smoothly and efficiently. We are dedicated to offering a full, bespoke service to our clients, so you can be confident you know what to expect every step of the way.

Bishop & Sewell LLP is an award-winning London law firm with offices in Russell Square. Our residential conveyancing solicitors have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results.

As part of our conveyancing service, we also act on behalf of all major building societies and lending institutions. We currently hold the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation.


Next Steps

For initial advice, a quotation or to arrange a meeting with one of our conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the residential team. Alternatively, please use our enquiry form above or email us at mail@bishopandsewell.co.uk.

Many people are often surprised to learn that you will need a solicitor in order to re-mortgage your existing property.

Re-mortgaging is the process of closing one mortgage account and replacing it with another. In practice, this means that the new mortgage pays off the old and you are then subject to the terms of the new.

There are plenty of reasons to re-mortgage your property, including:

  • To gain access to funds from the increase in the value of your property;
  • To get the security of a fixed rate, when your current mortgage has reverted to a variable or tracker rate; or
  • Locking in a better rate of interest, due to changes in your circumstances since you originally purchased.

Any re-mortgage involves a certain amount of legal know-how and the process can be confusing. With nearly 40 years of experience, Bishop & Sewell can help ensure your re-mortgage runs smoothly and quickly. We are dedicated to offering a full, bespoke service to our clients, so you can be confident you know what to expect every step of the way.

Bishop & Sewell LLP is an award-winning London law firm with offices in Russell Square. Our residential conveyancing solicitors have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results.

We have a national reputation and hold the Law Society’s conveyancing quality scheme accreditation. As part of our conveyancing service, we also act on behalf of all major building societies and lending institutions.


Next Steps

For initial advice, a quotation or to arrange a meeting with one of our conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the residential team. Alternatively, please use our enquiry form above or email us at mail@bishopandsewell.co.uk.

The main attraction of a property auction is that the process is quicker than the usual conveyancing process. Unlike a usual conveyancing transaction, there is no formal exchange of contracts and the binding contract of sale is formed once the ‘hammers falls’.

With close to 40 years of experience, Bishop & Sewell has a wealth of knowledge to assist in both the buying and selling of property at auction.

Buying at auction

Buying at auction offers the potential for you to obtain a property at a good price. However, there are risks that you must be aware of; auctions are often a way to sell difficult or otherwise unsellable properties. Before you attend the auction it is of paramount importance that you do your homework.

Auction pack

You will always be offered an auction pack for the properties that you are interested in bidding on. These are often available for download from the auction house’s website for free, as well as from the auction house in hard copy.

It is crucial that you acquire this pack before you attend the auction. This is so you may approach a solicitor to inspect the documentation and provide you with professional advice.

This level of due diligence may seem cumbersome when you may not even obtain the property, but it is crucial in discovering costly problems before you put in a bid. A prime example is that the property, upon closer inspection, is impossible to obtain financing for, unable to get planning for, lacking rights of way, is subject to hidden costs or has other troublesome property title issues.

Price & stamp duty land tax

As with all property purchases, an auction buyer is liable to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), based on the price paid for the property. Always make sure you take this into account when making your bid. You should also remember that any second properties purchased will have a higher rate of SDLT paid on them. If you, your spouse or any of your co-buyers own a property inside or outside the UK, the purchase may be subject to an additional 3% in SDLT.

With some auctions there is a ‘guide price’ indicated in the auction pack. This is an indication of what the property is expected to sell for. A ‘reserve price’ is the lowest price that the seller will accept from a buyer. While it is common for the auction pack to state if there is a ‘reserve price’, it is unusual to list the actual amount.

The contract of sale

It is important that you understand what is being offered and any special conditions or other provisions that may be included in the proposed lease or transfer of the property. Some common things to look out for are:

  • A transfer containing an ‘overage clause’ whereby if you develop the property or make a planning application, you have to pay the seller a premium, based on the increase in the value of the property;
  • Finding yourself contractually responsible to pay an additional premium, over and above the purchase price, to the sellers, upon completion of the sale;
  • Being responsible for the fees of the seller’s solicitors, and search costs;
  • Very quick completion dates at short notice.

Once the property has been sold at auction, completion is usually required 18 to 25 days later, but this can differ. This is one of the main reasons it is vital that you have your financing in place before you put in a potentially winning bid (such as an agreement in principal from a lender or sufficient savings).

Selling at auction

Selling property at auction can create a wave of interest from a number of potential buyers. This can have the pleasing effect of driving up the price. Provided that you are realistic with your reserve price, you can expect a quick sale.

Auction selling often lends itself to a particular sort of property. If you have an unusual or dilapidated property, you may find it difficult to advertise to buyers using the traditional sales route. Auctions tend to attract disparate selections of property buyers, such as developers and experienced landlords, who aren’t put off with problematic properties that need a bit of work.

If you’re looking to sell your property quickly, auctions could be an option for you to consider. When acting on the sale of a property at auction, Bishop & Sewell can draft all the necessary documents to go into a full auction pack. With the wealth of experience that Bishop & Sewell brings to any property matter, we endeavour to anticipate what a prudent buyer and his solicitor would expect to see in the pack, so as to ensure you a secure and speedy sale.

Don’t let any of this put you off using the auction process. There are always going to be risks and you must be prepared to take these on board, but it can be an excellent way to get bargain.

With nearly 40 years of experience, Bishop & Sewell can help ensure that you make the right decision before you put your bid in. We are dedicated to offering a full, bespoke service to our clients, so you can be confident you know what to expect every step of the way.

We offer a fixed fee to review and draft any auction packs and, should the auction be successful, this fee is discounted against any subsequent conveyancing work we undertake for you. We have a national reputation and hold the Law Society’s conveyancing quality scheme accreditation.


Next Steps

For initial advice, a quotation or to arrange a meeting with one of our conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the residential team. Alternatively, please use our enquiry form above or email us at mail@bishopandsewell.co.uk.

The term ‘transfer of equity’ can be misleading. This is because it involves the transfer of both the legal title of the property and its beneficial (or equitable) title. A transfer of equity occurs where the ownership of a property changes, but at least one of the original owners remains on the title.

There are many reasons why people choose to undertake a transfer of equity. Some of the more common are:

  • Marriage or co-habitation: when people decide to live together, they often transfer the property into their joint names and, if needed, onto whatever existing mortgage there may be over the property;
  • Divorce or separation: when a couple divorces or separate, property is typically transferred, sometimes with compensation or under a court order. One of the areas that distinguishes Bishop & Sewell, is that its property team works in close partnership with its family law team. Should you be in the unfortunate situation of losing your property through a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, our solicitors can offer expertise in property issues arising from relationship breakdown;
  • Buying a co-owner out: co-owners may wish to buy out another owner, or to be bought out of the property. This normally involves some form of financial consideration changing hands; and
  • Estate or tax planning: property owners may decide to transfer their property to their children or other family members to manage their Inheritance Tax liabilities. Bishop & Sewell’s private client team is able to advise clients regarding the best way to structure their assets and how to limit their estate’s overall tax liability.

Bishop & Sewell has an unparalleled reputation, established over nearly 40 years, as one of London’s leading residential property practices. This reputation has come from an in-depth understanding of property law, coupled with a talent for communicating the key aspects to our clients in an accessible way.

We have a national reputation and hold the Law Society’s conveyancing quality scheme accreditation.


Next Steps

For initial advice, a quotation or to arrange a meeting with one of our conveyancing solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141 and ask for a member of the residential team. Alternatively, please use our enquiry form above or email us at mail@bishopandsewell.co.uk.

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