Conveyancing Solicitors in Reading & Henley
THP Solicitors residential property team, one of the largest and fastest growing in the Thames Valley, is led by Rachel Gaylor and is focused on service, communication and the application of a common-sense approach to getting the job done with as little stress as possible for everyone involved.
The department is made up of experienced Solicitors, Legal Executives, Conveyancers and support staff and we pride ourselves on providing a style of service that is tailored to you, because no two transactions are the same. We act for a wide range of clients from first-time buyers to clients who own portfolios of buy-to-let properties.
The majority of our work comes through recommendations from clients and unpaid referrals from local property agents who recognise the experience and professionalism with which we all deal with matters and the levels of service that we provide. Whilst we always seek to work collaboratively with Estate Agents and other industry professionals, we seek recommendations on our merit, not because anyone is being paid to say we are good. Our fees are transparent and reflect the service we promise. There are no ‘add-ons’ or hidden fees, so no nasty surprises along the way. To view more detail please click here.
We are members of the Law Society Quality Solicitors Scheme and are on the panels of all major the lenders.
Sales & Purchases
A property purchase is likely to be one of the largest and most important transactions you ever make and we recognise and appreciate the trust you place in us in asking us to assist with this.
We will discuss your aims and objectives at the outset and agree with you how you would best prefer to be communicated with, the frequency that you wish to be updated and any other factors which are important and personal to you. To ensure the smooth progress of a house purchase or sale, our Residential Property team will:
- give clear, transparent and unambiguous fee quotations
- guarantee an 8-business hour response to any enquiries by phone or email
- maintain contact with you at least once a week to give you a progress update
- communicate with you by whatever means you prefer (phone, email, text, video, in person) and ensure we explain everything clearly
- make the process as smooth as possible through a responsive and proactive service that gets you where you need to be
The Legal Ombudsman has published guidance for buyers. Whilst this is intended for first-time buyers, we think it includes useful guidance for all prospective purchasers, whether a first-time buyer or not. Please click on the link below to read the guidance.
A property purchase is likely to be one of the largest and most important transactions you ever make and we recognise and appreciate the trust you place in us in asking us to assist with this
Transfers of Equity
A transfer of equity is the addition or removal of a person to the deeds of the property. This could be creating a co-owner, taking a name off the lease, or transferring it all together. Example of when you may wish to transfer full ownership to either yourself or the other person could be following a divorce/ separation and the property is transferred from the joint names of the couple to a single person or if you want to give ownership/part-ownership of the property to a child or family member.
If you are looking to add or remove someone to the mortgage, you’ll need to get legal advice as you are changing the ownership of the property.
How we can help
We can transfer your property from sole name to joint ownership, or vice versa, or advise on the options available for co-ownership. We can amend the deeds for you and help draw up paperwork specifying how you will own the property. We can also prepare Trust Deeds to reflect different contributions being made to the purchase price of a property.
Remortgages & Refinancing
Remortgaging is when you change the mortgage on your property by moving to a new lender. We have extensive experience working with banks, building societies and other specialist mortgage lenders, so we know how they work. The legal title has to be checked, the leasehold and/or management company information obtained if necessary and searches may also need to be carried out depending on the requirements of the new lender.
How we can help
We can help with re-mortgaging, or re-financing through further advances. We always ensure you’re fully advised on the terms of your obligations to your lender and that we deal with your lenders requirements promptly and efficiently to ensure your remortgage funds are not delayed.
Equity Releases/Lifetime Mortgages
Equity Release/ Lifetime Mortgages are usually only available to those aged 55 or over, who often find themselves in the situation of being ‘house rich but cash poor’ when their wealth is tied up in their property. Our residential property team is also able to provide legal advice on Drawdown Lifetime Mortgages and Home Reversion Plans.
Equity release is aimed at helping to release some of the cash tied up in your home without the expense and inconvenience of having to sell your house and downsize. The most common type equity release scheme is the lifetime mortgage – you borrow against the value of your main residence (up to 60%) but continue to own the property.
How we can help
If you are planning to release equity from your home by mortgaging your property, we can advise you on the process, the legal implications, your obligation and whether it is right for you, including lifetime interest only mortgages, hybrid lifetime interest only/compound mortgages and conventional lifetime mortgages. We can also assist in buying and selling using equity release to finance a move or transferring an existing scheme to a different property.
Leasehold Enfranchisement & Extensions
If you own a leasehold property you may need advice regarding leasehold enfranchisement for a lease extension, your rights with regard to acquiring the freehold, or insisting on the right to manage the properties.
Our property teams have the full range of leasehold enfranchisement experience in this field to:
- obtain lease extensions, either by way of negotiation or by the statutory process
- exercise the right to manage
- act for residents in negotiating and collectively buying the freehold of their block of flats
- advise freeholders in respect of their response to applications for lease extensions, the right to manage and sale of the freehold
- rights first refusal
How we can help
We have acted in many varied situations for Landlords, groups of tenants on small developments, large groups of tenants on extensive developments and as a result we understand the difficulties that arise in co-ordinating the activities and negotiations. Our expertise is recognised by our membership of ALEP (Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners). Exercising the Right to Manage, the Right to a Lease Extension or the Right to purchase the Freehold is complicated by the number of the people involved because it is not just one party on either side but there is a need to focus and unite the whole group of tenants. Members of our team will meet with residents out of regular office hours at management company meetings or at specially convened residents’ meetings in order to explain the process.
Ownership & Rights of Way
Sometimes legal issues regarding ownership, boundaries and rights of way come up between property owners, their neighbours and developers.
The most common examples are
- A right of way – this is a legal right to pass over someone else’s property. There can be public rights of way across footpaths, or rights of way across private land, known as easements. Difficulties tend to arise when there are disagreements about whether a right of way exists, the extent of that right, and the obligations in relation to it.
- Boundary ownership – it is not unusual for neighbours to have differing ideas about where the boundary between their property lies, especially when fences, walls or hedges are replaced or altered over the passage of time. Problems can also arise where boundaries are not recorded correctly with the Land Registry.
- Adverse Possession – It is not uncommon for people to use land belonging to their neighbours for a long period of time, either deliberately or unwittingly. If this usage has occurred for approx. 10 or 12 years (depending on the case), then it is possible that they will have acquired title to the land, meaning that they own it in law. It is then possible to make an application to the Land Registry to have the land included within their title deeds.
- Restrictive Covenants – A restrictive covenant is a promise made by the owner/occupier of a piece of land agreeing not to do something on their land – i.e. it is a restriction on the use of that land in some way. Crucially, restrictive covenants do not just restrict parties who agreed to them in the first place, every subsequent owner/occupier of that land will also be bound if certain criteria are satisfied and it can be legally enforced.
How we can help
If you have a query about any restrictive covenants affecting your property, boundary ownership, or rights-of-way, we can advise you and help you find a solution you’ll be happy with. It is important to seek advice at an early stage as the legal position is often complex and we can carefully review the deeds, relevant title documents photos and plans to ascertain the facts. We understand that issues regarding property can turn expensive and acrimonious disputes, so our property team will to the heart of any problem quickly, alleviate tensions and designing the best possible solution for clients.
Whilst the nature of the property involved may not differ from a standard sale or purchase, the motivation for the move is often very different. It may be that the property is in a new block with a new lease with all the pressure of deadlines or it may simply be that you are downsizing having lived in the same property for decades.
How we can help
We understand that in either situation this is likely to be the first time you have been through the process for many years and it can be a daunting prospect. With our experience in dealing with these types of transactions, we can guide you through the process smoothly and ease the stress.
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