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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, First Time Buyers, help to buy, leasehold, Leasehold Conveyancing Quote, Probate, Property Market, property searches, sale, searches, signing contracts, Uncategorized, Wills    No Comments

Happy New Year to you! Thinking about the year ahead?

As we step into a New Year, it can be a time of reflection. After
celebrating and spending time with family over Christmas, you might be
thinking about what the future will hold.

Should your New Years Resolution be to get your affairs in order?

Regardless of your age, planning ahead and putting your wishes in place will
provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. That will certainly lift
those January blues, when the highs of Christmas are over. Creating a Will
or a Power of Attorney may seem like an odd way to shake away the January
blues, but you could be ensuring the future of your loved ones – whatever
your wishes, will be granted.

Could 2018 be the year that you buy your dream home?

Maybe you’ve been thinking of moving house and 2018 might be
the year to take action. Once you find that perfect property, we can
certainly help you with the legal side of things. Our specialist,
Conveyancing team will look after the legal (and sometimes stressful) side
of your move. We work to get things moving for you, whilst you can get on
with packing your boxes and choosing your wallpaper! Our experienced and
award-winning Conveyancing team will manage everything from searches,
deposits and signing contracts, to Exchange and final Completion. Fidler &
Pepper have a dedicated team and we’ll keep you updated 24/7 with our
secure, online case tracker.

Need a helping hand or a chat with one of our team?

If you’d like to get your affairs in order or have plans to buy, sell or
remortgage your property then come and see one of our specialist team.
Alternatively, you can give us a call on 01623 45 11 11 or visit www.fidler.co.uk

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Beginners Guides, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Japanese Knotweed, Property, Property Market, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

What Is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) has reared its ugly head in the news again lately reminding us all of the terrible problems this weed can cause for homeowners. This troublesome plant is renowned for growing at a ridiculous rate of up to 10-20cm a day during the summer months and is classed as an invasive species in the UK. Left untreated the roots of Japanese knotweed can be considered a risk to the structural integrity of a building, mortgage lenders are very wary of it, prospective buyers may not get a mortgage and it can sometimes make the property unsellable.

It’s A Serious Business!

Due to its fast growing and destructive nature, it is an offence under Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or cause it to grow. It is also classed as controlled waste and requires specialist disposal to prevent spreading; substantial fines or even prison sentences can handed to people disposing of the weed irresponsibly if it results in a spread in the wild.

What Happens If You Want To Sell Your Property?

Although it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed growing in your garden, you are under a legal duty to disclose it when you sell. Not disclosing it would be classed as a misrepresentation and a buyer can take a seller to court for compensation if its proved the sellers deliberately withheld information or tried to hide its existence.

Don’t despair…

If you think your house is affected by Knotweed, it can be treated effectively. It has a large underground network of roots which need to be destroyed to kill the plant using chemicals, although it can take up to five years to be totally eliminated.

Contact a specialist

If you discover your property is affected , you will need to contact a Japanese Knotweed specialist who will be able to assist with a Management Plan. This plan can be submitted to Mortgage Lenders and Valuers and often assists in gaining lending that may otherwise have not been offered. In addition, on advice from the Institute of Chartered Surveyors many larger lenders have relaxed their rules as some evidence suggests that surveyors have been unsure of how to assess the risk of Japanese knotweed, resulting in inconsistent valuations.

Get In Touch 

If you have question about this issue or would like a Conveyancing quote – please give our specialist team a call on 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, First Time Buyers, Stamp duty, Stamp Duty    No Comments

The 2017 Budget announced that First Time Buyers won’t have to pay Stamp Duty when buying a home costing up to £300,000! Plus if you’re lucky enough to be a first time buyer purchasing for more than £300,000 (up to £500,000), you won’t pay Stamp Duty on the first £300,000.

Even better, the change is effective immediately, so any existing clients who haven’t yet completed their purchase won’t be paying the tax. If you haven’t yet paid for your fees, you’ll not be asked for Stamp Duty and if you have, you’ll receive a refund for your completion day.

A great saving for first time buyers who can now use the extra pennies on their new home or at Christmas!

If you’re moving house don’t forget to get in touch and we can give you a Conveyancing quote in seconds! Just visit our website or call us on 01623 45 11 11.

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conveyancer, First Time Buyers, help to buy ISA, Property Market, property owner, Uncategorized, Wills    No Comments

Everything to do with moving house is stressful, right? Not necessarily!

Of course, moving is a busy time, and there are so many deadlines and things to organise – Finances, packing, post redirection, schools…the list goes on…

We can’t help with everything, but we can take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to the legal side of moving house.

Let us help you…

Our award-winning Conveyancing teams use the latest technology and their years of experience to sort out the legal side of things as efficiently and smoothly as possible; from searches, deposits and signing contracts, to exchange and final completion. What’s more using our text message alerts and password protected case tracking system, we’ll keep you in the loop 24 hours a day 7 days a week, with access to your whole file online.

We’re really proud that our Conveyancing service has been recognised in both local and national awards. These awards demonstrate our commitment to improving our processes, using technology to provide a quality service and showing that we receive positive client feedback. Check out Matt Slade, Head of our Conveyancing team (pictured above) after winning the LFS Conveyancing Firm of the Year award 2017 – East Midlands region.

We can help with Conveyancing AND getting your affairs in order 

Our teams are second to none when it comes to Conveyancing but you should also know that we have the Wills, Trusts and Probate specialists too. When people move house, they sometimes forget to change their Will and its vitally important you make sure its up to date.

Get a quote in seconds…

We’re forward thinking and progressive but were also a friendly local solicitors, established in the area since 1888.  We like to think we are the best of both worlds and that is why we have won a number of awards, gained some fantastic client feedback and have exciting plans for the future – watch this space!

Take a look at www.fidler.co.uk  or call us on 01623 45 11 11 to get a quote in seconds!

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Barratt Homes, Case Tracker, Change conveyancer, Change solicitor, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, help to buy, help to buy ISA, House Prices, management companies, Property, Property Market, Property Report, signing contracts, Uncategorized    No Comments

When Would You Need To Pay A Management Company?

Some properties may have extra land surrounding them, such as a shared access, a park or just a simple piece of additional green land, which makes the surrounding area look more attractive. These areas are often maintained by Management Companies and you may be asked to pay a fee to help look after these areas. When you are buying or selling a property we may need to do some extra legal work, there may be some extra fees and delays to get this information in order.

Who Is Responsible?

The question which you may not always consider is who is going to be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this extra piece of land? The local authorities are reluctant to carry this out as they are already responsible for the upkeep of most roads and public spaces and therefore developers often outsource this responsibility and the cost to Management Companies.

The cost of the administration of these Companies and the works they have to carry out in order to maintain these extra pieces of land are usually shared between all the owners of the properties who use or benefit from these additional areas of land. This is usually referred to in the deeds of your property as a “rent charge”, “service charge” or an “estate rent” is another term used.

How Do You Find Out If you Have To Pay Extra Charges?

Often these extra charges will not come to light until your Solicitor is sent the deeds to the property, which could be a few weeks into the sale or purchase. The Solicitor acting for you and the Management Company may charge you extra fees for carrying out the additional work involved in the Conveyancing process and also after you’ve completed your sale or purchase. Your Solicitor will be working hard to get the right information from the Management Company as without this it can cause you delays.

Be Informed – Ask Questions And Give Information

If you’re buying – make sure you ask the current owner or the estate agents if there is any communal land which they pay extra fees to a Management Company for. This will then avoid any problems along the way of purchasing a new property.

If you’re selling – give this information to the buyer and estate agents. Also, get in touch with the Management Company as soon as the sale is agreed to pay for the Management Pack, which answers a list of queries your buyer’s Solicitors will need to know in order to avoid any delays.

Get In Touch

We have an experienced and specialist Conveyancing team used to dealing with all of the bit and bobs that happen in the Conveyancing process. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’d like a quote for moving house then visit www.fidler.co.uk or call us on 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, property owner, property searches, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

After weeks of paperwork and to do-lists you’re now ready to get the keys to your new home. Have a look at our handy checklist below to avoid any delays on moving day!

  • Make sure you’ve sent your fees and purchase money to your Conveyancer in plenty of time for Completion day.  The last thing you need is to be organising a bank transfer today!
  • Be ready to hand over or collect the keys once you’ve Legally Completed. It’s in your Contract that this should happen by 2pm – but this can sometimes be a bit earlier or later.
  • Make sure you’ve organised for all your mail to be forwarded to your new house from today.
  • Don’t forget to read your meters on your old house and your new house, make a note of the readings and call your utility providers as soon as you can to give them the information.
  • Label all your boxes – especially the important ones like “Kettle” and “Mugs” (or wine glasses and bottle opener!) so you can make a cuppa while your unpacking the less important stuff!
  • Keep a list of the items you are taking and what you are leaving behind such as curtains, blinds and kitchen fittings.
  • There could be a bit of waiting a round – Make sure you phone is charged and you are ready for the call from your Conveyancer to confirm you can collect your keys. In the meantime, have a plan and don’t put yourself in a position where your sat in a van for hours waiting for the call. Remember it could be gone lunchtime before you get your new keys.
  • No-one expects your old house to be left spotless but it’s advisable to leave it in a condition you hope to find your new one in – it’s only courteous!
  • Get your friends and family to help with packing, unpacking and cleaning.  Many hands make light work and you can always bribe them with the offer of a pizza or two for supper!
  • Keep your pets fenced or locked in or if they are liable to make a run for your old house every time you open a door. Get a friend to look after them for the day while you are moving.
  • Remember that it’s only one day of madness and you have the rest of your lives in your new home to organise and unpack. Rome wasn’t built in a day, just get the basics sorted.
  • Be flexible. Depending on the amount of people in your chain, Completion can be chaotic and there may be some waiting around. There’s no harm in your buyers moving their furniture into the living room while you’re still emptying the garage!

 

If you need advice or help from our specialist and experienced Conveyancing team – simply give us a call. We’re used to the ups and downs of moving day and are happy to talk you through anything that’s worrying you. Call us on 01623 45 11 11 or visit www.fidler.co.uk to find out more.

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Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Deposit, First Time Buyers, help to buy, help to buy ISA, Property, Property Market, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

What is a Help to Buy ISA?

A Help to Buy ISA is a new type of ISA which have been created to help first-time buyers save for a deposit for their home. As you are busy saving for your deposit you’ll receive a helping hand from the government to boost your savings amount and help you to get onto the housing ladder. The government will add a generous 25% on to your savings, up to a maximum of £3,000 on savings of £12,000 (this is per first time buyer. So, if you and your Partner both open an account you could receive up to £6,000 on top of your own savings).

Find out more and get organised!

As soon as you decide you want to start saving for your first home you need to set up an ISA account with your bank. This means you start saving as soon as possible as the more money you save the more you will benefit from the scheme.

Make sure you know the limits of the scheme

  • The government boosts your savings by 25% (i.e. a bonus of £50 for every £200 you save)
  • You can save up to £200 per month
  • The maximum bonus you can claim is £3,000 so to get the best bonus you would need to save £12,000
  • The house you purchase must cost a maximum of £250,000 (or £450,000 in London)

 

When you have found a house to buy…Tell us you hold a HTB ISA as soon as possible. Our initial information forms will ask you about this

  • Complete the forms we send you

Once we are aware you wish to take advantage of the scheme, we will send you a form to complete giving us information about your ISA account and asking for your authority to apply for the bonus on your behalf.

  • Go to your bank to close the account before completion happens (we will talk to you about this)

Your money will be sent to another account for you. You will need to instruct your bank that you wish to close the account and they will transfer your savings into another account of your choosing. They will then provide you with a closing statement.

  • Provide us with the closing statement

We need to submit this to the government website to prove to them the amount of savings you had in your ISA.

We will submit your signed authority form and closing statement to government website with a request for funds a few days before you complete your purchase and you will receive a letter from the government, through us, confirming the bonus has been approved and is being transferred to us.

  • We will ask you for your deposit less the sum we expect to receive from scheme

Don’t worry if this means you have less than a 10% deposit. Most sellers will agree to a lower deposit in these circumstances. You will receive statements from us showing the bonus sum we expect to receive.

  • We receive the HTB Bonus before completion and use this towards the purchase price.

 

If you are a first time buyer and you’re interested in a Help to Buy ISA…

We have a specialist team who have processed hundreds of Help to Buy ISA’s and would be happy to help you with any questions you may have. Simply call us on 01623 45 11 11.

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conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, recruitment    No Comments

Naomi Mather – Conveyancing Fee Earner

When I was asked to write a blog on why Fidler and Pepper a great place to work, I initially started to write in the way I would normally, I could tell you about Pension contributions, holidays, childcare vouchers, corporate gym memberships, paid for Christmas parties, etc but so could most other firms!  As I wrote I realised that’s not why Fidler & Pepper is a great place to work…

Life before Fidler & Pepper

Before I found my way to Fidler & Pepper I had previously worked in a number of firms, including a highly stressful environment, a company where I felt little support was given, and I felt a constant fear of being sued, fired or just not being good enough. I didn’t find this a healthy atmosphere for the workers and therefore not good for customer service. I found that things took a long time, and unnecessarily time consuming procedures were in place. Going to work was not something I looked forward to.

I’d heard great things…

I applied for a job at Fidler & Pepper simply based on their reputation as a good employer (and on looking at their website, the way they seemed happy to poke fun at even themselves!) I know the grass isn’t always greener, I have heard it all before; and that’s right, the grass wasn’t greener….. It wasn’t even green! It was blue and yellow and red and a rainbow of colours made up of the people of Mansfield and the surrounding areas; people working hard for their clients while also at least appearing like they were having an amazing time. This couldn’t be right could it?

…turned out it was.

It was a whole new world!

As I settled in at Fidler and Pepper I noticed that everyone was treated equally, from the newest apprentice to the longest standing supervisor. The Partners and Heads of department were approachable and kind and didn’t even have separate offices! They sat with us, the worker bees in an open plan office space and seemed to be actually normal people!  They supported everyone, whether it is with a legal question about their job or if they were just having a meltdown because the kids had played up over breakfast!

You can be happy at work!

Employees did work hard and work was getting done, at an astonishing rate in fact, but in a happy jovial atmosphere where everyone joined in with chats and arguments alike. Most importantly for me, I felt that (and have been told as much in fact) Fidler & Pepper had my back and I could relax and get on with trying to do the best job I could for my clients and they would always support me.

A happy place to work makes happy staff

Because employee retention is so important, many of the staff here have been with them for years and some since they left school. There are many and varied training opportunities to develop what could start out as a job into a fulfilling legal career.

How to look after your staff…

If you want a bit of spin, then I can tell you that our IT systems and case management are second to none and this means that my job is ten times easier to do and I am able to do twice the amount of work in half the time. New initiatives are looked at all the time to make the workplace  happier, most recently for us, this included a bonus scheme for meeting targets, fruit baskets in every department and a half day off on your birthday which have all been met with enthusiasm from staff members.

In short, Fidler & Pepper’s main argument for how they work and how they treat their staff is that happy staff make happy clients, and I for one, cannot disagree!

…Oh and we have a flexi-time scheme too if you’re interested…

Want to find out more about Fidler & Pepper?

Have a browse around our site www.fidler.co.uk and get a flavour of who we are and what we do. Or if you would like to see our staff benefits and vacancies visit us at https://www.fidler.co.uk/people/careers.cfm

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, terms and conditions, Title Deeds    No Comments

glass

Picture this, you are buying a house, a lovely Victorian terrace and a few weeks after the day of completion your Conveyancer sends you an email with an attachment to a three page document advising you that this is the title to your property.

We live in a digital age

This cant be right can it? Where are the giant yellow hand written documents, the wax seals, the sense of importance? Well, unfortunately for those nostalgics out there, we live in a digital age  and these are your Deeds. Since the introduction of compulsory land registration in 2002, although these deeds are nice to have around, they mean very little as all the relevant information for the property and its ownership is registered online with the Land Registry. Lenders, when they held a mortgage over a property used to hold the deeds as collateral but once registration of a property had taken place, very often the deeds were destroyed to save on storage costs.

Pre-registration deeds

So, although in some cases, your Conveyancer might still send you a musty old folder of what we now call “pre-registration deeds” which may be very interesting to read through, they don’t really hold a lot of value anymore and we don’t treat them with the same care we used to. Most Conveyancers wont even store pre-registration deeds for you in their deeds store as it is unnecessary.

Peace of mind for you

So, if you receive a  letter saying you now hold you title, we aren’t being mean and holding back the good stuff, this is all we have. Having said that, remember that having your title registered with the land registry centrally in your name is much safer than holding those old deeds in your hand.   It means if the pre-registration deeds are lost or destroyed, its not really that much of a concern to an owner, their solicitor or a prospective buyer. It’s all safely stored for you electronically.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions about your deeds or if you want to find out if your property is registered, then don’t hesitate to speak to your Conveyancer on 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Buy your freehold, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, leasehold, Leasehold Conveyancing Quote, Leasehold extension, Property Report, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

coloured_keys

What is Freehold Ownership?

Freehold means that you will be the sole owner of the property as well as being the owner of the land the property sits on and is surrounded by. This is often preferred for many buyers as you will not have to pay any additional ground rent or service charges. As the freeholder you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building but you will have control over when the repairs are made.

What is Leasehold Ownership?

Leasehold means that you are buying the right to use the property from the freeholder or ‘Landlord’ (the person who owns the building and land it resides on) for an agreed number of years. Leasehold is typically how flats and maisonettes are sold but is also used for houses both new and old.

If you own a leasehold flat or house you are likely to be required to pay ground rent, maintenance fees and annual service charges either on a monthly or annual basis to the freeholder. Sometimes these rents can be very low especially on very old properties but the fees can also range up to and over ₤1000 year and even more in London.

All leases are different so make sure your Conveyancer explains this thoroughly and you understand your responsibilities to the Landlord

  • You may have to gain permission from the freeholder if you want to undertake any major works on your property such as replacing your windows or extending the property
  • You may need to gain permission if you wish to rent the property out
  • Leases can be as short as 40 years or as long as 999 years – but the longer the better
  • If you require a mortgage then the lease usually needs to be to be at least 80 years
  • Leases can be extended or you can apply to buy the freehold of the property from the Landlord but the shorter the time remaining on the lease then the then more costly this becomes

Are you somewhere in the middle?

In the world of Conveyancing, there’s always another option to consider. Often freehold houses, especially on new build estates are sold as freehold but there is a clause in the title giving the responsibility to maintaining the communal areas on the estate such as shared drives, car parks and open spaces to a Management Company. Generally you would, if there is a Management Company, be liable to pay a yearly service charge to the company for its services. Remember to check the small print for any hidden costs even if a property is advertised as freehold.

Have any further questions?

Our specialist team have extensive experience dealing with both leasehold and freehold properties. Simply give us a call on 01623 45 11 11 and we will be happy to help you further.

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