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Title Deeds    No Comments

There have been several warnings most notably from the Land Registry regarding Land Banking Schemes.

These are schemes whereby it is claimed that plots of land are sold off to individuals with a view to the fact that they can be developed in the future and a profit is made by all the holders of the individual plots.

The reality is that there is little or no chance of the land ever being developed.

The FSA have estimated that these schemes have cost UK investors as much as £200 million.

If you are thinking of buying into such a scheme the Land Registry website has some good guidance for what you need to look out for and things to consider before any commitment is made.

The guide recommends that anybody considering buying land for its investment potential should consult an independent professional adviser registered with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and for legal advice the Law Society

Even where the land does have development potential, subdivision into small plots held by different owners may make it less attractive for acquisition by a company seeking to develop the site.

Should you require any advice in relation to this please contract William James on either wjames@fidler.co.uk or telephone 01623 448317

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Uncategorized    No Comments

The council of mortgage lenders have reported a drop of 7% on the the number of properties taken into possession by  first charge mortgage lenders in the first half of this year in comparison to 2010. It would appear that the number of people struggling to meet their mortgage payments has stabilised. This is great news. Perhaps people are more stable in their jobs and are taking advantage of the low interest rates.

Christie Limb

Partner Fidler and Pepper

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Property    No Comments

Stamp duty can be payable if you take out a lease. It is based on the “net present value” of the lease. The calculation is quite complicated and so the best way to obtain this is to use the stamp duty lease calculator provided by the HMRC.

If you are concerned about the level of stamp duty you will have to pay please call us we will guide you through the calculator my contact details are climb@fidler.co.uk or direct dial 01623 4448302. If you are still negotiating the terms of your lease you may decide to seek a short term lease to reduce the amount of stamp duty payable but this needs to be considered carefully to ensure that the lease term meets with your needs.

Christie Limb

Commercial Property Solicitor

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Uncategorized    No Comments

Who would have thought that a Mill near Harrogate in use in 1910 would play a part in disrupting someones house move this week?

But that is exactly what we have recently been faced with.

The background:

We carry out environmental searches for the cost of between £40 – £50.

These reports amongst other things show us things such as whether the land has had a previous industrial use, whether the property is built on a floodplain or whether the property is in an area of higher than normal Radon gas levels.

The past industrial use of this property (silk mill in 1890 and unspecified mill in 1910) was revealed in this particular environmental search.

In these circumstances there is a risk that the council can order any homeowner to pay for the clean up of any industrial waste under the property.

This could run into thousands of pounds.

The house is being bought using money from a Lender and therefore they want their interests protected so we had to find a solution.

In this case we were able to source an insurance policy to cover the risk for about £250 and were able to proceed with the move.

Some firms don’t carry out environmental searches – we feel that this is a risky approach for one of the biggest purchases of someones life so make sure your solicitors carry one out. For a fixed price no move no fee quote go to conveyancing quote.

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Lease    No Comments

Due to the economic client more tenants are negotiating break options in commercial leases.


A break option allows the Tenant to terminate the lease of serving notice to the other party. They can be either a rolling break option, this can be exercised at any time on notice, or a set date break option.


Landlords will generally wish to avoid break options as it provides the tenant with flexibility.


When negotiating a break option care needs to be taken to ensure the terms of the break option are reasonable. Break options can be conditional i.e. the rent must be up to date; there must not have been any material/substantial breach of the terms of the lease etc.


Quite often tenants agree the terms of the lease before they instruct a solicitor. My advice would be to instruct a solicitor when negotiations on the lease terms start to ensure that the lease terms agreed are appropriate.


If you need any assistance in negotiating lease terms please contact me Christie Limb at climb@fidler.co.uk or if you need a quote for taking on a lease please use the online quote system at    http://www.fidler.co.uk/commercial_conveyancing/index.cfm.


Christie Limb






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Title Deeds    No Comments

I have recently acted in a matter where a client purchased a property with only ‘good leasehold title’.

My client understandably asked what this meant and what the implications would be and in light of this I thought I would set a brief guide to the types of leasehold title you can get in England and Wales. 

The Land Registry is responsible for the registration of all land in England and Wales. When title to a legal estate is registered with the Land Registry leasehold property may be registered with

  1. An absolute title;


  1. A good leasehold title;


  1. A possessory title;


  1. A qualified title.

Most leasehold title is registered with absolute title. An absolute leasehold title guarantees that the lease under which the land is held is vested in the owner and also that the lease was validly granted. This is the type of title that would mean that a potential buyer could buy safe in the knowledge that nobody could come along at a later stage and claim any right over the land or property that has been purchased.

 Some properties are registered with good leasehold title. This usually occurs where you cannot prove or ascertain the landlord or freeholders title or what restrictions may impact on the land or the property. The implications of this are that the Land Registry will only guarantee the title to land from the date of the registration of the lease. It will no prejudice any estates, rights or interests that would have affected the Freeholders right to grant the lease. Other than this a good leasehold title has the same effect as a registration with absolute title.

 If the property is registered under possessory title then typically this is when the original applicant for registration has claimed right over the land by adverse possession (i.e. by squatting) or where the title deeds have been lost or destroyed. A possessory title can give rise to rights over the land coming to light after the registration of the property and as a purchaser of such land you would always be advised to fully research that land you are buying and to possibly take out indemnity insurance.

 Finally if the property is qualified it is the same as good leasehold or absolute title apart for a specified defect in the title, which would be listed on the title to the property.  

Should you have any questions on the above please contact William James in the Commercial Department
on 10623 451111 or email on wjames@fidler.co.uk



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Viewing properties    No Comments

Over the last year or so I have noticed a steady rise with clients purchasing properties at Auction and there certainly seems to be some bargains out there.

It occurs to me however that not everyone will know much about this method of buying property so I have set out a brief guide for the uninitiated.

At auction you place a bid on a property you wish to buy. If this is accepted by the auctioneer then you enter into a legal agreement to buy the property. Typically at the end of the auction you will exchange contracts and set a date whereby you are due to complete. This is usually 21 days from the day of the auction.

In addition you will be liable for a deposit of 10% of the purchase price and will have to pay this on the day.

The important thing to remember is that once you are successful you are committed to the purchase and therefore you should consider the following:

1.      Finances – consider whether you can (1) afford the deposit (2) balance of purchase price (3) any legal fees. Are you buying with a mortgage? If so it is a good idea to have this in place before the date of the auction.

2.      Have you visited the property? Have you carried out a survey? Under the terms of the auction contact you will purchase the property on a sold as seen basis and there will be no come back if you subsequently discover something that you should have investigated beforehand.

3.      Have you obtained legal advice? As a solicitor it will not surprise you to discover that I would recommend taking legal advice but this is perhaps the most important aspect to consider. Just because the property is at auction does not guarantee that there are no legal problems with it.

4.      If you are considering buying at auction contact the auction house and express your interest in the property. They will then be able to send you a copy of the legal pack which you can then pass to your solicitor.  

If you are considering purchasing a property at auction or have any questions relating to buying property at auction please give me a call on 01623 451111 or email me on wjames@fidler.co.uk

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