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Recent statistics would suggest that older couples and individuals are under-utilising their larger properties and it is estimated that there are 25 million unused bedrooms in England with 37% of homes are under occupied.

It would seem therefore that older people are holding on to properties that are greater than their physical needs. It has been suggested that older people be offered stamp duty free downward move coupled with penalty council taxes for under occupation to encourage larger properties to be put on the market. Whether such a scheme is adopted remains to be seen however.

Whether this suggestion is realistic or not, it does touch upon the issue that quite often older people find themselves in a home which they have raised a family in and are quite comfortable living in. Why should they want to move?

Quite often it is because they have to release equity from the property to fund their older age and cope with the every increasing cost of living. One way to do this is through an equity release scheme. This is a scheme whereby a lender loans money to an individual, which is secured against the property. They charge interest on this amount but it generally only becomes payable upon the death of the borrower. We are certainly seeing more of these schemes coming through the Fidler & Pepper doors.

If you are considering such a scheme or have been approached and want to speak to a solicitor regarding specific aspects of the scheme or are considering selling your property and want advice in relation to this then please drop me a line to discuss this further on either wjames@fidler.co.uk or 01623451111.  


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Conveyancing    No Comments

I am often asked what steps are involved in selling a commercial property. I have already drawn up a guide to selling or leasing a

I am often instructed by clients when they have found a buyer for their commercial premises and they want the sale to proceed swiftly. There are steps that you could in fact take as soon as the property goes on the market so that when you find a buyer the sale can move forward as quickly as possible.

On the sale of a commercial property you will be asked to provide the buyer with replies to CPSE (Commercial Property Standard Enquiries). These enquiries are quite lengthy and therefore it is wise to have these drawn up as soon as possible, as some of the answers may require your solicitors or accountants advice.

If you require any guidance on selling or leasing a commercial property please do not hesitate to make contact with me and if you require a competitive fixed price quote for the legal work then please click here.

Christie Limb

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Conveyancing Quote    No Comments

With the onset of the cold weather and staggeringly high costs of keeping houses warm these days it is no surprise that people are looking at ways of reducing the amount of money it costs to keep your home warm.

 This has led to the onset of more zero carbon homes being built by developers. Zero carbon homes are built in such a way that the heating requirements are very low and therefore less energy is required to heat them. Homes such as these are built to what is known as ‘Code Level Five’ effectively meaning the property is airtight. In 18 months time all new homes must be built to almost this high standard and 3 years from then all homes must meet this standard.

 From a legal point of view homes such as these are very similar to your normal Edwardian Semi with the exception that there is significantly more technology in the properties with the concern that this must all be working and that sufficient warranties must be place to protect the new homeowner once the property has been sold.

 Recent surveys have revealed that consumers are put off by the idea of an “airtight” house and don’t like the look of eco homes, preferring more traditional styles.

 It would be true to say that in the coming years the house building industry is going to be more confident building thousands of low-carbon homes.

 The most important benefit for a purchaser is the fact that if the property is less than £500,000.00 then you do not pay any stamp duty on the purchase. Even if it is above £500,000.00 your get a reduction of up to £15,000.00 from the amount of stamp duty that you have to pay. This coupled with the reduced running costs of the house will make properties such as these very attractive to prospective purchasers.

If you are considering purchasing a zero carbon home or have questions in relation to the conveyancing process please drop me a line on my email wjames@fidler.co.uk  or on 10623 451111


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Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

I was delighted last week to receive an award at the Lawnet annual conference for our new casetracking system. The award was for the best use of IT, and it’s the second time we’ve won it in the last 3 years (and yes – other firms do enter it).

The new system was developed after we stepped back and looked at how clients want to see their cases. From feedback we’d received on the old system (we were the first firm in the UK to provide online case tracking – back in 1998!) we realised that clients wanted the information quicker, that they wanted to see everything in one place, and that they wanted to view all the relevant stuff on the file straight away.

The new system has tried to answer all these requirements:-

– Everything that’s happened on the files is gathered together in date order regardless of whether that was a step we’ve marked off on our systems, a document received in or sent out, or a file note or email sent in or out.

– The new systems is REAL TIME – so it’s like you’re looking over our shoulder at your file.

– Documents can now be looked at – not only the documents we’ve sent out, but also anything that’s come in to the office (we scan in all our incoming poast and have done so for the last few years)

On top of all this we put a picture of the actual person who’s actuing for you at the top of the page – so you can see the human being that is looking after you.

The feedback we’ve received so far has been great. We had a really good illustration of how useful it can be 2 days after making it live. Dawn had scanned her post in so she could work on it. By the time she walked from the scanner to her desk she got an email from a client who had been checking his file and saw that we’d got a letter in from the buyers solicitors asking a bunch of questions. He immediately emailed Dawn with the answers to the questions – before she’d even had a chance to ask him!

The case tracker can be used in all parts of the firm – not just conveyancing.

If you want a conveyancing quote then click on the link





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Viewing properties    No Comments

We have to do a local authority search in every property purchase in UK and Wales.
The exception is where the client is purchasing for cash and can elect to not have this search carried out. In this case they buy the property subject to anything that would have been revealed in the search.
The search is a list of questions asked of various departments of the Council such as planning, building control or roads.
Those departments may be housed in different parts of the building or different buildings.
A local search can be carried out by the Council or by a personal search company who employs a person to visit the council to access the information or accesses the information electronically via the Council’s databases.
The local search will only reveal results that affect the land or property you are buying and not the local vicinty. In this way the name “local” search can be misleading.
We will advise you of any issues in relation to the property and as necessary will offer solutions or carry out further investigations where appropriate.
Any questions please fee free to email me at msslade@fidler.co.uk.
To see the prices of the searches and the conveyancing  please click here.


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Uncategorized    No Comments

Just phoned a client who needed to get some planning permissions as a matter of urgency.
I phoned the Council and they are in the process of putting all their planning decisions online.

They earmarked the ones that I needed and agreed to make these available online by the close of business today. Brill.
I then phoned the client and asked whether he was using our online case tracker. He said he had been happy with everything so far so hadn’t looked at it.
He agreed to go online and because our case tracker allows client to look at incoming correspondence he was able to get all the planning references from the letter from the purchaser’s solicitors and download and print them from the Council’s website.
These were emailed to me and we were able to email them to the other side.

This saved heaps of time and stress and £50 that the Council has said would be needed if we needed hard copies. It was a great use of technology both from the Council and ourselves (sorry for the immodesty).

Have a  conveyancing quote here



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