Conveyancing and Property Law

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Property Solicitor, John Pearn examines the legal issues of entering into a solar panel lease It’s increasingly common for homeowners to lease part of their roof to an energy company who installs solar panels. However, there are a few legal points that a prudent homeowner should consider before going ahead. Owners often overlook the fact that they need the consent of their lender if they are to enter into such a solar power lease. Before consent is granted lenders will need to...

Property Lawyer, Terese Kingman looks at the remedies available to a lender if a borrower defaults on mortgage repayments. There are various remedies available to a mortgagee, or lender, if a mortgagor, or borrower, defaults on mortgage repayments. The usual mortgage scenario involves the borrower making financial payments to the lender in respect of money advanced to purchase a home. The property itself is used as security for the borrowing. If a borrower defaults on paying the mortgage instalments the lender can sue...

Squatting in a residential building as a long-term trespasser became a criminal offence as of 1 September 2012. How might this affect you? The displaced homeowner Before, squatters might take up occupation in your house when you were on holiday or in hospital. This was uncommon, but distressing. Bold squatters might assert ‘squatters’ rights’ and uncertain homeowners would at the very least have to swear an oath as to their position before bailiffs could be called in. Now such an act would...

Relaxation in certain planning restrictions have been announced (but not yet enacted) by the Government. Permitted development rights – the ability to extend existing buildings without planning permission – for both residential and commercial properties will be extended. The government hopes to raise activity in the construction sector. Homeowners will be able to build single storey extensions at the back of their properties up to 8 metres deep without requiring formal planning consent, double the current 4 metres. Commercial premises will be...

Landlord and Tennant Solicitor, Iain Robinson issues a warning to unsuspecting landlords following recent tightening of the law regarding deposits Recent changes to the law concerning the treatment of tenancy deposits could hit unwary landlords as hard as rogue ones. Since April 2007 most residential tenants’ deposits have had to be protected in government-approved schemes. Landlords who fail to do so can be taken to court by aggrieved tenants. The courts were initially lenient where landlords were slow in protecting deposits rather...

Lawyer, Terese Kingman, answers some common questions The definition of ‘land’ is found in Section 205 (1 )(ix) Law of Property Act 1925 and includes land of any tenure, mines and minerals, buildings or parts of buildings and easements (eg a right of way or a right to light). What will I own when I buy a house? You will own the land itself together with all buildings, fixtures, hedges, ditches, fences, ways, waters, watercourses, liberties, privileges, easements, rights etc as described in...

Terese Kingman takes a look at an often misunderstood legal concept What if someone is promised an interest in some land and relies on that promise (for example, by working on the land without payment) only to find that the landowner has gone back on that promise? Is there anything he can do? Can he enforce the promise? It is in situations like this that the concept of proprietary estoppel can help. How did proprietary estoppel develop? Traditionally proprietary estoppel arose when a landowner...

Property lawyer, Terese Kingman, summarises the basics What is a mortgage? At its simplest, a mortgage is an agreement between a lender and a borrower. The lender lends money to the borrower who promises to pay back the loan with interest. Usually the mortgage agreement will include a specified date for the loan and the interest to be repaid. How is a mortgage created? Most people who have bought a property with a mortgage will remember signing a mortgage deed (called a charge) which...

Property lawyer Terese Kingman takes a look at leases and answers some commonly asked questions. What is a lease? A lease is a legally binding contract between a landlord, who owns the freehold of a property, and a tenant. The tenant should have 'exclusive possession' of the property which is the subject of the lease and the lease will be for a 'certain term', for example a lease for 6 months or for 999 years. What is a fixed term lease? Most leases are...

Property lawyer, Terese Kingman, takes a look at easements and profits a prendre What is an easement? An easement is a right to use land belonging to a third party in a particular way or to prevent the owner of that land from using it in a certain manner. An example of an easement is a right of way. Can someone have an easement over their own land? No. There must be two parcels of land owned or occupied by two different parties. One...