Residential Conveyancing

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Property Services

We are proud to be able to offer the complete range of property and conveyancing services, using a partner-led approach. We have two partners and a para-legal working in this area. Between them, they offer a wide range of knowledge and a depth of expertise.

We have also attained accreditation with the Law Society’s Quality Conveyancing scheme – a scheme designed by the Law Society specifically to  give you “ultimate peace of mind” and a “professional high-quality conveyancing service”.

Law Society Conveyancing Quality

The Link App

We offer this free app as a way of making our contact with you more direct, reliable and secure. It allows us the opportunity to send quick updates to your mobile device so that we can keep you fully informed. It also allows us to send documents, and for you to contact us. All information is end-to-end encrypted for peace of mind.

Conveyancing

Buying and selling your home may not be the easiest transaction that you have ever undertaken. By any measure it is a major step and one that you will take fairly rarely.  Even with modern registered conveyancing there are traps for the unwary.  Thankfully there is little that our very experienced conveyancers have not come across before and so, if problems do arise, our aim is to find a practical solution that works for you.

We aim to make the process as smooth as possible and to keep you informed at all stages as we progress. You have enough to do when moving house – have confidence in our expert team of conveyancers and leave the worries of the legal side of things to us.

Re-Mortgaging

A quick and painless approach to switching your mortgage. If the lender’s criteria allow it then we can use search indemnity products and complete the transaction in days. If searches are required then the process takes longer – but no more than 3 weeks usually.

Trust Deeds And Co-Habitation

Where there is a need to protect or define interests in property then a trust deed regulating the use of property and/or its sale proceeds may be essential. There is no such thing as the ‘common law spouse’ in land law – and precious little protection for the non-owning co-habitee. It is best to agree the basis of ownership and the rights and responsibilities from the outset.

We can advise and assist in the preparation of these deeds.

Powers Of Attorney

Where a landowner intends to go abroad for a period or is otherwise unable to act in person – then a Power of Attorney can fill the gap. An attorney can be appointed to complete the sale of a certain property (or its purchase), or any other required legal formality.
There are some restrictions – duration can be limited to 12 months; the Power ends on the loss of mental capacity of the donor (or on death); and special care needs to be taken where the land is owned jointly – but they are nevertheless a useful tool.

Tenancy Agreements

If a property has been purchased as an investment, and you intend to let it out, then you will want to ensure that the tenancy agreement meets all of your requirements and that you have met your statutory obligations.
Remember that a landlord has to provide all of the following to an incoming tenant from the outset:

  • An Energy Performance certificate
  • A gas safety inspection certificate (where there is gas)
  • An electricity safety inspection certificate
  • Safe and functioning hot water and space-heating appliances
  • Statutory information concerning any rent-deposit taken, and to place the deposit with an approved institution

If the tenancy is in relation to an agricultural occupancy then special rules can apply and additional notices may need to be served upon the tenant.
We can assist with practical advice and action in all of the above areas, and can also handle the deposit obligations on your behalf.

Easements And Boundaries

Rights of way and their use and repair can become problematic – particularly where the use has seemed customary but has never been written down in any title. Registration of titles at the Land Registry has exposed such issues – which then need to be addressed sensitively and carefully.
This might apply to rights of way on foot or by vehicle, or perhaps to a right to run services or drainage over someone else’s land.
Boundary locations, boundary structures and responsibilities for their upkeep and maintenance can cause problems, especially where previous land deeds have not made the position clear. The statutory position can be complicated to resolve and can involve surveyors and assessors.
We can help steer you through the issues and help you to achieve a practical solution to the problem.

Costs And Expenses

You will want to know how much it will all cost.  We understand that, and so we will give you a written itemised estimate of costs, searches and expenses for any work that you ask us to do – at the outset.

We offer a premium service with an emphasis on quality advice and speed of service at an economic price.  Between us we will make it work for you.

Residential Conveyancing

Residential Conveyancing Team

Mark Butson

Partner

Mark qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and has been a partner since 1990. He is now our senior partner.

He has expertise in the preparation of wills, and has considerable experience in the administration of estates, deeds of family arrangement and related inheritance tax issues. He can provide advice where there is no will, and also where a will becomes contested.

He regularly advises upon the creation and tailoring of Lasting Powers of Attorney, and in relation to Court of Protection applications where the person concerned no longer has the ability to manage their own affairs.

Mark advises in all aspects of conveyancing (both commercial and residential), including development and with commercial landlord & tenant transactions. He has experience of dealing with contested issues before the First-tier Tribunal of the Property Chamber, and in relation to boundary and rights disputes concerning property and ownership claims – including those by adverse possession.

He also regularly assists small businesses in the practical resolution of employment issues.

Tel: 01289 301284
Email: mtb@tcsmith.co.uk

John Marshall

Consultant Solicitor

John joined in 1970, qualified as a solicitor in 1975 and was our senior partner until the end of December 2014. He has now retired as a partner but continues to assist the firm as a Consultant Solicitor on a part-time basis.

Coming from a farming background, he has a particular interest in agricultural matters, including the forming (and changing) of farming partnership agreements and Farming Business Tenancies. He also specialises in commercial conveyancing and all aspects of landlord and tenant work.

John developed an expertise in Wind Farm agreements and related legal arrangements and continues to hold an interest in this area.

Tel: 01289 301289
Email: jam@tcsmith.co.uk

Frances Cowan

Partner

Frances joined the firm in 2000, completed her training with TC Smith and qualified as a solicitor in 2002. She became a partner in August 2014.

Her interests are in all aspects of commercial conveyancing, including residential developments. She also has considerable experience in assisting with residential conveyancing.

Her family are actively involved with farming, and she has a keen interest in agricultural matters – heading up the firm’s agricultural section with assistance from John Marshall. In 2014 Frances qualified as a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, and this has enhanced her expertise in all areas of rural practice – including agricultural holdings, farm sales and purchases, estate planning & taxation, town & country planning and the common agricultural policy.

Frances also advises as to the preparation of lasting powers of attorney and wills – and the administration of estates.

Tel: 01289 301294
Email: fc@tcsmith.co.uk

Janice Thompson

Para-legal

Janice joined the firm in 1985 and has remained with us ever since. She is our conveyancing para-legal, specialising in domestic conveyancing.

Janice has years of experience in the procedural aspects of buying, selling and re-mortgaging of property – and she has a very practical and thorough approach to getting the job done. Appreciating that conveyancing can be a stressful experience – Janice will always do her level best to provide an informed and helpful update about the transaction in hand.

Tel: 01289 301292
Email: jt@tcsmith.co.uk

Susan Dunbar

Accounts Executive

Susan joined the firm in 1979, and is our accounts executive, and also a para-legal with a special interest in the administration of estates.

She has been working in this particular field for years and has developed a clear and effective way of administering estates both large and small. She has a friendly and approachable manner and is always willing to explain what has to be done to wind up an estate.

Tel: 01289 301291
Email: smd@tcsmith.co.uk