Property

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This page provides information on the process of buying and selling property (known as “conveyancing”); and on planning and property problems.

Buying or selling property

GOV.UK provides extensive information on Owning and renting a property, including a step by step guide to the necessary procedures for Buying or selling your home.

HM Land Registry safeguards land and property in England & Wales. Anyone buying or selling land or property, or taking out a mortgage, must apply to HM Land Registry. Once land or property is entered in the register, any ownership changes, mortgages or leases that affect it are recorded. Anyone who suffers loss because of an error or omission in the register, or because the register needs to be corrected, will normally be compensated. On the site you can search house prices, search property ownership information, find out about boundary questions, obtain copies of title deeds and more.

The National Land Information Service (NLIS) is a government approved and regulated, electronic land and property searches portal, the only one of its kind in the property searches market. NLIS provides its services by way of a ‘hub’ and ‘channel’ model, operating as a convenient single point of electronic access to a variety of offical sources of land and property information. It connects users directly to land and property information held by local authorities, central government and other organisations that provide official sources of land and property data. NLIS Licensed Channels include Searchflow, Thames Water Property Searches. There are however other suppliers of property searches who are not part of the NLIS system.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

GOV.UK has full information on Stamp Duty Land Tax. You must pay SDLT if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland. The tax is different if the property or land is in Scotland (pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax) or Wales (pay Land Transaction Tax if the sale was completed on or after 1 April 2018).

Ann Humphrey is a tax lawyer and has published Questions and Answers for Stamp Duty Land Tax since 2016. This is a free resource consisting of real SDLT queries that Ann has answered and is useful for
guidance purposes. A wide range of topics are covered such as multiple dwellings relief, 3% surcharge, first time buyer’s relief and only or main residence queries.

Planning

The Planning Portal provides an entry point to online planning information and allow planning applications in England and Wales to be submitted onine. More than 80% of planning applications are now submitted online via the Planning Portal. Topics covered on the site include Do you need planning permission? Descriptions of different types of extension; how to submite a planning application; building control applications; various interactive guides; how to find your local authority.

Property problems

The Boundary Problems Website has been set up by Jon Maynard, FRICS, on boundaries, rights of way, neighbour problems and related topics, including how to find an expert to assist in solving the problem and lnks to other planning-oriented websites.

Garden Law is a site set up by solicitor Richard Smithies of Bearders Solicitors, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, with lots of free information relating to walls, trees, hedges, fences, boundaries and even whether you can bury a loved one in your garden. There is also a discussion forum were visitors can post questions and receive answers from Richard Smithies or other viewers.

Gary Webber was a practising barrister for 22 years specialising in property law. Since 2003 he has practised as a mediator (accredited by the ADR Group) dealing with property, commercial and family cases. He is the author of two widely used books on possession actions. His property site propertylawuk.net includes substantial papers on property claims and the Civil Procedure Rules, an on-line book dealing with boundary disputes and other material of use to property litigators.

Wiglaw is a website maintained by Gordon Wignall, barrister. It will provide guides to a number of areas of the law. The first is A Short Guide to Nuisance, which covers private, public and statutory nuisance.  It is detailed in two specific areas, Flooding and Water and Tree Root Subsidence. Private nuisance can be particularly esoteric, and this website aims to demystify some of the complexity. The Briefings section will contain additional topics from time to time. In the future, two related topics will be added, one on environmental permitting and one on waste.