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03 September 2021 Residential property

The pandemic has seen record numbers of us undertaking DIY projects or getting tradesmen in to improve our homes. Our enthusiasm shows no sign of abating either, with the waiting list for builders stretching into next year. Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Property with Pearsons & Ward agrees this trend is likely to continue and adds some words of caution, ‘Always make sure you get any necessary approvals, or you could run into problems when you come to sell your property.’ Here he looks at some of the issues, and how to ensure your home improvements do not cause problems when you later put your home on the market. Planning permission, do you need it?  Not all alterations require planning permission. Generally, you will only need it if your proposed works constitute development. This has a…
05 July 2021 Residential property

If your home is leasehold, you could soon find it cheaper and easier to extend the term of your lease. This will usually make your property more valuable and, depending on how many years your lease has left, it can also make it easier to remortgage and more marketable when you come to sell. As part of its reform of the leasehold property regime, the Government plans to improve the statutory mechanism for lease extensions. Here Philip Taylor, a Head of Residential Property in the residential property team with Pearsons & Ward looks at the latest proposals and considers your options if you are a leaseholder. If you purchased a house or an apartment on a leasehold basis then, unlike with a freehold property, you do not own it outright. Instead, you have the right to…
31 March 2021 Residential property

According to the Bank of England, the biggest issue for most first-time buyers is insufficient savings.  Last year saw a sharp jump in the average amount of a deposit required to get a mortgage, with some people having to provide a deposit equivalent to a full year’s salary. To help tackle this problem, the Government is introducing a new mortgage guarantee scheme until December 2022. Here Philip Taylor, a Licensed Conveyancer in the residential property team with Pearsons & Ward in Malton, looks at the latest proposal and other ways to help you buy your first home even if you only have a small deposit. The 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme During the pandemic, lenders have tended to ask for large deposits and 95 per cent mortgages have virtually disappeared. The new mortgage guarantee scheme…
03 February 2021 Residential property

According to recent news stories, some owners are struggling to sell their homes because they live in an apartment block with exterior cladding. Coupled with mounting criticism of the leasehold system, you may worry that selling your flat will prove more difficult than you had hoped. ‘Leasehold flats are a long-established feature of this country’s property market. They can be an efficient way to Philip Taylor, a residential property expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton. In most cases, selling your leasehold apartment should not be too different from selling a freehold house, although there may be additional issues to address and the process may take a little longer. Recently, there has been widespread coverage of some of the problems associated with leasehold properties. These have ranged from escalating ground rents to exorbitant service charges. If…
26 January 2021 Residential property

The last 6 years have seen an explosion of new regulation for residential landlords and 2021 looks like it will be no exception. Here are some of the changes ahead that we have identified as being of potential significance for landlords. The ongoing implications of Coronavirus Act 2020 for recovering possession The Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020 and came into force on 26 March 2020. The Act 2020 was passed as an emergency measure in response to the spread of COVID-19. With the aim of protecting residential tenants from eviction, notice periods in relation to possession proceedings for certain residential tenancies have been extended. Notice periods in notices seeking possession of properties let on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) served under S8 and S21 of the Housing Act 1988 have been…
09 December 2020 Residential property

As many buyers look to take advantage of the temporary stamp duty holiday, now could be the right time to sell your home. To ensure any sale progresses smoothly, it is important to make sure the title to your property is in order. Last month, we outlined five potential problems with the title to your property. In the second of this two-part series, Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing with Pearsons & Ward in Malton looks at five more possible title problems, which could disrupt your plans and offers some solutions. Your property is leasehold Unlike a freehold, a lease is a wasting asset. If you have a term with 80 years or fewer left, then you may find it harder to sell because buyers sometimes struggle to find a suitable lender as many require a…
04 November 2020 Residential property

The easing of lockdown restrictions, a buoyant property market, and the temporary savings on stamp duty mean now could be the ideal time to sell up and buy your next home. Getting the timing right could be more important than ever and, once you have accepted an offer, you will want your sale to progress smoothly and quickly. Making sure the title to your property is in order will help keep your transaction on track, letting you and your buyer proceed with confidence. Ideally, you should do this before putting your home on the market but, whatever stage you are at, you should talk to your solicitor. She can identify potential title issues that could delay or jeopardise your sale and suggest ways to fix them. In this article, Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing with…
16 October 2020 Residential property

Programmes like Homes Under the Hammer have certainly raised the profile of property auctions. Although auctions still only account for two per cent of all property sales, some experts believe this proportion will rise. In an increasingly stagnant market, selling at auction may appear an attractive choice for sellers. However, if you are thinking about selling your property this way, there are some things you need to be aware of first.  Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Pearsons & Ward in Malton, looks at the auction process, some of its advantages and disadvantages, and offers some advice. How auctions work, an outline An auction house will prepare a catalogue listing all the properties for sale, usually about a month before the auction. This catalogue gives a guide price for each property and will contain standard…
06 August 2020 Residential property

As lockdown restrictions ease and people want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, we are seeing more activity in the housing market. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty, particularly over mortgage availability. On the one hand, interest rates are at an all-time low. On the other, lenders have reduced the number and range of mortgages they offer. If you are thinking about moving home or remortgaging, you may be wondering how this could affect you. Here Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing with Pearsons & Ward in Malton, cuts through the confusion and answers some of your questions. As a first-time buyer, will I still be able to get a mortgage? Since the pandemic, lenders have generally become more cautious and risk-averse. Most have now withdrawn their low deposit mortgage deals from…
10 March 2020 Residential property

The Rented Homes Bill had its first reading on 22 January 2020. The first thing the Bill does is to abolish assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England. ASTs were created by the Housing Act 1988 to strengthen the rights of landlords and increase the supply of private rented accommodation. An AST is a type of assured tenancy; its advantage from the point of view of a landlord is that, in addition to the grounds for seeking possession that are available to all assured tenancies, possession may also be obtained using the procedure set out in Section 21. The advantage of an AST for a tenant is the possibility of referring excessive rents to a rent assessment committee. The demise of the AST is intended to ‘reset the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and…
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