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Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Who inherits when there is no Will?

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If a loved one dies without leaving a Will, their estate will be divided according to the standard rules of intestacy as set out by the government. These rules strictly define who inherits depending on what surviving family the deceased has and the size of...

TIME LIMIT: How long do you have to make a personal injury claim?

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If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or malicious action, whether at work, in public, or under any other circumstances, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, it is important to be aware that there are strict...

Why your business's terms and conditions matter

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For any business, your terms and conditions (or T&Cs) set out the legal basis on which you trade with your customers. They help to clearly establish what customers should expect from you when doing business with you and can be vital if you need to...

When should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to nominate one or more people to help you with making decisions about important issues if you lose the capacity to do so yourself in the future. An LPA will therefore commonly be used where you have reason to be...

What to know when buying property at auction

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Buying property at auction can allow you to get the right property at a lower price and is also usually faster than buying a property on the open market, allowing you to avoid the delays associated with property chains, the current owners needing to move out...

What to know when buying property off-plan

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Buying a new-build property before construction has started or while it is being built (known as buying ‘off-plan’) can allow you to get a pristine home or investment opportunity at a significant discount compared to buying a finished property....

Common conveyancing problems and what to do about them

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The conveyancing process is an essential part of buying or selling a property, covering key things such as preparing and exchanging the contracts of sale, having checks and searches carried out on the property for the buyer, the transfer of funds and...

What is digital conveyancing?

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Digital technology has revolutionised conveyancing in recent years, allowing the entire process to be handled remotely by email, over the phone and via video messaging. This makes things much faster and more convenient for homebuyers and homeowners, allowing...

How do settlement agreements work?

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Settlement agreements are an increasingly popular option for resolving employer-employee disputes, as well as heading off potential disputes during redundancy proceedings and other types of employee terminations. Settlement agreements act as a replacement...

Can you borrow against your house to buy another house?

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If you wish to a buy another house, either to rent out, as a second home, for your children to live in, or for any other reason, borrowing against your current home can be a good way to raise the necessary money. There are potentially 3 ways to do this: ...

Do you have to change your mortgage to rent out your property?

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If are planning to move and rent out your old home, a common concern is what to do about your mortgage. Many people do not realise that it is usually a condition of any residential mortgage that you need to let your lender know if you wish to rent your...

Can you get out of a tenancy agreement early?

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Whether you are a landlord or tenant, there are various circumstances where you may wish to end a tenancy agreement early. It might be that as a landlord you want to sell the property or as a tenant that you need to move for work or personal reasons. ...

How long does it take to buy a house?

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Exactly how long it takes to buy a house depends on various factors, including how quickly you can find the right place and how quickly you can find a buyer for your own home (unless you are a first time buyer). However, if you have found the right property...

Can you transfer ownership of a house with a mortgage?

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If you need to transfer the ownership of a property, such as when getting divorced, having a mortgage can make things more complicated. While it is perfectly possible to transfer ownership of a property with a mortgage, the mortgage will either need to be...

Can a freeholder refuse to extend a lease?

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When buying a leasehold property, its value will depend on how many years are left on the lease. The shorter the remaining time, the less the property will be worth. If you own or are considering buying a leasehold property, understanding your right to...

How staircasing for shared property ownership works

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Shared ownership can be a good way for people to buy a home who otherwise couldn’t afford to as it allows you to buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the remainder. This means you can get on the property ladder for less and pay a reduced rate...

What the government's ban on new build leasehold houses will mean for leaseholders

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The government has announced plans to tackle “unfair and abusive” practices within the leasehold system, including banning leaseholds for most new build houses. These plans will only affect houses and not leasehold flats. The new measures...

Things to know when considering equity release for your home

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Equity release can be an attractive way to fund your retirement, allowing you to unlock some of the value tied up in your home as a tax-free lump sum. Many people use this money to pay off debts, fund home improvements or other plans to make their...

3 things to consider when downsizing

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Downsizing is a popular choice for older people, especially those who are retiring or whose children have left home and therefore no longer need as much space. Moving to a smaller, cheaper home offers a number of advantages, including releasing capital,...

Announcement - Chris Jeyes

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On 16 February 2018, Christopher Jeyes, Barrister and Partner, left Bird & Co Solicitors to pursue more advocacy opportunities. Christopher started his career with us in February 2010 as In-House Counsel, progressing through to be Partner in 2014. ...

What to check when buying a listed property

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There are somewhere in the region of half a million listed buildings across England and Wales with the number increasingly all the time. While these buildings are often highly attractive places to live, full of history and character, there are a number of...

What does conveyancing involve?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process involved in buying or selling a property, as well as a variety of other property transactions, including remortgaging and lease extensions on leasehold property. The process is usually handled on your behalf by...

Do you need a survey when buying a home?

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When buying a new home, you take a big risk if you don’t properly investigate the property and any issues it might have. Failing to identify problems up front can mean you end up overpaying for a property, being left with unexpected expenses or being...

Can you renegotiate the sale price on a property during the conveyancing process?

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Once an offer is made and accepted on a property, you may think the price agreed is a done deal. However, there remains room for manoeuvre on both sides of the deal, meaning the buyer can reduce their offer or the seller can ask for more, as long as they do...

Is online conveyancing safe?

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For many people carrying out important business online is now second nature, so it’s not surprising that when it comes to buying a home, many people want the same convenience they are used to from the internet. A growing number of firms are now...

How buying a home with your children affects stamp duty

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An increasing number of people are relying on their parents for financial help when buying their first home, in large part due to the significant gap between average wages and average house prices in many parts of the UK. While it is common now for parents...

What you need to do to rent out your old home

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There are a number of reasons why renting out your old home can be an attractive idea, including as a way of generating a retirement income if you are downsizing, or if you move in with a partner who already owns their own home. However, to avoid any legal...

Things to know when buying a new build home

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Buying a newly built home offers a number of advantages, including the idea that you will be getting a pristine property with no wear and tear from previous owners. If you can buy off-plan, before the property is finished, you can also often get a...

SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) FAQs

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1. I have been registered as an owner of a residential property in the past but I did not live there. If I purchase a property to live in will I be a first time buyer? Answer:  Unfortunately not. To qualify as a first time buyer you need to have...

Useful advice on conveyancing fraud risks

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We take the security of our clients seriously, so when we are advised of risks by other responsible parties such as banks and mortgage lenders, we try to pass the advice on. The advice below has kindly been issued by Santander, but it applies equally across...

5 things to consider when buying a house as an unmarried couple

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A growing number of couples in the UK are choosing to buy property together without getting married or entering a civil partnership. This can be a good way to get onto then property ladder when house prices are unaffordable for many individuals, while also...

Stamp Duty to be cut for first time buyers

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Stamp duty land tax will be scrapped for first time buyers on properties worth £300,000 or less in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  Additionally, those buying a first property worth up to £500,000 will only pay stamp duty of the value...

3 common delays when selling your home and how to avoid them

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When selling your home, you undoubtedly would prefer the sale to go ahead as smoothly and speedily as possible – especially if you need the funds unlocked by the sale to purchase your new home. Any delay in the sale can cost you money and stress, as...

5 things you need to know when buying your first home

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Buying your first home is normally the biggest financial investment you will have made up to that point. It is therefore understandable to be concerned about getting it right and not being caught out by unexpected issues that could end up costing you a lot...

5 Tips for first time landlords

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Renting out a property can offer a good return on investment, but there are a number of details you need to get right to protect your investment and make the process of being a landlord as simple and stress-free as possible. The following are five things we...

Are leaseholds unfair? What to look out for when buying a leasehold property

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The majority of UK flats are offered on a leasehold basis, as are an increasing number of new build houses. Recently, there has been growing concern about a range of practices in the leasehold market, including over spiralling ground rents for new build...

How long does conveyancing take?

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The legal process of buying or selling a home, known as conveyancing, often takes around six to eight weeks. However, this is entirely dependent on the circumstances, including the type of property, any special considerations that have to be dealt with and...

How to avoid conveyancing fraud

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Conveyancing fraud is now believed to be the most common type of cybercrime in the legal sector and can result in unwary homebuyers losing tens of thousands of pounds. It is a particular issue for first time buyers, because they are likely to be less...

Important notice: "Memorandum of Sale" email - just delete!

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Emails displaying as from "Bird & Co. Conveyancing Team" that purport to enclose a memorandum of sale, are in fact from a different domain and nothing to do with us.

Delete immediately without opening any attachment.

What to know when buying land in the UK

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Buying land can be an attractive investment, especially where there is the possibility to develop property on the site or otherwise improve it to increase its value. However, to ensure a good return on your investment, there are a number of key issues you...

5 things to check when buying a flat

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The majority of flats in the UK are sold on a leasehold basis, meaning you are not buying the property, but rather the right to occupy it for a fixed period of time. The freeholder retains ownership of the building and their rights and responsibilities, as...

Why do you need conveyancing when remortgaging?

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When remortgaging a property you own, there are various checks and searches that need to be carried out, as well as other important legal and financial details that need to be handled correctly. This process is referred to as conveyancing, the same as the...

Who can do conveyancing in the UK?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process of buying and selling property, including leasehold property, as well as carrying out the necessary checks and transactions involved in remortgaging or extending a lease. Getting your conveyancing handled...

5 things to think about when selling a buy to let property

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Changes to tax relief for UK landlords being phased in between 2017 and 2020 mean that many buy to let rental properties may no longer be able to generate a reasonable profit for their owners. As a result, many buy to let landlords are likely to be...

Things to consider when buying a leasehold property

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Many flats in the UK are sold on a leasehold basis, as are a number of other properties. If you are thinking about buying a leasehold property, it is important to understand how this differs from buying a freehold property and the key things you need to...

How exchange of contracts works

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The exchange of contracts is one of the final stages of buying or selling a house and makes the transaction legally binding. Many people find this process stressful, as it is generally the last point at which a property transaction may go wrong. In this...

Landlord insurance: what it is and why you need it

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Being a landlord is an investment that can offer good returns, but it can also get expensive when something goes wrong. This can quickly eat into your profits and even leave you out of pocket. That is why it is important for landlords to have the right...

Who regulates conveyancing?

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Getting your conveyancing right is essential when buying or selling property. It ensures that the sale is progressed properly, that all your legal obligations have been correctly taken care of and for buyers, that you do not end up with any nasty surprises...

What are conveyancing fees?

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When buying or selling a home, you will need to use a conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor to take care of the legal side of things for you. This ensures that no important details are missed and protects you from any unpleasant surprises during the property...

Avoiding co-ownership disputes

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When a single person owns a property, that person is the sole proprietor, or sole legal owner.  If two or more people own property together, they are co-owners.  There are two types of property co-ownership: tenants in common and joint...

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