Our commercial property clients are mainly professionals working in the property industry or businesses requiring premises for business occupation. In either case the need is for speedy personal provision, with practical commercial advice as well as dependable legal work.
Your business premises are important for the success of your business. For many businesses the decision of whether to rent or buy is essential. If you are a new business, you are likely to be better off with a short term lease with flexible rent reviews. It is vital that the lease reflects your business interests.
If you are in business in property then financial considerations are critical. We can advise on all aspects of business leases and tenancies, assignments of leases, lease renewals, rent reviews and licences to assign or alter. We offer a commercially-aware and personal service on all aspects of commercial property ownership and occupation.
We are resolute on helping you complete your sale, purchase, remortgage or any other conveyancing matter quickly and stress-free.
We try to be one step ahead of our competitors, and as soon as we have received your instructions to proceed and details of the property, we will begin work on your file.
You may contact us for a quotation as well as any other costs that you may not yet have considered.
Right to Buy
If you have been a Council tenant living in local authority accommodation for two years, then you may have the right to buy your home under the “Right to Buy” scheme.
We can help you out with advice on local authority valuations, discounts, section 125 notices, stamp duty as well as general assistance on the right to buy procedure.
Have you spent at least two years as a public sector tenant with a “Right to Buy” landlord, for example, a London Borough Council, a Housing Action Trust, or a District Council and your home is your only home?
1. The Application – You will need to fill in and return Form RTB1 “Notice claiming the right to buy.” This form will be available from your local Area Housing Office.
2. Eligibility Checks – Once the council has received and checked Form RTB1 they will start investigating if you are eligible to buy your home. The council will send you a RTB2 Notice to tell you the results. If they do not accept the application, you will be advised of the reasons.
3. Valuation/Survey – A letter will be sent with the RTB2 Notice providing a phone number for you to ring to arrange for the property to be valued. You must ring the valuer within ten days to arrange a convenient time to come and value your home.
4. Price Notice – After the property has been valued you will be sent the “Landlord’s Offer Notice” (Section 125 Notice). This will tell you the value of the property, the purchase price and any terms relating to the purchase of the property and structural defects noted by the surveyor. Once you have received this Notice and you decide to go ahead you should arrange your mortgage and arrange your own survey.
5. Your Response – You will then need to decide if you wish to buy the property outright under the Right to Buy, apply to buy it on rent-to-mortgage terms, appeal against the valuation or forget about buying your home and continue to pay rent. You must make this decision and reply within 12 weeks of receiving your Section 125 Notice.
6. Completing the Sale – Generally speaking, if everything is straightforward and there are no problems, the sale will normally complete within three months of you notifying the council that you wish to proceed with the purchase.
Types of Ownership
There are two ways in which property may be held by joint owners. If you are purchasing with someone else you will need to decide how the property is to be held in order to protect both parties’ interests.
Property can be held in two ways as joint owners: either as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common. You will need to judge carefully which is the most appropriate option for you.
As joint tenants the whole of the property is owned by both parties in equal shares. Upon sale, both parties will have an equal interest in the proceeds of sale. If one of the parties dies, the survivor inherits the whole property. You are unable, therefore, to leave your share in your Will.
As tenants in common the property is held in separate shares, which can be equal or unequal. It is your decision who holds which percentage of the property. Each party will, therefore, be able to sell each share independently of the other and on death this share will pass by your Will.
If the property is owned in unequal shares, we can prepare a separate agreement that sets out those shares and will also make provision as to what will happen in the event that one party wishes to sell their share, but the other does not or if a relationship breaks down. This agreement can also set out any obligations to contribute towards the expenditure.
If you cannot afford to buy a home of your own, shared ownership may be an option. This is a part-buy, part-rent scheme where you buy a share of a home with a mortgage or savings and you pay a subsidised rent to a landlord on the part that you do not own.
You may be able to increase your share as and when you can afford to. The larger the share you buy, the less you will have to pay in rent. You will need to carefully consider the implications of buying the landlord’s share as this could leave you with high repayments at the end of the loan period. You also need to think about the repayment period for buying firstly your share, and then the landlord’s share of the house.
If you want to buy a further share, you will first need to tell your landlord in writing the share you wish to purchase. Your landlord will get the property valued and will let you know the cost of the further share.
Some people recommend that once you have made your initial percentage purchase, you should attempt to purchase further shares in the property as soon as you can comfortably afford to do so. This is to maximise on any increase that the property market might be encountering at that time. As you increase the share that you own, your rental payments will decrease. You may be able to buy shares incrementally until you own your home outright.
You still have the rights and the responsibilities of home ownership, even though you will not own the property outright.
You can sell the property at any time but must you must tell the landlord in writing that you wish to move. You can either sell the part that you own or you can buy the remaining share and then sell the property outright.
Unless you own the property outright, clauses in the lease may enable the landlord to nominate prospective buyers and to restrict the sale price to an independent valuer’s valuation. The reason for this is that the landlord wishes the property to remain available to people who are interested in shared ownership.
In some rural areas, the social landlord may restrict your ability to buy further shares in your home or reserve the right to buy back the property at full market value. These arrangements are limited to rural areas and are intended to provide a means of keeping low-cost housing available for rural communities. The social landlord will tell you if the home you want to buy is in an area where these restrictions apply.
It is possible to buy a property through shared ownership as joint owners. Up to four people can buy together but will have to apply individually and meet the eligibility criteria jointly.