Our Services

Residential Property

Whether you are moving house, buying a home for the first time, selling property on behalf of an estate or via Power of Attorney our hard working, efficient and knowledgeable property team are constantly available throughout the process to keep you fully informed of the progress of the transaction at every step and to make sure that completion takes place as quickly as possible.

Our dedicated residential property team have very considerable experience of acting in the sale and purchase of residential property, including leasehold properties, apartments, new build properties, commercial properties and land, including land being acquired for development.

The residential property team is headed up by Stephen Ogden, Solicitor/Director of the Firm who is supervised by Richard Hirst.

Laker Legal Solicitors are members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme which is a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices. This ensures that Laker Legal have the expertise to deliver quality residential conveyancing advice.

Jessica Blacow, our Licensed Conveyancer

answers some of your property questions.

Jess Blacow

I am new to the process of buying/selling a property – What do I need to do first?

You will need to appoint a Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer who will be able to talk you through the steps and Laker Legal can help you with this. We will be provide you with a fixed fee which will set out the legal fees of the firm, together with all the disbursements anticipated at that stage and any stamp duty you will need to pay.

You should note that it is not always possible to anticipate all costs that may be required – additional costs can sometimes crop up such as fees for management packs and indemnity insurance policies and you will always be advised of these if this is the case.

Once you have received your fixed fee and would like to proceed, you should confirm this to your Solicitor or Licensed Conveyancer.  We will then issue you with the Client Care pack and the Terms of Business for the firm.  We will also require two forms of ID from you and a payment on account to cover any initial costs.

If you are selling a property, you will also need to complete and return a Property Information Form, a Fittings and Contents Form and if applicable, a Leasehold Information Form, which will be sent to the Buyer’s Solicitors with the Contract pack.

What is the difference between a Solicitor and a Licensed Conveyancer?

A Solicitor is a qualified legal professional with training in a wide area of of the law and can choose to specialise in a certain area (such as the legal aspects of property matters and conveyancing) or deal with a variety of matters.  Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

A Licensed Conveyancer is a qualified property professional specialising in the legal aspects of  conveyancing.  Licensed Conveyancers are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) but can work in firms that are regulated by the SRA.

What are property enquiries and why are these needed?

Enquiries are a series of questions that we send to the Seller’s Solicitors once we have reviewed your Contract pack and your searches.  It is an opportunity to request missing documentation, corrections or amendments to the Contract (and any other documentation) and to query matters such as rights and covenants that may affect the property.

They are required because quite often, important information can be contained in missing documentation, which we need to inspect before we can proceed.  Some covenants, for example, might restrict your ability to build an extension or a conservatory/garage without obtaining consent. If a Seller of a property has had work like this carried out, it is important to check that the required consents were obtained.

The above is only a very limited example of what can be raised in the way of enquiries. The intention is to obtain as much information about the property’s legal title and the property itself so that we can prepare a full report on the property and the title to you and provide you with all the information that we have obtained.

If you are buying with a mortgage and have a mortgage offer, we also act for your mortgage lender and we are required to obtain all necessary information and documentation before we can proceed.

What are property Searches and why do I have to have them?

Property Searches can give us a lot of important information about the property you are purchasing.  A Search pack usually contains three usual Searches.  These are the Local Search, the Drainage and Water Search and the Environmental Search.

The Local Search will reveal whether any planning permissions have been granted for the property. It is important to check these because sometimes, planning permissions have conditions attached to them.  The Search will also reveal whether works met Building Regulations.

If Local Land Charges are revealed, these need to be checked carefully as sometimes these can be financial obligations linked to the property.  There may also be other matters such as Tree Preservation Orders, which need to be checked carefully.

The Local Search will also reveal whether the road is adopted and whether any notices have been issued (such as a notice for compulsory purchase).

The Environmental Search will reveal whether the land is contaminated and other matters such as flooding, radon and ground stability.

The Drainage and Water Search will reveal whether the property is connected to foul and surface water drainage because if they are not, further enquiries need to be raised as to where foul water and surface water drainage is draining to.

It can also reveal whether there are any pipes or drainage or water assets within the boundary because if there are, further enquiries also need to be raised in relation to this.

We would always advise purchasers to carry out searches. If you are purchasing with a mortgage, these are required.  If you are not buying with a mortgage it is your decision as to whether these are obtain but we would always strongly advise that searches are obtained.

What does exchange of Contracts mean?

This is when both the Seller and the Buyer become legally bound to the transaction.

You should be aware that we will never exchange Contracts without speaking to all Sellers and obtaining your authority to exchange.  Even if we spoke to you yesterday, we will always take your fresh authority the next day simply because a lot can happen in 24 hours and instructions can change.

Exchange of Contracts can only take place when both Solicitors are holding a copy of the Contract signed by their client and all parties in the chain are ready to exchange.

During the exchange, the details of the Contract are checked to make sure both copies of the Contract are exactly the same.  The completion date is entered into the Contract (which will have been agreed before hand), the sale price is confirmed as well as the details of both the Seller and Buyer and the property itself.

The Contract is dated, following which, Contracts are deemed to be exchanged.

You are then legally tied into the transaction, as is the Buyer. The completion date and the purchase price will also become “fixed”.

Your signed copy of the Contract is then posted out to the Buyer’s Solicitor and vice versa.

Exchange of Contracts can take place a few days before completion or sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the transaction, can also take place on the same day as completion.  This is known as a simultaneous exchange and completion.

If you need a longer period between exchange and completion eg. to make arrangements for removals, then you are advised to inform us as soon as possible so that we can make all parties aware.

What is the completion date?

The completion date is the date that the Seller and the Buyer have agreed to complete the transaction, through their respective Solicitors.

The completion date is usually negotiated once all enquiries have been satisfied.

All parties in the chain need to agree to the completion date.

You may be asked to agree a completion date either with the Buyer directly or the estate agent.  You should always check the position with your Solicitor before agreeing to any dates as we can advise you further in relation to this and the likely timescales of the matter.

When do I get the keys?

This is one of the questions that we get asked frequently, and rightly so!

Keys are released to the buyer on the day of completion.

On the day of completion your funds are sent to the Seller’s Solicitors.  Once the monies have been received by them and they have confirmed receipt, formal completion will have taken place.   We will let you know as soon as this has been confirmed so you can go and collect the keys to your new home!

Get an instant quote with our conveyancing fees calculator

We appreciate that client’s will want the reassurance of a fixed price for their transaction. When you have completed our online conveyancing calculator if you wish to discuss your sale or purchase in more detail please contact us and we will be very pleased to answer any further queries that you have.

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    What our clients say

    Don't take our word for it...

    Stephen – Just to say a massive heartfelt THANK YOU for all your work and support , not only on the sale of our business but the opening too.
    You’re truly one in a million, and we appreciate all you’ve done.

    Ms G & Ms K – Wheatley, Oxfordshire

    Quality of service from Laker Legal in regard to selling our house was excellent, they were very friendly and worked very effectively.
    Thank you!

    Mrs C, King Hill, Kent.

    Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

    Mr T, Lancaster

    Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
    Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday

    Ms. W of Leyland

    A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

    Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

    “I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm, and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

    Mrs V – London

    Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

    Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

    “A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first Moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us."

    Ms P - Maidstone

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