What is a solicitor?

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solicitor for landlords

A solicitor is a legal professional who is trained and qualified to provide legal advice and representation on various matters, including property law. Solicitors play a crucial role in property transactions, offering expertise and guidance to individuals and businesses involved in buying, selling, or leasing property.

What does a solicitor do for landlords?

As a landlord, engaging the services of a solicitor is crucial for ensuring that your legal rights and obligations are properly upheld throughout the process of buying, selling, or leasing a rental property.

A solicitor can provide invaluable guidance and support, ensuring that all transactions are conducted in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

When do you need to use a solicitor as a landlord?

When buying a rental property, it is essential to involve a solicitor from the outset.

solicitor sitting down at a table

Similarly, if you decide to sell your rental property, a solicitor can guide you through the intricate legal process. Read the below subheadings to make sure you understand how both sides of the process works.

When buying

When purchasing a rental property, it is essential to involve a solicitor from the outset. They will handle the legal aspects of the transaction, including conducting due diligence, reviewing the contract of sale, and ensuring that all necessary checks and searches are carried out.

Read about the buying process in depth

This includes verifying the property’s title, checking for any outstanding debts or legal issues, and ensuring that you have a clear understanding of your obligations as a landlord.

When selling  

If you decide to sell your rental property, a solicitor can guide you through the intricate legal process. They will prepare the necessary documents, communicate with the buyer’s solicitor, and handle the transfer of ownership.

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Additionally, they can advise you on any tax implications and ensure that you comply with all legal requirements related to the sale, protecting your interests throughout the transaction.

How do solicitors work?

When engaging a solicitor, they will follow a comprehensive process to ensure that all legal matters are handled effectively and efficiently. Here’s how solicitors typically work for landlords:

Become Instructed by the seller: The seller should instruct a solicitor or conveyancer as soon as an offer on the property is accepted. This ensures no time is wasted in moving the sale forward.

a solicitor holding up paper

Prepare legal contracts: The solicitor/conveyancer prepares the legal contracts necessary for the sale.

Carry out searches: They conduct local authority and environmental searches, checking for things like flood risks, planning applications, and any other issues that could affect the property.

Obtain mortgage resettlement figure: The solicitor/conveyancer obtains the figure for settling the seller’s outstanding mortgage from the lender.

Get title deeds: They acquire a copy of the title deeds from the Land Registry.

Distribute and receive questionnaires: The solicitor/conveyancer distributes and receives sellers’ questionnaires, which provide important information about the property.

Receive deposit: They receive the deposit from the buyer’s solicitor.
Negotiate with buyer’s legal team: The solicitor/conveyancer negotiates with the buyer’s legal team, addressing any issues or queries that arise.

Negotiate moving dates: They negotiate and agree on a suitable completion date and moving dates with all parties involved.

a solicitor taking information

Approve deed of transfer: The solicitor/conveyancer approves the deed of transfer, which transfers ownership of the property to the buyer.

Receive balance and transfer deeds: They receive the balance of the purchase price from the buyer’s solicitor and transfer the deeds of ownership to the buyer’s legal team.

How to choose a good solicitor as a landlord

As a landlord, selecting the right solicitor is crucial to ensure a smooth and legally sound property management experience.

Considerations when choosing a solicitor include their expertise in property law, their reputation, and their accreditation with regulatory bodies such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and membership with professional organizations like the Law Society of England and Wales.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

Additionally, landlords should research solicitors’ track records, reviews from past clients, and any disciplinary actions taken against them by regulatory bodies.

Opting for a solicitor who is a member of the Property Ombudsman Scheme can provide added peace of mind, as it demonstrates a commitment to resolving disputes fairly and transparently.

How much should a solicitor cost?

The cost of hiring a solicitor for property-related matters can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the value of the property, and the specific services required. Solicitors typically offer fixed-fee packages for standard services, such as registering or selling a property.

However, additional costs may arise, including disbursements for property searches, Land Registry fees, and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). It is advisable to obtain quotes from multiple solicitors and clarify the fee structure, ensuring transparency regarding any additional costs or potential expenses that may arise during the process.

To register a property

When registering a property with the Land Registry, solicitors play a vital role in ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

Costs associated with property registration may include Land Registry fees, solicitor’s fees for handling the registration process, and any additional disbursements such as property searches or title deeds.

Landlords should also consider the implications of registering a property, including potential tax obligations and compliance with relevant regulations.

To sell a property

Selling a property involves various legal considerations, and solicitors provide essential guidance throughout the process. Solicitor’s fees for selling a property typically include drafting contracts, handling negotiations with buyers, and overseeing the transfer of ownership.

A solicitor negotiating

Additional costs may arise, such as estate agent fees, conveyancing fees, and disbursements for property searches or Land Registry fees. Landlords should discuss these costs with their solicitor and ensure clarity regarding the breakdown of expenses involved in selling their property.

Looking to sell your property?

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What is the difference between a solicitor and a lawyer?

In the UK, the terms “solicitor” and “lawyer” are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences in their roles.

Generally, a solicitor is a legal professional who provides legal advice and representation to clients, whereas a lawyer is a broader term that can encompass various legal professionals, including solicitors, barristers, and legal executives.

Solicitors typically handle legal matters outside of court, such as property transactions, contract drafting, and dispute resolution, whereas barristers specialise in advocacy and representation in court proceedings.

What is the difference between a solicitor and a conveyance?

While both solicitors and conveyancers handle property transactions, there are differences in their qualifications and scope of practice.

Read about the difference in more detail

Solicitors are qualified lawyers who can provide legal advice and representation on a wide range of legal matters, including property law. Conveyancers, on the other hand, specialise solely in property law and are not qualified to provide legal advice on other legal matters.

While both solicitors and conveyancers can handle property transactions, solicitors may be better equipped to deal with complex legal issues that may arise during the process.

Does a solicitor have to be nearby to you?

While proximity to your solicitor can be convenient for face-to-face meetings and document signings, it’s not always a necessity. In today’s digital age, many solicitors offer remote communication options such as email, phone calls, and video conferencing, making it possible to work with a solicitor located further away.

What’s crucial is the solicitor’s expertise and specialization in the relevant area of law. Therefore, prioritizing a solicitor’s expertise and reputation over their proximity may yield better results in achieving your legal goals.

Should you use a solicitor that has been recommended by an estate agent?

While estate agents may offer recommendations for solicitors, it’s essential to approach such referrals with caution. Estate agents often have existing relationships with solicitors, and their recommendations may be influenced by these ties rather than the solicitor’s suitability for your specific needs.

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It’s advisable to conduct independent research on any recommended solicitor, ensuring they have the necessary expertise and experience in handling property transactions. Additionally, exploring multiple solicitor options and seeking referrals from trusted sources can provide a more comprehensive perspective on the available choices.

Ultimately, prioritising the solicitor’s competence and alignment with your requirements is paramount in making an informed decision.

Our opinion on online solicitors

A solicitor in London uk

Cozee use our own solicitors whenever a property is sold. We have an increase in the

Map of all solicitors in London

A map showcasing the locations of solicitors in London can be an invaluable resource for individuals seeking legal assistance, whether it’s for property transactions, business matters, or personal legal issues. Check out the map below.

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