A commercial property is a powerful investment vehicle to help ensure successful business operations as well as to provide a lucrative asset should an owner ever have the want or need to sell. Due to the financial significance of these properties, the legal stipulations necessary to manage commercial assets can be challenging to understand for the average owner. Thus, a commercial property lawyer represents a valuable asset that can help ensure the property is managed efficiently and transparently. So, what exactly is commercial property law?

Commercial property law is the process by which a single or a multiple set of properties are legally managed by a commercial property solicitor. These lawyers are most often used in the scenario where a property (normally used for business purposes) is being bought =, sold or leased. For instance, if one wishes to purchase a certain property for business use, the buyer will have to enter into a legally binding contract with the seller....

Conveyancing is the branch of law that deals with the transfer of legal ownership of, usually, residentialproperty from one person to another. Essentially, conveyancing can be defined as the legal act of buying and selling of property. Granting of a mortgage on a property is also covered by conveyancing.

Why do you Need Conveyancing?

The sale or purchase of any property is a major transaction that can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. Consequently, there is a lot of legal paperwork involved. All of this is handled by a conveyancing solicitor. The solicitor works with the client to draw up all the required documents for the transfer of the property's legal title from the buyer to the seller. This is a complicated legal process and requires deft handling by conveyancing solicitors. Conveyancing is required for the sale of both residential and commercial properties.

What is the Process of Conveyancing?

Residential conveyancing is long...

Lasting powers of attorney, which have replaced enduring powers of attorney, came into effect in October 2008. A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is designed to allow individuals, who envision a time when they may no longer be able to make decisions for themselves, to appoint members of their family, or trusted friends, to take decisions on their behalf. This can be through long term mental illness or a temporary situation caused by an accident or similar. 

Lasting powers of attorney fall into two categories:

1. Property and affairs LPA. A property and affairs LPA allows your attorney (the trusted individual you appoint) to make decisions related to your property and your affairs, if a decision needs to be made and you are unable to take that decision yourself. Property and personal affairs will include such things as decisions about collecting income and other benefits, paying bills, or selling a property. Within a property and affairs LPA you can place...

When someone dies it is normal for the immediate family, a close relative, or a friend to deal with the immediate requirements of obtaining a medical certificate, ensuring that the death is registered and a death certificate obtained, and making the necessary arrangements for the funeral. This however is merely the start of what can often be the long process of probate.

Probate is an authority given to an individual (or individuals) by a courtand this permits the individual concerned to deal with the estate by collecting monies owed to the estate, paying any debts against the estate, and distributing the remainder of the estate to those people who are entitled to receive it.

If an individual dies leaving a will, then an executors will normally be named in the will as the people selected to deal with the estate. The executors will then apply for a grant of probate and handle the administration for the estate. If the deceased did not leave a will, then the next of kin...

Employers and employees alike should expect a number of changes in employment law and regulations for 2013. Changes will affect redundancy pay, parental leave, redundancy consultations and employee shareholder options among other things. Companies will have to make sure that they incorporate the new regulations in their policies, whilst it is also recommended that employees understand and prepare for any changes that could potentially affect their employment.

Changes to Parental Leave

In March, unpaid parental leave will increase from 13 weeks to 18 weeks per child. In April, a new system of shared parental leave will be introduced and employees will also be given the chance to work more flexibly.

Pay Increases

The limit on the amount of compensation for unfair dismissal will increase from February, rising from £72,300 to £74,200. The amount of a week’s pay used to calculate redundancy pay will rise from £430 to £450...

Whether you are thinking of buying, selling or renting a property, expanding on your property investment or are just simply interested in how the property market will look in the coming year, here are our predictions for 2013.

House Prices

Property prices have largely remained stable in 2012 and estate agents and property experts expect prices to stay flat in 2013, with regional variations remaining significant. As Martin Ellis, house price index economist at Halifax comments: “Conditions are likely to remain as they are. In 2013 prices are again likely to end the year at levels close to where they begin, with the market continuing to lack any genuine direction.” Many also expect a deepening North/South divide, with prices decreasing by roughly 4% in northern England, Wales and Scotland, and remaining static in London and the south.

First Time Buyers

The number of first time buyers has achieved its highest levels in 2012 since 2007...

According to new research published by e.surv chartered surveyors, property purchase lending in November increased to its highest level in 11 months since January 2012, with 53,259 house purchase loans.

Mortgage funding however, is not distributed equally between wealthier applicants and those planning to buy a less expensive property or with a smaller deposit. Banks have focused on lending to wealthier home buyers and purchase approvals for properties below £125,000 only accounted for 22% of all approvals, which is the lowest proportion for over a year. Lending to potential borrowers with less than 15% deposit has dropped to less than 10% of all mortgage approvals, with 4874 loans compared to 7180 just a year ago.

The increase in lending to wealthier customers as opposed to first time home buyers or those with smaller deposits demonstrates that banks are more inclined to choose lower risk borrowers. While mortgage lending has decreased for those with a lower...

The Council of Mortgage Lenders have stated that we can expect a steady increase in lending for house purchases in 2013 signaling an increase in activity, although first time buyers still require a deposit of 20% to get on to the property ladder, which accounts for four in ten of all house purchase loans in October.

Property search website Rightmove has predicted a 2% average rise in sellers asking prices, this being thanks to an increased competition between mortgage lenders and a continued shortage of homes.

The higher rates expected in London is said to have a ‘ripple effect’ on the surrounding areas, as it will force people to look outside of the capital for places to live, thus increasing their sales. Causing a growth of 3% in the South East, South West and East Anglia. While the Midlands, the North of England and Wales are expected to have a 1% climb.

Issues With Deposits

CML figures show that October had a 13.8% increase on...

The Government has recently announced details about the annual increase in redundancy pay, which is to come into effect from February 2013.

When calculating redundancy payment, a week’s pay will increase from £430 to £450. This means that those who’ve worked for their employer for at least 2 years will now receive £450 for each full year they worked and were older than 22 but under 41. For the years worked above the age of 41, an employee will now receive £675 (one and a half week’s pay) for each full working year.

In cases of unfair dismissal, the maximum compensatory award will increase from £72,300 to £74,200. The Government however, is currently also reviewing how the compensatory award cap is calculated which could, in time, mean a dramatic reduction in this amount.

Despite these annual increases, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has recently announced proposals that are bound to have...

In October 2012 it was recorded that 28 million adults living in the UK have not made a will, which should cause concern as this leaves no guarantee that their assets will be moved on to whom they wish, but also could lead to them paying a larger inheritance tax as a result of no tax planning.

Regional variations

Topping the list as the most prepared region in the UK is the South East, yet this number is still less than half of all adults, with 49% having created a will.

Despite this lack of planning a large number (74%) of UK adults have expressed a wish to leave money to their loved ones once they pass away, with 56% wanting to leave jewellery and paintings to their next of kin. It was also revealed that 65% plan on leaving property averaging £199,000 to others.

Research has demonstrated that children and grandchildren will still remain the main beneficiaries of wills, with 36%...

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