Insights

October 2014

The risk outlook issued by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (“SRA”) identified financial instability as a continuing worry for legal practices and a recent Conveyancers’ Association Conference encouraged conveyancers in particular to recognise the huge risk to consumers of losing money and/or confidential information as a result of criminal activity.

October 2014

There is a growing campaign to reform the current stamp duty tax system as evidenced by increasing newspaper publications and even a discussion in Parliament. Many property experts and MPs are asserting that the £1 billion per month raised through stamp duty is holding back further growth in the economy and a rise in the thresholds could boost the housing market and, in particular, give a helping hand to buyers at the lower end of the scale.

October 2014

The remortgage market switched off in recent years plummeting from 1.2m cases in 2007 to a low of 350,000 in 2010, followed by a very slow recovery. Many people have been stuck with negative equity whilst others have been trapped by lack of employment. Although 2m borrowers have been able to switch in the last 5 years many have seen no need to do so as their current rates offered no incentive to move from pre-2008 tracker deals.

October 2014

The Land Registry plans to become the sole registering authority for local land charges ("local searches") in 2015. The intention is to replace the current system whereby details of such charges are provided by each of the 348 local authorities.

September 2014

A policy paper has recently been released by the Land Registry and the Ordnance Survey to outline the role each plays in displaying and identifying ownership of boundaries between properties.

From the outset it is important to distinguish between a physical boundary (such as a wall or fence ) and the legal boundary which identifies the precise separation of ownership of land. These "boundaries" may not necessarily be the same.

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