Conveyancing principles are the same, irrespective of the property. Yet the practicalities of buying a country house with grounds, swimming pool, stables, paddocks and staff accommodation are worlds away from those which apply to buying a smart town-house. So who is going to be best placed to deliver a smooth conveyance?
Regular or specialist?
A solicitor who has experience with country houses, knows the area and understands the idiosyncrasies, will exchange contracts (and therefore secure the property for you) faster than a solicitor who is new to country property and estates.
Speed, of course, can make all the difference when managing vendors’ expectations or in competition. But it has to be balanced against risk. This is where a solicitor with direct experience of country property, and the specific geographic area, will shine. Their knowledge of the classic pitfalls and local obstacles allows you to make haste and still reduce risk.
There are always area-specific issues with the local authority, boundaries and planning. A specialist solicitor is far more likely to have dealt with these type of issues before. You’ll get pragmatic advice and the benefit of relevant legal experience.
A solicitor with experience of rural-centric issues, for example, will always tell you that an hour walking the boundaries not only saves them hours poring over plans, but also discloses better quality information. Time is money, of course. And by visiting the property – complete with walking boots – your country property specialist solicitor will save you both.
Middleton advice. Use a solicitor with experience of country property.
Thanks: Tom Hyde, Michelmores LLP.
Advice papers. Middleton Advice is a series of top-level answers to questions that are often raised over the course of our client relationships. It’s important to note that you should not proceed with any investment decision on the basis of the advice contained in these papers without further consultation with Middleton or other professional advisors. Information accurate at publication date of October 2015.