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Property Services

Belcher Frost  have been providing a highly-regarded conveyancing service for many years and know how important it is for you to have direct contact with the person dealing with your property transaction on a day to day basis.

We give you the direct dial telephone number and e-mail address of the person dealing with your file when you instruct us. This way, you can be certain that you can contact the person you need to - when you need to.

Our conveyancing service team deals exclusively with residential property transactions all day, every day and have many years of experience dealing with property in Hampshire, West Sussex and beyond.

If there is a problem with the property you are buying or selling, it is highly likely that we will have seen it before and, most importantly, will know how to deal with it. We are also able to call on other experts in our commercial property department if the need arises.

We have clients with properties from flats and apartments through to executive family homes and large country properties.

We are particularly experienced at providing a complex conveyancing service including probate and family matters.

Joint Ownership

In recent years there has been an increase in family members and/or friends pooling resources in order to purchase a property and get on the housing ladder, for example parents helping out adult children or elderly relatives releasing equity.  In addition many couples are choosing not to marry or to enter a civil partnership, but they may still decide to purchase a property together. As a result, co-ownership of property in the UK is on the increase.

What happens if one of the co-owners wants to sell, for example if the relationship comes to an end or one party wishes to realise their interest?

Most people assume that, provided you are named as a joint legal owner on the Title Deeds, then you are entitled to an equal share of the equity. What is frequently not understood is that the legal ownership of the property and the entitlement to share in the proceeds of sale (the beneficial interest) are two separate things and it does not necessarily follow that the beneficial interest will be the same as the legal ownership. 

Many cohabiting couples still wrongly assume that they have some protection as a ‘common law spouse’, at least if they have been living together for some time.  There is no such thing as a ‘common law spouse’ and, at present, cohabiting couples have no extra claims, even if they have children together. 

Consequently, it is extremely important to ensure that careful consideration is given as to how the property is to be held.  Sole owners could still find themselves vulnerable to a potential claim, for example where a partner moves in at a later date.

The best way to avoid future litigation is to have a written agreement in place from the outset. 

At the time of purchasing the property, your property lawyer will advise you about different methods of ownership. 

If you are purchasing with another party the property may be held as either Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common and it is vital that you understand the implications of this before completing the paperwork:

As joint tenants each party has an equal interest in the property.  On sale, the proceeds will be divided equally, regardless of contributions made to the purchase price or the outgoings.  Upon the death of one partner, their share of the property will automatically pass to the other regardless of the terms of any Will.

Tenants in common have specified interests in the property, which might or might not be equal.  A separate legal document sets out the shares which it is agreed each has in the property.  It can also specify the contributions which each must make towards the purchase price and the outgoings and the circumstances in which the property should be sold.  

Further considerations are how the sale proceeds are to be divided, whether it is appropriate for there to be any adjustment in the event of one party defaulting or ceasing to occupy the property, and whether the remaining owner has the right to buy out the other’s interest.  On death, the deceased’s share does not automatically pass to the survivor, but passes in accordance with the deceased’s Will.

Belcher Frost have an expert team who can deal with all aspects of property ownership, dealing with advice at the outset, drawing up agreements, or dealing with the dispute in the unhappy event that it all goes wrong.

If you are involved in a dispute involving residential or commercial property then our team of expert property dispute solicitors will be able to help.  The team offers prompt, professional advice and assistance to resolve disputes and prevent them arising in the future.

Our solicitors are experienced in handling a wide range of disputes for multi property landlords, landowners, individuals letting houses and tenants.

Our service includes:

Landlord & Tenant Disputes

  • General Advice on residential tenancies
  • Possession proceedings
  • Rent arrears
  • Enforcement of possession orders and judgments
  • Defending disrepair claims
  • Drafting Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements
  • Advice regarding rent increases

Other Property Disputes

  • Commercial property disputes
  • Trespassers
  • Adverse possession claims
  • Trusts of Land Act Disputes (disputes over ownership of property)
  • Drafting occupation agreements
  • Rights of way
  • Issues arising from the joint ownership of property outside a marriage