Conveyancing Process Taking too Long? Time scale Explained

Is your conveyancing process taking too long? Often at the beginning of a conveyancing transaction, solicitors are asked how long the process will take until completion. Continue reading “Conveyancing Process Taking too Long? Time scale Explained”

Is Squatting Illegal in a Commercial Property?

In 2012 the British government introduced a controversial law to protect residential property owners. The new law, Section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, criminalises the act of squatting in a residential building and holds a financial penalty of up to £5,000 and up to a year in prison. Beforehand, it was only considered a criminal offence if criminal damage was caused within the residential property by the squatter.

However, this newly introduced law does not protect commercial property’s. While it is still considered illegal to cause criminal damage within a commercial property; it is not an illegal offence to squat in a property being used for commercial reasons.

However, the British government are now under growing pressure to expand the new law to protect commercial property’s as well as residential property’s. The reason? Many local authorities have seen a decrease in the number of squatters within residential buildings; however, the new law has also caused a increase in the number squatters within commercial property’s. Calling into question the overall success of this new law.

For clarification: it is illegal to squat in a residential property (with or without causing criminal damage). However, it is legal to squat within a commercial property (unless criminal damage is caused). Although, the current squatters rights and property owners rights are still taken into consideration.

Ashton Hudson, Online Marketing Executive 

Point of No Return in a Property Sale

English Law prescribes that until contracts are exchanged or an auction property is “banged down” there is no binding agreement.

Therefore, the excitement of buying or selling a property means nothing and no plans or celebrations should take place until your solicitor tells you the magic words, “contracts are exchanged” or you have succeeded with a bid at auction.

Until that happens either party can run up expenses such as surveys, searches or legal costs without any security that the property is successfully bought and either party can change their mind without having to pay any compensation to the other party as can anyone in the “chain”.

Nothing the selling agent tells you is binding until the exchange of contract has occurred and celebrations mean nothing. Just because the selling agent says the seller or buyer has accepted your offer, it is “subject to contract” and therefore not binding until the contracts are exchanged.

Aston Bond conveyancing solicitors specialise in buying and selling property as they know what these phrases mean.

Nick Powe, Senior Property Solicitor