Residential Conveyancing

Our experienced team of residential property lawyers and conveyancing solicitors can help you with your property transactions.

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Conveyancing Solicitors

Our specialist residential property solicitors (conveyancing solicitors) are part of one of the largest and most experienced property law teams in the region, supported by dedicated new build, real estate and property dispute teams.

We have built excellent relationships over many years with estate agents, property developers and mortgage providers. 

Our friendly and professional team have practical experience in many areas of conveyancing , from remortages, shared ownership, leases, through to the sale and purchase of multi-million pound houses and farms.

Buying & Selling Property
Buying New Build
Cohabitation / Living Agreements
Declaration of Trust
Help to Buy Scheme
Lease Extensions / Enfranchisement
Purchasing a Buy to Let
Property & Land Disputes
Rural & Equestrian
Shared Ownership
Transfer of Equity

Buying & Selling Property

Our specialist residential property solicitors (conveyancing solicitors) are part of one of the largest and most experienced property law teams in the region.

We have built excellent relationships over many years with estate agents, property developers and mortgage providers.

Here are some of our property guides:

Buying a House or Flat – Every purchase is different – we have prepared a guide to help you through the process before you can receive the keys to your new property.


Selling a House or Flat – You have instructed us to act on your behalf in selling a property. We now have several steps to go through before you can hand the property over.


Freehold & Lease Ownership – All land has someone that owns the freehold, called the freeholder, who own the freehold title to that land and any buildings on it.


Remortgage: House or Flat – we will provide you with advice during your remortgage, including offering advice on any specific conditions of your lender. 


Statutory Lease Extension – to own a lease of a flat means having the right to possess and occupy that flat for a fixed period of time, known as the term of the lease. 


Transfer of equity – house or flat – You have instructed us to act on your behalf in transferring equity in a property. We now have several steps to go through.


Buying New Build

At Herrington Carmichael we have a specialist New Build Solicitor team with a vast knowledge of the newly built process and the difference between buying a  new build property vs the general conveyancing process. 

The new build team deal regularly with schemes like Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and other incentivised new build schemes.

Our team has built a reputation as a leading provider of new build conveyancing as we have been appointed as panel solicitors for the likes of:

  • Ashberry Homes
  • Barratt
  • Bellway
  • Berkeley
  • Bloor
  • Bovis
  • Cala Homes
  • Countryside
  • Dandara
  • David Wilson Homes
  • Elivia
  • Redrow
  • The Hill Group
  • Linden Homes

Specialist New Build Services 

Cohabitation / Living Agreements

Cohabitation is a term used to describe unmarried couples who are in a relationship and live together. It applies to opposite-sex and same-sex couples. If you and your partner share a home, and are not married or in a civil partnership, you are a cohabiting couple.

A cohabitation agreement records the intentions of cohabitants in relation to property and any other assets they own either jointly or individually and what should happen if the relationship breaks down.

Cohabitation agreements are legally binding contracts, provided that they are drafted and executed properly, and are signed as a deed. It is therefore essential to obtain legal advice before entering in to any such agreement.

Herrington Carmichael are experienced in dealing with all matters in relation to cohabitation. If you are planning to move in with your partner, but do not currently have any plans to get married, we can help you put a cohabitation agreement in place that makes it clear what each of your financial responsibilities are.

Cohabitation Agreements

Declaration of Trust

A declaration of trust can be a simple document or something a little more comprehensive, depending on what matters to the owners.

As an example, when two people purchase a property, they may decide to put in place a Declaration of Ownership to set out their property interests. This could be for unequal deposits or one person paying more on a monthly basis. They could, for instance, decide that the property should be held equally or specify unequal proportions.

As this is a legally binding document it can be extremely useful if a disagreement arises between the co-owning parties. A well prepared Declaration of Ownership will help avoid dispute if all factors such as those referred to above have been agreed from the outset.

Declaration of Trust

Help to Buy Scheme

The Government has created the Help to Buy schemes to help enable you to buy your own home and we have specialists to guide you.

Help to Buy includes: Equity Loan which is available for new build properties only. How does it work? The Government essentially gives a loan of 20% (or 40% in the London Help to buy scheme) to help contribute towards your new home and you will need to contribute the other 5% for at least a 75% mortgage.

In addition to equity loan, the Government have rolled out the Help to Buy ISAs scheme, however, the ISA only benefits first time buyers only and takes your savings into account.

Using the Help to Buy scheme, while useful, comes with a considerable amount of administration and documents that must be submitted correctly and in a timely manner in order to minimise delays in the transaction.

Our new build team are experienced in working closely with Help to Buy and the HomeBuy Agent. Therefore, along with our extensive knowledge on the Help to Buy schemes, we are able to guide you smoothly through the process and help to ease the stress of buying your new home via the schemes.

Lease & Enfranchisement

Introduced to restore the historical imbalance between the inherently disadvantaged Tenant and the monopolistic Landlord, laws on leasehold enfranchisement now provide for a breadth of collective and individual rights.

We offer a full range of services for both Landlords and Tenants in relation to:

  • Lease extensions of flats and houses (both under the statutory procedure and by private treaty)
  • Enfranchisement of leasehold houses
  • Collective Enfranchisement and Rights to Manage for groups of tenants
  • Rights of First Refusal

It’s important to understand the rights available to you if you are a Tenant to ensure you are able to maximise the value of your asset, and it is equally important for Landlords to be aware of what rights their tenants have to ensure that they deal with their reversionary estate in the best way possible. We would suggest that you contact us to discuss your options at the earliest opportunity to ensure that you take the best steps forward in realising your property value. We offer initial consultations free of charge and are always happy to host video calls for individuals, landlords or groups of tenants (or in person when permitted) to explain the process and how we can help.

Lease & Enfranchisement

Purchasing a Buy to Let

We have experience in helping people through a wide range of Buy to Let transactions. We are able to assist in acting for purchases of Buy to Let properties on Freehold and Leasehold Properties; including liaising with Landlord and Management Companies as to their requirements to be able to let out the Property being purchased. We are also able to advise you as to whether you will require a Licence for a House of Multiple Occupancy and to let you know the additional requirements you will also need to have such as a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.

We are also able to act for you and give you legal advice if you are purchasing a Property which already has a Tenant/s living at the Property.

If you are purchasing with a mortgage, then we will also be able to act for your Mortgage Lender and apply for any searches they require are carried out at the Property. Alternatively, if your Mortgage Lender is happy for us to do so, we can apply for Search Insurance instead which can often be cheaper and a more efficient way to progress the transaction.

If you are purchasing through a Company and are obtaining a mortgage, then we can help. We liaise closely with our Company and Commercial Department who are able to assist in providing legal advice on Personal Guarantees required by the Mortgage Lender, floating charges and assisting with board resolutions for approving the mortgage. Our Company and Commercial Department will also be able to carry out the necessary searches which Mortgage Lenders require to be taken out on your Company and also to register the mortgage charge at Companies House on completion. Our close links with our Company and Commercial Department means we can make the process more efficient. Mortgage Lenders are often happy for our Company Commercial Department to provide any Independent Legal Advice required as required in the mortgage offer, which means you will not have to instruct a second firm to do this for you.

Property & Land Disputes

We have a dedicated team of dispute lawyers with a range of expertise and experience dealing with property & construction disputes.

We advise on a wide range of land disputes acting for developers, property investors, landowners, tenants, neighbours, professional advisors and other individuals. Our expertise in all forms of Dispute Resolution makes us well placed to advise on complex and high value cases to the more modest claims.

We represent clients in the courts, property tribunals, in adjudication and use alternative dispute resolution procedures, including mediation, to resolve disputes. We understand your concerns to avoid the expense and distraction that disputes can bring and we will work with you to find a solution to your problem.

  • Adverse Possession claims
  • Commercial Landlord & Tenant disputes
  • Construction Disputes – loss and delay
  • Disputes concerning overage and option agreements
  • Development Site Disputes
  • Easements, rights of way and other impediments to land development
  • Party wall disputes
  • Professional Negligence claims against professionals throughout the strategic land acquisition and development processes
  • Residential Landlord & Tenant disputes
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Title and boundary disputes

Property & Disputes


Remortgaging is a fairly straightforward process in which your current mortgage is re-paid (if applicable) and a new mortgage is taken out. The legal title has to be checked and the Leasehold and / or Management Company information obtained if necessary.

Searches may also need to be carried out depending on the requirements of the new Lender.

Our excellent communication and efficiency means this often takes 4-8 weeks to complete.

Rural & Equestrian

We specialise in rural and equestrian property, and recognise the expertise required so that buyer and sellers can move quickly and with confidence. Clients value our practical and commercial advice, safe in the knowledge that our focus is on achieving positive results for them. We pride ourselves on providing a first-class service, and through our strength and depth of expertise, we believe we are well placed to address any issue that may arise in your rural and equestrian property deal.

We can help with:

  • Sale & Purchase of Country Homes
  • Livery Agreements
  • Private Drainage
  • Sporting Rights
  • Riparian Rights
Rural & Equestrian

Shared Ownership

A shared ownership scheme is when you choose to purchase a certain percentage of the value of the property, for example 50%. The remaining percentage is owned by a Landlord, normally a Housing Association. If you were to purchase 50% of the value of the property, you would then pay rent on the remaining 50%. This method of buying a property lowers the mortgage you require, and is not the same as the Help to Buy scheme.

Shared ownership properties are usually more time-consuming than normal sale and purchases as the titles tend to be more complex and there are multiple parties who have to be involved including the Housing Association and their Solicitors, Management Companies and their Solicitors, freeholders and lenders. Therefore it is important to use Solicitors who are experienced and confident in dealing with these transactions.

We can:

  • Deal with Housing Associations consent / approval and sale procedures
  • Review complex titles with various Leasehold titles and Leases
  • Raise complex legal enquiries
  • Obtain and review Leasehold pack from the Housing Association
  • Deal with Interim and Final Staircasing Transactions which involves non-standard stamp duty calculations, mortgage company legal work and complex registrations

Transfer of Equity

Transfer of Equity is a transaction where the legal ownership of a property changes hands.

Whilst these can seem straightforward, each case depends on the individual circumstances and we have to determine the exact situation in order to ensure that all the parties are protected.

There are various reasons why you may wish to transfer property but the most common are:

  • Divorce / separation
  • Death of the Owner
  • Transferring Ownership between Spouses
  • Adding a Spouse after marriage
  • Gifting the property to a child

Stamp Duty Land Tax is often applicable in a Transfer of Equity if a person is coming onto the title and it is determined by how much Consideration is being paid for the Transfer and the current mortgage amount (if applicable). There could also be a higher rate of tax if the person going onto the title already owns property. Therefore it is important to use Solicitors who are experienced and knowledgeable in this area.

It is important to bear in mind that there may be Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax implications in a Transfer of Equity transaction.

Transfer of Equity


What is the stamp duty rate?
To calculate your Stamp Duty payable on your purchase, please visit the following link:
How long do property searches take?
The lead time for property searches varies depending on which search is ordered and the demand that our search providers are experiencing. When we get to the point of ordering searches, we will be able to provide a more accurate time scale but a rough estimate is 1 – 10 days.
Why should I extend my lease?

A lease is a depreciating asset. As the term of the lease decreases its value decreases and the cost of extending the term becomes more expensive.

It can sometimes be difficult to sell a property with a short lease because a mortgage provider may be reluctant to lend money against the short lease term.

If you are claiming a lease extension in accordance with the statutory procedure, then you will benefit from your ground rent being reduced to a peppercorn (nil).

A lease extension is also often seen as opportunity to modernise outdated terms contained in some older leases.

How long does it take to extend your lease?

The time taken to extend a lease depends on a number of variables including the number of parties involved and agreement on the premium and specific terms.

A statutory lease extension is dictated by a timetable that must be adhered to and matters generally take a number of months between serving of notice for claim of a lease extension and completion of the matter.

Lease extensions outside of the statutory procedure tend to proceed more quickly in light of the fact that the premium and any revised lease terms will have been agreed at the outset usually.

When should I draw up a cohabitation agreement?

You can enter into a cohabitation agreement at any time, either before you move in with a partner, or when you have been living together for many years. The agreement should be reviewed periodically, particularly where there has been a significant change in circumstances, for example the birth of a child.

Why do I need a Declaration of Trust document?

Having a Declaration of Trust in place can help avoid disputes where someone has made a financial contribution to a property which was not a loan or a gift to the owners.

This is because that contribution may make them a ‘Beneficial Owner’ of the property. This can be considerably complicated to work out who is entitled to what should a property be sold.

Examples of individuals who may have contributed to the costs of the Property but who are not registered as an owner at the Land Registry include:

A person who has contributed a lump sum towards the deposit such as the legal owner’s parents;

The legal owner’s partner who now contributes towards the mortgage and upkeep of the property but is not named as an owner on the title;

Someone who has added value to the property even if they are not an owner, such as the adult child of the legal owner who paid for the extension to be built in which they now live.

All of the above circumstances have individuals who have contributed to the value of the property even though they are not a legal owner as specified on the Land Registry title of the property.

However, they are entitled to a share of the equity of the property even though they are not named on the title. These people are known as ‘Beneficial Owners’. If you are a Beneficial Owner but not a legal owner you may find it difficult to prove how much you are entitled to if the legal owner refuses to acknowledge that you have contributed towards the value of the property.

Legal Insight

Meet the Teams

Pricing Guides

We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to publish certain pricing information. 

Please contact us for an accurate fee proposal based on your particular facts and circumstances.

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Best Law Firms 2024

Herrington Carmichael has once again been named in the Times Best Law Firms. We were first listed in 2023 and have once again made the Best Law Firms list for 2024.

Best Law Firm 2024