Conveyancing Solicitors with a vast knowledge of Watford, Herfordshire, WD1
For conveyancing services in Watford, Ola Leslie Solicitors offer the following:
- Reasonable and Affordable Fixed Fees
- Discounted Fees for First Time Buyers
- Discounted Fees for Shared Ownership Purchasers
- Discounted Fees for Right to Buy Purchasers
As conveyancing solicitors with experience of dealing with properties in Watford and the surrounding areas, some consistent issues have been identified which we look for when you are purchasing a property. The following are examples:
Are there any Conservation Areas in Watford?
Conservation area designations are not just restricted to buildings and houses. Open spaces, cemeteries, a historic street pattern or a local centre can have just as much architectural or historic importance.
There are many designated conservation areas in Wandsworth and when we submit your Local Authority search such areas will be revealed to see if your property falls within one.
Listed Buildings in Watford
Listed buildings are buildings of special architectural or historic interest and the character and appearance of them are preserved.
Once listed, a property has special protection under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the Local Authority has additional powers of protection. Extra responsibilities are also imposed on owners, for example any proposals involving the demolition of the building or alterations or extensions likely to affect its special historic interest will require Listed Building Consent. It is an offence to carry out works to a listed building without this type of consent.
If you are unsure as to whether the property that you are purchasing is listed then the results of your Local Authority search will reveal as to whether or not it is.
If you are selling or remortgaging a listed building, we have the knowledge and expertise to know as to which documents the buyers (and their mortgage lender) or your new lender will need if you have made any alterations to your property.
Smoke Control Orders in the Borough of Watford
Some boroughs are subject to a smoke control order (this is governed under the Clean Air Act 1956) which makes it an offence to emit smoke from a chimney arising from the burning of an unauthorised fuel.
Again, the results of your Local Authority search from Watford Council will reveal as to whether or not the property that you are purchasing is subject to such an Order. If so, we would advise you further on this matter at the time.
Chancel Repair Liability in Watford
In specific areas throughout the country members of a parish may be called upon by the local Church to contribute a sum of money to the upkeep and/or repair of the local Chancel. The liability does not just affect residential houses and apartments, it can also affect commercial property and land.
Whilst the possibility of churches demanding money towards its upkeep is small, it is still a possibility.
Chancel repair liability searches are one of the recommended searches that we will carry out for you. If it is found that a liability exists indemnity insurance policies are available to protect you from being liable to such contributions; we will advise you further during the course of your transaction if this is necessary.
We do not charge administration fees to take indemnity policies out for you as some other firms do as it would be incidental to your transaction! Only the premium of the policy (which would be a disbursement) would be payable.
Some areas in and around Watford are not subjected to this liability (for instance Mill End, Rickmansworth WD3), however that does not mean that all of it and the surrounding areas such as Rickmansworth, Kings Langley, Borehamwood etc won’t be.
For more information on chancel repair liability, please visit our page on Chancel Repair FAQ’s
Tree Preservation Orders in Watford
What is a Tree Preservation Order?
Tree Preservation Orders prevent you from being able to damage, cut or destruct the trees within a certain area, without the council’s consent. This is so that a tree or a group of trees can be protected to uphold an area’s amenities. Local Planning Authorities (LPA’s) grant these orders to prohibit the following works from being carried out on trees:
- Cutting down
- Wilful damage
- Wilful destruction
Without the Local Authority’s consent an offence will be committed and if found guilty in the Magistrates Court, one can be fined up to £20,000. In serious cases a person may be committed for trial in the Crown Court and if convicted, is liable to an unlimited fine. A replacement tree may also need to be planted.
Applications to carry out works on a tree that is subject to a Tree Preservation Order must be made in writing on the appropriate forms and sent to the Local Authority.
Whilst the existence of trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders will always be an important material consideration when development proposals for a site are under consideration, it does not automatically follow that all protected trees will be considered untouchable.
If you are purchasing a property that has a tree on the land which is subject to a Tree Preservation Order we will be able to advise you further on the matter. The results of your Local Authority search which is one of our recommended searches will reveal as to whether or not such Order exists on the land.
Tree Preservation Orders in Watford do exist but it does not mean that all trees there are protected.
If you are selling a property and it is found that you have fallen foul of a tree preservation order, as planning law specialists we can assist you with any problems that you may face.
Flood Risk in Watford
An environmental search is one of our recommended searches that we submit for you and it will reveal if there is a flood risk, amongst other things such as site history, industrial land etc. If a flood risk is apparent we shall advise you to obtain a full flood report. Not all of Watford may be prone to a risk but the results of your searches will confirm this.
Flood search reports contain data from the Environment Agency and include detailed information on flooding. The reports provide information on the likely number of times that land could flood, for example once in 100 years, once in 200 years or once in 1000 years. Flood reports however are not historical but are calculated on various statistics that calculate the risks. The reports provide the following:
- A clear risk assessment relating to different flood types
- Insurability information and assessment
- Mapping of different flood risks including:
- Surface water
- Ground water
- An indication of whether or not the property has flooded in the past
It is recommended to obtain a detailed flood report to determine exact statistics and the foreseeability of different types of flooding which could take place. If you obtain exact details you would then be able to relay the information onto your buildings insurance provider (if freehold) to ensure that they are still willing to insure the property. Freeholders with block buildings insurance policies on apartment blocks should be responsible for giving any related information to the insurance company.
We are Residential & Commercial Conveyancing Specialists !
Ayesha Leslie, Partner
Ola Leslie Solicitors
The contents of this page are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this page.