The two most significant decisions you might make in your life are buying your first home and starting a business, both of which come with their own sets of complications. Make the right choices with a requires an experienced solicitor guiding you through the tricky financial and legal processes, from transferring title deeds when purchasing a house to finding a suitable outlet to lease where you can successfully implement and run commercial activities from.
After months of house-hunting, you have found the perfect place, now what?
Undoubtedly, this is the most significant transaction you have entered into, and you will need all the professional assistance you can get to help you understand the terms, conditions and obligations of your bank loan; the legally-binding contract between you and the seller and potential hidden costs and levies you have yet to consider – Stamp Duty taxes for example.
Conveyancing and due diligence
It is a legal requirement that the selling of land or property is put into writing, which is where conveyancing comes in.
Put simply; conveyancing is the legal title transfer of property between the current owner and the interested buyer through an exchange of contracts, followed through to the completion, otherwise known as the “settlement”. This written exchange is legally binding where financial repercussions can be incurred in the event of one or the other party failing to complete or withdrawing from the agreement altogether.
The time it usually takes to complete this process is between six and ten weeks, assuming there are no complications, like complex title deeds, in which case thorough due diligence occurs. Any factors that might hinder a mortgage or resale, like the current homeowner not having the right to sell the said property, are investigated by a mortgage solicitor and a conveyancing team.
Protection from conveyancing fraud
Conveyancing or ‘Friday Fraud’ is a cyber-crime that is fast-becoming an endemic, leaving potential buyers out of pocket by tens of thousands of pounds.
How it occurs
Scammers hack into solicitors’ accounts looking for conversations where a final purchase is about to take place, lying in wait for the transference of the deposit. From there, the hacker impersonates the solicitors, responding to emails with the buyer and providing them with fake banking details, encouraging the person to move the money as quickly as possible to secure the property.
Since large bank transfers take a matter of days to clear, it is too late to reverse the transaction once the buyer realises he or she has been deceived out of their hard-earned funds. At this stage, not much can be done for the client as banks don’t cover this type of fraud.
How you can stop falling victim to this nightmare scenario
Take banking details over the phone and if updates or changes are sent to your email, phone your solicitor to confirm this is correct.
Some solicitors may take their responsibilities to you a step further by sending an initial test amount, before they send the deposit, to ensure the intended person receives it.
Choose a solicitor with the “human element”
Whether you’re a multi-homeowner or first-time owner, your solicitor will guide you through an exciting albeit stressful process of becoming a “homeowner”. Everything from having the terms of your loan explained to you to all associated risks, including fraud, must be broken down for you.
Congratulations, you have left domestic life to start your own company. Your first step after making that decision is to find a place from where you can run your own business.
Choosing a premises
Consider your options – will you need an office building with one or two rooms or a whole block, a factory or warehouse, or a restaurant or retail outlet to conduct your business?
Once you have found the right place, survey its location. The location dictates how your business runs, how you promote it and the rent you are expected to pay at the end of the month.
The commercial lease
You as a business tenant signs a legally binding contract, outlining your responsibilities while granting you the right to run your business from the premises for a particular time frame.
How does commercial leasing differ from residential rental?
You rent space to run your company from with commercial leasing; the other is a place where we live and call home. Often in commercial leasing, it is assumed that the agreement is between two knowledgeable parties able to negotiate the terms between themselves, which can leave the tenant vulnerable if things turn south.
Protect yourself and money with a commercial lease solicitor to ensure that you do not lose your business headquarters or left cash-strapped before you’ve even begun to generate a profit.