philip hal -property lawyers residentialThe company is experienced in dealing with all aspects of residential conveyancing in addition to the usual freehold and leasehold transactions, including:
• New build purchases;
• Retirement apartments;
• Lease extensions and enfranchisement;
• Building plots.

Philip Hall has expertise in dealing with Duchy of Cornwall requirements, having worked in Poundbury and dealt with many properties there.

Ensuring enough time is devoted to each client, attention to detail and tenacity has enabled Philip Hall to get leases and ‘estate’ transfers corrected when developer’s solicitors (often large national firms) have tried to insist that ‘standard documents’ cannot be altered, so saving his clients problems on their future sales.

When it comes to selling, especially on the sale of apartments, the approach is to work with the client as early as possible and investigate all the potential issues to have answers in place before an issue becomes a problem.


“I’ll never do this again!”  So many people say this at some stage when they are buying and selling a house that we have prepared this guide to assist you.  It outlines how the transaction should proceed and is part of our commitment to making your move as painless as possible.


This is the hardest question to answer at the beginning of a transaction.  The home moving ‘industry’ often suggests a period of 6-8 weeks, but where this applies to a single house move it is more difficult with a chain.  Each seller may have agreed their sale before looking at purchases so that they are a credible buyer to the people up the chain; you can, therefore, add easily a couple of weeks for each extra house in the chain.

Mortgage approvals and dealing with leasehold enquiries also add time and potential delays.  On the other hand, single moves can be achieved in less time than the 6-8 weeks guide.  We can try and refine the guidance when we know more about the situation.


  1. Contact us as soon as a buyer has been found, or you are optimistic that an offer will shortly be made, so that:-

(a)We can obtain your title from the Land Registry to ensure, to ensure that there is no delay in issuing a contract once negotiations have been finalised

(b) We can give you a breakdown of the costs involved

(c) You can complete a Sale Questionnaire and Fixtures and Fittings List to enable us to issue the contract promptly

  1. A draft contract will be issued to the buyers lawyers, together with all the necessary supporting documents.When the contract has been approved, we will ask you to sign this in readiness for exchange of contracts.
  2. When the buyers have received their local search and mortgage offer and their lawyer is satisfied as to the title, we will negotiate a completion date and the deposit.Contracts can then be exchanged.
  3. On the day of completion, you must clear and vacate the property by 12 noon, leaving the keys with the Estate Agents. We will redeem your existing mortgage and settle the Estate Agents account.


  1. When you have agreed to purchase a property, the Estate Agent may require you to pay a deposit.If this should happen, an allowance will be made for this at completion.Please let us know if you have paid such a deposit.
  2. When you let us know you have found the home of your dreams, we will ask you to complete a Purchase Questionnaire, the answers to which will assist us in our enquiries.We will also ask you for money on account, so that we can carry out the preliminary searches.
  3. When we receive the contract from the seller’s lawyer, we will:-

(a) Apply for the Local Search, and any other searches we consider appropriate

(b) Approve the contract and title.

We may feel it necessary to raise additional enquiries of the seller’s lawyer.  When we are satisfied that all is in order, we will return one copy of the contract to the sellers lawyers, for signature in readiness for exchange of contracts

  1. If you require a mortgage, the offer has to be received from the Lender before exchange of contracts.
  2. When we have received the local search and offer of mortgage and have satisfied ourselves as to the title, we will report to you and ask you to sign the contract and mortgage deed.  We will also ask you for the deposit to be used on exchange of contracts.  If you have a related sale, we will usually be able to arrange that the deposit received from your buyers is used for your purchase and passed up the chain.


  1. At this stage, we are ready to arrange an exchange of contracts once a completion date has been agreed.   It is at this stage that stress levels rise!  However, we are here to take the strain.  The majority of people buying and selling are involved in A CHAIN!  This means that there is a linked series of transactions and EVERYBODY wants to sell and buy on the same day so that they do not have to pay for bridging finance or rented accommodation.We therefore have to wait until all parties in the chain have:-

(a) A mortgage

(b) A local search

(c) Title approved

(d) Agreed a completion date

We will liaise with the Estate Agents, and other lawyers until the exchange has been achieved.

  1. When exchange has taken place, the completion date is legally binding and you can now swing into action and organise your move. The following are just a few reminders of the things you should deal with:-

(a) Arrange contents and buildings insurance

(b) Contact Gas, Electricity, Water and Telephone Services, arrange for meters to be read and accounts to be transferred (contact us as soon as you’ve read this, as we may be able to smooth this process if given enough notice)

(c) Book the removal van.

(d) Cancel Banker’s Order for Mortgage payments, after completion

(e) Notify Local Authority of move and arrange apportioned account for council tax

(f) Notify:

all insurance companies premium bonds office, employer, doctor, dentist, schools, church clubs, banks, building societies, DVLA  relatives and friends.

(g) Arrange for friends to look after the children and pets on moving day!

(h) Arrange for mail to be re-directed.


  1. We will let you have a statement showing all the costs and disbursements due and will draw this up as soon as possible so that you can arrange to let us have the balance four days before completion.
  2. On completion day, if you have a sale, we must wait for the buyer’s lawyer to send us the sale money by telegraphic transfer before we can send out the money by the same method on your purchase.This means that it is unlikely that you will get the keys to your new house before lunch time on the day of completion.We would suggest that you do not leave your old house, before you have checked with us that it is in order for you to do so.  If you just have a purchase, we can usually send the money quite early on the morning of completion, but you are unlikely to get the keys before mid-day as you must allow the seller time to vacate the property.


We hope this guide will be of some assistance and remove some of the uncertainty associated with moving house.  However, if at any time you do have a problem or are not happy with our service, please ring – we are here to help you! If you are happy with the service you have received, please tell all your friends and colleagues!