Buying a House Without Clear Title

How to resolve property title issues

There are many issues that can affect the title to a property, our specialists regularly advise clients on the best way to proceed.

One of the main issues we see is related to boundaries, these may be legal (with title deeds) or physical (a fence or wall). Our specialists will review the relevant documentation to help you identify unclear boundaries, and if a dispute arises, we have highly experienced lawyers who will help you to find a solution.

Some people benefit from easements and others do not. An easement is attached to a piece of land in order to protect it. It may relate to:

  • Rights of way (which allows access across land by someone who does not own the land, either the general public or a neighbour)
  • Rights of light (which protects light received through windows in existing buildings)
  • Rights to support or the protection or passage of water.

Our specialists will help you to establish whether an easement affects land that you own. Rights of light can be a particular problem with regards  redevelopments and should be considered if planning an extension.

If you currently have rights over another property, you may decide to release them. Before doing so you should seek legal advice so that you fully understand the implications and what is in your best interests. At Hart Brown, we are experienced at helping clients release their own rights over a property when requested.

A restrictive covenant restricts how land can be used. This may relate to causing nuisance to your neighbours, not using the property for business purposes or a restriction on developments or alterations. If you are buying a property, our solicitors will help you to understand the effect of any restrictive covenants which may affect your decision to purchase the property. We also have a specialist property disputes team who can help you to resolve any disputes you find yourself dealing with.

To discuss this or any other property related matter, please call or email us today.

Who to contact

Lawrence Stolworthy

Partner, Head of Residential Property

Partner, Head of Residential Property

Lawrence Stolworthy

Lawrence is a Partner based in the Guildford office, and he is also Head of the Residential Property team at Hart Brown LLP.

Lawrence qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and has extensive experience in a broad range of residential property work, including very high value transactional work and acquisitions for international investor clients. He also has considerable experience in dealing with property work originating from, or ancillary to, private client matters and family/matrimonial matters.

He is committed to providing a proactive, friendly and positive approach and he strives to communicate clearly and effectively with all those involved in the transactions he deals with in order to achieve the best outcome for his clients. He endeavours to find pragmatic and commercially viable solutions to problems wherever possible.

Tim Pearce

Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

Tim Pearce

Tim is Chair of the firm, Compliance Officer for Legal Practice and Quality Partner, dealing with residential property work.

Tim has a vast amount of experience in residential property, having been qualified for over 40 years. He is learning many aspects of his additional roles, yet he is still invested and highly competent in residential property.

Tim qualified with a BA in Business Law, Articled with Hart Brown in 1978 and became a solicitor in 1980. His specialism in residential property work, particularly in the Surrey area, has provided Tim with a highly experienced and efficient skill set to achieve successful results for many long-standing and new clients.

David Knapp

Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

David Knapp

David is Partner of the firm, and a qualified solicitor.

David has worked at Hart Brown for 38 years, joining the firm in 1981. He graduated from the City of Birmingham Polytechnic in 1980, attended Guildford Law School in 1980 and qualified as a solicitor in 1984.

David's specialism in residential property and progression throughout the firm has enabled him to build many long-lasting relationships with clients he has helped over the years and continues to do so. He has a great deal of legal and life experience and enjoys interaction with those known to him as well as newly introduced people.

Debbie Beswick

Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

Debbie Beswick

Debbie, who is a Partner, specialises in residential property. After joining Hart Brown in 1984 she quickly progressed through the ranks qualifying as a Legal Executive in 1996. She was admitted to the Fellowship in 1997. Debbie is well known in the Godalming area and receives high praise both from clients and agents who come back to her time and time again.

Her most memorable case was the purchase of a property for clients who were looking for a quick turnaround. It was a mere 3 working days from instructions to exchange of contracts.

Debbie often receives excellent feedback from her clients, here are just a few of their statements:

"This is the second time we've used Debbie at Hart Brown, and yet again she has given us fantastic service. Shall certainly be using you again."

"It's a quick, efficient and friendly service - just right for the somewhat fraught process of buying and selling property."

"We had our smoothest sale ever thanks to Debbie Beswick."

"Second time we've used you, second time we've been impressed."

Emma Moore

Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

Emma Moore

Emma is a Partner in the residential property department at our Cranleigh office. She has over 20 years' experience in helping clients move house as smoothly as possible.

Emma qualified as a solicitor in 1998 after studying for an LLB (Hons) Law Degree.

Her specialism within residential property involves dealing with a wide range of sales and purchase of houses and flats, ranging from first time buyers to high net worth properties.

Emma is a proactive member of the team, moving transactions forward as quickly as possible. She strives to find solutions to a range of problems that arise, ensuring her clients achieve their desired goals.

An example of feedback received from clients:

"Thank you for all your help with this. It's a pleasure to work with you. You are responsive, action oriented and straight forward - all behaviours which I value!"

Jeremy Jupp

Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

Jeremy Jupp

Jeremy has extensive knowledge in Residential Property having qualified in 1992.

He is committed to providing a proactive, friendly and positive approach, with nearly 30 years’ experience as a residential property specialist. Jeremy strives to communicate clearly and effectively with all those involved in transactions he deals with, in order to achieve the best outcome for his clients. He endeavours to find pragmatic solutions to problems wherever possible.

Jeremy believes in building up a strong relationship with his clients in order to understand their aims and needs, and work with them to achieve these so far as possible.

Memorable cases Jeremy has worked on include completing a purchase within a week from instruction where his client was given a great incentive on a new build property if he completed that quickly.

In 2014, Jeremy was involved the sale of a property where a Local Authority had acquired a strip of land along the frontage in the 1960s for potential road widening. They had granted a license over the land in exchange. The road widening never took place and the scheme had been abandoned, however, the buyers’ solicitors were not happy with the license arrangement that remained in place. Jeremy drafted a conditional contract clause which gave his client 9 months to resolve the issue with the Local Authority and to pay any premium agreed out of the exchange deposit. After lengthy negotiations with the Local Authority which involved taking Counsel’s Opinion in relation to the status of the license, an agreement was reached with the Local Authority just in time to enable him to give notice to the buyers’ solicitors to complete the sale.

Peter Howe

Associate, Residential Property

Associate, Residential Property

Peter Howe

Peter’s specialism is residential property.

He qualified as a Solicitor in 1991 and worked for a number of firms as a locum and then full time before joining Hart Brown in 2000. His experience as a locum he says gave him a good insight into the kind of firm that he wanted to settle down in. “It is amazing how different firms are in terms of the service they offer their clients” says Peter.

Peter receives excellent feedback from his clients:

"We would like to thank you very much for acting for us in this matter...we have been impressed with your timely and straightforward handling of the various stages of the process and your effective dealing with any issues arising. Once again thank you very much – it has been a pleasure doing business with you."

"I found all my dealings with Peter Howe very useful, he is very down to earth and explained and answered all my queries very clearly, which took away a lot of the stress. Thank you."

Corinne Flannery

Chartered Legal Executive, Residential Property

Chartered Legal Executive, Residential Property

Corinne Flannery

Corinne specialises in residential property. She has a wide range of experience which includes acting for individuals and corporate clients on sales, purchases, and re-mortgage transactions of freehold and leasehold properties, and transfers of equity.

Graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree in Management and Marketing, Corinne then qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2005.

Corinne believes that understanding a client’s needs, building a strong relationship with them, and good communication through the process, are key in meeting a client’s expectations and ultimate goal.

Corinne often receives excellent feedback from her clients:

"Very reassuringly professional and confident conveyancing on our property transaction."

"...I have appreciated your wise counsel and the efficient way you have dealt with this transaction and managed the process so that the deadlines were all met."

Nicole Lush

Solicitor, Residential Property

Solicitor, Residential Property

Nicole Lush

Nicole studied Law at the University of Reading before working as a paralegal in a busy conveyancing department whilst completing the LPC on a part-time study basis at the College of Law, Guildford. She completed her training contract with a Hampshire based firm and qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales on 17 February 2014. Nicole then worked briefly in family law before choosing to specialise in residential property.

She specialises in the sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold properties, Transfers of Equity and re-mortgages.

James Jugghoo

Paralegal, Residential Property

Paralegal, Residential Property

James Jugghoo

James is a paralegal, assisting the residential property department in Guildford.

He graduated in 2017 and worked in conveyancing within a national law firm for a short while before joining Hart Brown supporting the Guildford office with a wide range of residential property work.

James graduated from Portsmouth University in 2017 with a view to completing his LPC and qualifying as a solicitor. He is looking to undertake his LPC studies at the University of Law in the near future.

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