Guide Purchasing council property & acquiring other interests in council owned land

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6. What do solicitors do?

Once the Council’s Legal Services team has been instructed in the sale of property and after you have paid the Council’s surveyors fees and the contribution towards the Council’s legal fees, a contract will be drawn up. This will be sent to your solicitor for approval. For a lease, licence, concession agreement, easement or wayleave interest, a legal agreement will be drawn up based on the terms you have agreed with the Estates Team.

You should talk to your solicitor directly about the services he/she offers, but generally it will involve consideration of the draft contract and undertaking a local land charges search (and other searches).

In the sale of a property, once the contract terms are agreed, the contract can be signed and formally exchanged. At the point of exchange of contracts you are likely to have to pay a deposit to the Council through your solicitor; usually this is 10% of the sale price.

The signed contract will include a completion date. This is the date when the land/property becomes yours, subject to the Council receiving payment of the completion monies.

For other transactions, such as leases and concessions, a start date for the contract will be agreed and the legal document executed by each party.