An innovative and modern conveyancing firm on your High Street, with a fresh approach to conveyancing
Our firm provides a service that is both personal and adaptive to your needs. We pride ourselves on taking the time to develop a rapport with our clients and local professionals to ensure we can provide the best possible service.
Our broad knowledge and experience of the housing market underpin this service, which is available to companies in Teesside and County Durham areas including Darlington and Stockton.
We also offer a bespoke commercial conveyancing service for our clients.
We provide a professional, personal and friendly service. To get in touch, please click or call us for an quote of costs to proceed. We are always happy to help.
Our sale and purchase went through smoothly
We cannot thank you enough for all you did to ensure our sale and purchase went through smoothly.
Karen & Keith
Buying and selling your home, whether it is your main residence, an investment property, or a second home, can be a long and confusing process. As we specialise in property transactions we have a dedicated team who will guide you through the process.
We also act for clients purchasing a new plot, clients using help to buy financing and clients who are purchasing or selling a portfolio of properties.
Please try our quick quote calculator software on our website to quickly instruct us online. If you would prefer, call our friendly team and instruct us over the phone.
We also have a step-by-step process displayed at our question and answer page which should help to break down the jargon.
The professional role you played
Our heartfelt and sincere appreciation of the professional role you played as a property lawyer in our recent home purchase.
Dr & Mrs Ejara
Key Legal has created its own case tracking system allowing agents to check the progress of sales and purchases on behalf of mutual clients. We work together to meet deadlines and this is a new and innovate alternative to the traditional method of conveyancing.
This saves time for sales progression team and working together gives a better service to all.
Many thanks for all your help
Many thanks for all your help in making things go so smoothly, very much appreciated!
James & Sally
Conveyancing is a fundamental step in any transaction involving property.
When all you want to do is move house, conveyancing is often the part of a property transaction that appears to ‘get in the way’. It is in fact a very important step in the sale and purchase of a property, giving you peace of mind knowing the legal formalities have been thoroughly checked by qualified conveyancers..
During a sale, your conveyancer will be preparing a contract to sell your property on the terms you have agreed to and answering any questions that the party buying your property might raise. Your solicitor will also handle any mortgages that need paying off.
During a purchase, your conveyancer will be checking that the contract is prepared correctly, as well as checking the property documentation and title for anything that might need correcting, checking, changing or anything that you need to be made aware of when buying your property.
We advise that the typical property transaction takes approximately 6-8 weeks from issuing or receiving Contract papers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will It Take?
The average time between instructing your solicitor and moving in is 6 - 8 weeks but many transactions proceed more quickly and some, more slowly if problems arise!
When Should I Instruct My Solicitor?
Once the offer has been accepted.
What is the difference between “exchange” and “completion”?
What Is A “Local Search”?
It is a set of standard enquiries that your solicitor raises with the local council. It relates solely to the property itself and would not, for example, reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property. The local council charge a fee “the local search fee” which your solicitor collects from you and pays to them when the search is done.
Can I Save Stamp Duty?
It is possible to apportion the price between the bricks and mortar and the fixtures and fittings. There are a number of rules but the basic one is that any apportionment has to be an accurate reflection of the true price of the items involved.
When Must I Insure The Property?
You should insure the property from the day you exchange. Your Solicitor will inform you of this date and you will be required to prove that you have cover lined up.
Can I Let The Property?
If you are buying with a mortgage you must get the consent of lender before letting your property.
If you own a leasehold property you must check the terms of the lease to make sure that letting is permitted.
Can The Same Solicitor Act For Seller And Buyer?
Usually, no, but there are exceptions. For example, if a firm of solicitors have two or more offices it is possible for different offices to act for a buyer and seller.
What Is A Redemption Statement?
This is the final payment require to ‘redeem’ your mortgage. Your Solicitor will pay this on completion of the sale again from the proceeds of sale.
When Do I Get The Deeds To My Property?
Nowadays there are no “Deeds” as such as the legal documents of title are held electronically at the Land Registry. However there are a number of useful supporting documents which you should keep safe as they are required when the property is sold again.
What Is A Conveyancing “Chain”?
When should I apply for a mortgage?
It is helpful to know how much you can borrow before viewing properties. Speak to an independent mortgage adviser first.
What Is Gazumping?
Gazumping is where a seller accepts a higher offer before contracts are exchanged with the buyer. There is little that can be done to prevent a seller from gazumping although a lock out agreement can sometimes prevent this from happening.
How Do I Find Out If There Are Plans To Building Nearby?
Enquiries can be made with the local planning office to check whether planning permission has been granted.
What Is The Rate Of Stamp Duty?
Up to £125,000 = 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 = 2%
£250,001 – £925,000 = 5%
£925,001 – £1,500,000 = 10%
Over £1,500,000 = 12%
*Please note that additional rates may apply if you are purchasing an additional home.
Can I Have Access As The Property Is Empty?
Not usually. Sometimes on exchange of contracts, and if the property is empty, you can agree an ‘early key release’.
Can I Extend My Property?
There are sometimes restrictions in the title deeds which prevent extensions or require consent of another landowner called ‘covenant consent’.
Larger extensions require local authority planning permission and any structural work will also need approval under the building regulations.
Some areas are designated conservation areas and special planning restrictions apply which often prevent extensions.
You should check these things before you commit yourself to a purchase.
When Is The Deposit Payable?
This is paid to your Solicitor prior to exchange of contracts.
Do I Have Any Comeback On My Seller Once I Have Moved In?
Generally no. If things do not work you will be liable.
You should always therefore check that all appliances, central heating and other systems are in good working order before you commit to exchange of contracts.
If damage has been caused to the property you may be entitled to compensation and if the seller leaves furniture or rubbish at the property he is in breach of contract because “vacant possession” has not been given.
When Do I Know The Property Is Mine?
Once contracts are exchanged a legally binding agreement arises and neither party can back out (without financial consequences). Until that point either party may withdraw.
The Builder Has Given Me 28 Days To Exchange Contracts. Can This Be Done?
We will always endeavour to meet deadlines imposed by builders. It is not unusual for builders to request these deadlines. So long as you can provide us with all the information we require as quickly as possible there is a good chance targets like this can be met by us.
Do I Need To Have A Survey?
If you are taking out a mortgage your lender will require a valuation but this is not a survey.
Do I Need To Pay A 10% Deposit When I Exchange?
Not always. Although the contract provides for 10% of the purchase price to be paid on exchange, sellers often agree a lower deposit.
Can I Stay In My Property After Completion Of Sale?
No. The contract provides that you must vacate on the day of completion and clear the property of all your furniture and belongings (and rubbish!).
If you do not give “vacant possession” the buyer may sue you for any loss and inconvenience caused.
When Do I Pay The Agent’s Fees?
Usually on completion of the sale and normally the Solicitor will pay these on your behalf from the proceeds of the sale.
Why Have I Been Asked To Provide Proof Of Identification?
This is because all solicitors are required by law to check the identity of their clients to protect themselves against mortgage fraud or money laundering. Usually this will be in the form of a passport or driving licence and/or a utility bill less than 3 months old.
Janet is the founder of Key Legal which was set up in 2013, with the business objective of offering good quality conveyancing services and wills. Key Legal specialises only in these areas of property law and transactions, enabling a team to be built around the specific area of law. Janet has more than 20 years’ experience in the legal profession and specialises in commercial property transactions acting for both landlord and tenant, ‘High Street’ leases and complex residential transactions. In the past Janet has worked on projects including school/education developments, transfer of housing stock from Local Authority to Social Landlords and in partnership with the Land Registry as well as the sale of an entire town centre on behalf of a Local Authority.
Adrian completed his law degree at Teesside University before completing his Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Northumbria University. He now has 15 years’ property law experience behind him and specialises in residential conveyancing.
Adrian completed his Professional Skills Course in 2016 and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in January 2016.
Joanne completed her Law Degree at Sheffield Hallam University and qualified as a Solicitor in 2014. Joanne's experience includes dealing with all aspects of residential conveyancing transactions including sales and purchases of freehold, leasehold, registered and unregistered titles as well as re-mortgages and transfers of equity.
Jo qualified as a Solicitor in 2008 specialising in Family Law whilst maintaining a broad skill base in Mental Health Law, Residential Conveyancing, Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Jo refined her specialism in all aspects of Residential Conveyancing from 2011 and is also available to assist in the preparation of Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Luke graduated from Teesside University in 2016 and completed his Legal Practice Course in 2017.
He assumes the role of Trainee Solicitor and deals with a variety of residential property transactions, as well as having experience in client care and general conveyancing duties.
Luke will qualify as a solicitor in 2019.
After graduating from The University of Huddersfield with a degree in History, Samantha enrolled on the Legal Executive course and began her career in Law. After working in Conveyancing, Family and Criminal departments as a fee earner, Samantha decided to utilise her passion for research and specialise in Conveyancing, specifically unregistered titles and Leasehold transactions. Samantha has a wealth of knowledge in all areas of Conveyancing transactions including sales, purchases, transfers of equity and re-mortgages. Samantha also has experience in Forces Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and Equity Release matters.
When not at work, Samantha enjoys spending time with her two children, exploring new sights and long coastal walks.
Rachel started her conveyancing career at the age of 17 as an apprentice Legal Secretary. She has worked in busy conveyancing environments since then and has great knowledge of the process involved in dealing with a variety of residential property transactions.
As she has a passion for conveyancing, Rachel is currently training to become a Licenced Conveyancer and is eager to qualify in order to progress with the next stage of her career.
When not at work, Rachel enjoys long walks with her dog and family time.
Melissa joined the team as a conveyancing assistant but quickly and proactively developed the skills to become a conveyancer in her own right. Melissa is currently completing a Level 4 Diploma in conveyancing, Law and Practice to qualify as a Conveyancing Executive and is a committed member of our team.
When not at work, Melissa is interested in cooking and spending time with family.
Julie is an experienced solicitors’ accounts manager and has been in the role for over 16 years. She is responsible for the day to day running of the office and also assists with the conveyancing roles.
Jess started her career as a receptionist and has since progressed up to secretary for Key Legal’s Conveyancing Department. She has 10 years’ experience assisting busy legal departments and covers all aspects of conveyancing work including residential sales, purchases and transfers of equity from file open to final registration and completion.
Sarah supports our Practice Manager Julie in our accounts department. Sarah also provides support to our Conveyancing support team when required.
Key Legal - Duke Street Darlington
Yarm office is now closed
Please note that the Yarm office is now closed and has moved to Catterick House.