Welcome To Key LegalBespoke Legal Services, Tailored To Your Needs

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

Click here for an instant quote

Our ServicesBespoke Legal Services, Tailored To Your Needs

Residential Conveyancing

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

Professional Services

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

What Is Conveyancing?Bespoke Legal Services, Tailored To Your Needs

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.

We make buying or selling a property simple - view our helpful guides

Buying a property

249kb PDF

Selling a property

239kb PDF

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”?

  • Exchange is when the parties are legally committed to proceed with the transaction and a completion date is agreed.
  • A completion date is the date on which you move into your new property and vacate the old one.

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, where both the Sellers and Purchasers have confirmed in writing their consent to the same Firm acting on both sides of the transaction.

In such circumstances solicitors/licensed conveyancers of equal standing within the Firm will act for each party.

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”?

  • Buying one house simultaneously selling your existing house.
  • Linked transactions therefore arise.
  • The chain proceeds as quickly as the slowest ‘link’ in the 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 £250,000 = 0%

£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.

Read More

Meet The TeamBespoke Legal Services, Tailored To Your Needs


Key Legal staff photo

Adrian completed his law degree at Teesside University before completing his Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Northumbria University. He first started his career in 2001 as a Member of the Council of Legal Executives and specialises in residential conveyancing.

In 2016, Adrian completed his Professional Skills Course and was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors and in 2019 became managing Director of Key Legal

Key Legal staff photo

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.

Key Legal staff photo

Joanne qualified as a Licensed Conveyancer in April 2009 and has many years of experience dealing with all aspects of residential conveyancing including sales, purchases, transfers of equity and re-mortgages. Over the years she has established a good working relationship with local Solicitors and estate agents.

Key Legal staff photo

Emma joined the team in 2019 as a receptionist before moving onto a role as a conveyancing assistant. Having graduated from the University of Sunderland in 2017 and completing her Masters & Legal Practice Course in 2018, Emma was promoted to a conveyancing role in 2021 and deals with all aspects of conveyancing transactions. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Key Legal staff photo

Jess started her legal career as a receptionist before joining Key Legal in 2014 and has over 10 years’ experience assisting busy legal departments and covers all aspects of conveyancing work including residential sales, purchases and transfers of equity from file opening to completion and final registration. In 2023 Jess progressed into a fee earning role.

Support Team

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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.

Key Legal staff photo

Kelly joined Key Legal in 2021 as Deputy Practice Manager and assists Julie with the day to day running of the office. Kelly is also a Solicitor, having been in the legal profession for over 25 years. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Key Legal staff photo

Sarah supports our Practice Manager Julie in our accounts department. Sarah also provides support to our Conveyancing support team when required.

Key Legal staff photo

Melissa joined the team in 2018 as a conveyancing assistant and covers all aspects of conveyancing work including residential sales, purchases and transfers of equity from file opening to final registration and completion.

Melissa also provides support to the front of house team when required. When not at work, Melissa is interested in cooking and spending time with family.

Key Legal staff photo

Hollie joined Key Legal in 2021 as a conveyancing assistant and covers all aspects of conveyancing work, assisting both clients and fee earners throughout the transaction. Hollie has 15 years’ experience working within the property industry carrying out various roles with two local estate agents. At the weekends, Hollie enjoys walks around County Durham with her husband and daughters.

Key Legal staff photo

Catherine joined the firm in 2022 as a conveyancing assistant and covers all aspects of residential conveyancing. Previously she had 17 years of experience at a local solicitor firm before taking time out to bring up her two children. In her spare time Catherine enjoys swimming, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

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Kayleigh has 16 years of experience working within the legal industry across a broad range of services, assisting busy legal departments. Kayleigh assumes the role of Front of House at Key Legal dealing with clients on a day to day basis, both in person and over the phone to provide quotes, file opening, assisting with general queries and client care paperwork. She prides herself on excellent client and professional relations and customer care.

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Sheila has been with Key Legal as a Receptionist for almost a year, following a long secretarial career in both the legal and medical professions. She enjoys walking, reading, and gardening together with spending time with her adult sons.

Contact UsBespoke Legal Services, Tailored To Your Needs

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Key Legal - Catterick House Darlington

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Duke Street office is now closed

Please note that the Duke Street office is now closed as it has merged with Catterick House.

Yarm office is now closed

Please note that the Yarm office is now closed and has moved to Catterick House.