November 21, 2012

Residential property, farms & estates team in Bath goes from strength to strength

The head of Withy King’s 16-strong Residential Property, Farms and Estates team in Bath has been named a leader in his field.

[caption id="attachment_3055" align="alignnone" width="600"]Residential property, farms & estates team in Bath goes from strength to strength Pictured: front row - Susan Thomas, Samantha Snook, Elaine Spillane, Gemma Wells
middle row - Joanne Stone, Laura Andrews, Angus Williams, David Willcox
back row - Clive Weeks, Ramin Haghihat, Caroline Jones, Elena King, Helen Hall[/caption]

Partner Angus Williams is one of 27 partners at Withy King to have been singled out for praise and named “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers 2013 – an authoritative guide to the UK’s best lawyers and firms.

Withy King’s residential property, farms and estates team has prospered despite the challenges faced by the housing market in recent times. The team expanded recently with the appointment of legal executive, Ramin Haghighat, and reports being busier this year than at any other time since the downturn.

“Bath and its surrounding villages have always been highly desirable places to live and work, so to some extent the local property market has been insulated from the difficulties experienced in other parts of the UK,” said Angus. “We are also seeing lots of movement in rural Somerset and Wiltshire, with high prices being paid for good quality farms. With small farms finding it increasingly difficult to compete, larger farm owners have been only too happy to snap them up. It’s becoming recognised that to prosper in farming today, you need to get a lot bigger and grow a lot more to make sense of rising costs and tighter margins.”

Withy King works closely with home buyers and sellers as well as estate agents, developers and investors, providing conveyancing services as well as handling property disputes, overseas property investments and a wide range of other issues linked, for example, to listed buildings, planning, boundaries and rights of way.

Bath, like other cities, has its own, very particular issues. “Many of Bath’s Georgian buildings have been divided into flats and sold off on long leasehold interests. In the case of a ground floor flat, for example, this may include the vaults underneath as far as the centre of the adjoining road. A local solicitor who deals with these types of title deeds on a regular basis will know how to tackle this,” explained Angus Williams. “Rent charges and ground rents are also common features of the Bath market, but buyers need to understand what they are and what is the difference? They will also need to bear in mind that most of Bath’s buildings are listed so any work they want to do may well require planning permission. Again, a local solicitor is best placed to recommend the right surveyors to carry out an inspection, advise on the nature of the work, the insurance implications and any other challenges so that buyers are properly informed before exchanging contracts.

“Outside of Bath, larger properties often have agricultural, equestrian or commercial issues which require consideration, over and above the usual conveyancing, and buyers of these types of properties are well advised to deal with firms who specialise in this sort of work saving time, money and emotional upheaval in the long run.”

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