Cunningtons in Brighton & Hove

Residential Conveyancing Property Solicitors in Brighton & Hove

The Brighton & Hove office of the firm Cunningtons LLP was opened on 1 April 2014 by Cunningtons partner Jason Bradshaw, and is located on Duke Street in Central Brighton. The office specialises in residential conveyancing in Brighton and Sussex, and also provides you with access to a range of other legal services through our branch network.

If you are selling your home, buying a new home, or simply remortgaging your existing home, our firm of residential conveyancing solicitors make sure that all the legal aspects are taken care of. To find out how much conveyancing will cost, click here.

Local specialists, national coverage

Cunningtons Solicitors in Brighton & Hove offer a convenient local service for clients who require the personal touch from their solicitor, while at the same time benefiting from the technological backing of a larger firm, as Cunningtons Solicitors continues to invest in information technology.

Conveyancing in Brighton – And Across the South East

Cunningtons Brighton & Hove offer residential conveyancing services to clients along the south coast of England, and as far north as Surrey. So if you need a residential conveyancing solicitor to help you sell, buy or remortgage your property or home in Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Portsmouth, Worthing, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, East Grinstead, Sussex, Hampshire or Surrey, then why not contact us at Cunningtons Solicitors Brighton & Hove for a comprehensive quotation of our fees? We provide a speedy, efficient and friendly service that regularly wins awards for its customer service.

Cunningtons Brighton & Hove office is centrally located a stone’s throw from the famous Laines shopping district, and only a short walk from Brighton train station, and Churchill Square shopping centre.

A Brief History of Brighton

Brighton & Hove is a large conurbation and was granted City status in 2000 as part of the Millennium celebrations. The perceived benefits of sea air at the time, and the Prince Regent’s patronage of the town in the late 1700s and early 1800s started its rapid growth as the period saw the erection of many of the famous Georgian terraces which characterise Brighton and Hove’s streetscape.

Tourism is a major part of the local economy and has contributed to its continued growth, as has the City’s relative proximity to London with easy access up the M23 or on the train to London Bridge or London Victoria. This proximity to London has led to a buoyant housing market in Brighton and Hove even during the recent credit crunch, as people look to move out of the capital to the coast.

Range of Legal Services at Cunningtons

If you are searching for other legal services outside of residential conveyancing, you can call on Cunningtons Solicitors Brighton & Hove. Cunningtons Brighton & Hove work closely with other Cunningtons branches in order to offer a full range of legal services to our clients.

We are often asked to help with professional will drafting and commercial property acquisitions – and we know that we can rely on contact with the experienced professionals in other offices of Cunningtons Solicitors across the UK.

We are members of local business networking associations BNI Hove Albion and Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce.

Our Locations

Braintree - 01376 567275

Cunningtons LLP in Great Square and Tofts Walk in Braintree, Essex, is the head office for Cunningtons Solicitors across the UK. Established in 1748, the Braintree head office in Great Square is still in its original offices. This amounts to almost 300 years of Experience and Tradition.

The Senior Partner at Cunningtons’ Braintree office is David Drake. Paul Fenton is the Joint Managing Partner. He, along with Johanna Withams are the residential conveyancing partners at the Braintree practice. They are supported by qualified Solicitors and Licenced Conveyancers.

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Braintree Walk In
Brighton & Hove: 01273 725229
Chelmsford: 01245 264494
Croydon: 0208 688 8446
Ilford: 020 8553 0002
Solihull: 0121 7056868
Wickford: 01268 732268

Legal Services at Cunningtons Solicitors in Brighton & Hove

Cunningtons solicitors in Brighton offer you a range of legal services, focusing on Property and Wills.

Residential Conveyancing – Jason Bradshaw, the Partner at the Brighton and Hove office looks after all aspects of residential property transactions from sale or purchase of both freehold and leasehold properties, re-mortgages, transfers of equity and agreed lease extensions.

Wills – Cunningtons Solicitors in Brighton and Hove are also happy to assist clients who wish to take advantage of Cunningtons Will drafting service, helping them understand the forms to be completed, and making sure the final document is correctly executed, giving clients peace of mind their affairs will be left in order and avoiding the need to deal with complex intestacy problems.

Buying Property in Brighton & Hove

Property in Brighton and Hove has long been seen as an ideal investment – and the city is certainly a great place to live. It is commutable from London, near the South Downs National Park and, of course, next to the sea. Here are some tips for those new to the area.

Wherever you buy your new home, it’s important to make sure you have your funding in place at the start. If you need to borrow the money to fund your purchase, there are a number of options – a mortgage advisor may help, or you can look online at sites like MoneySavingExpert.com, or you can go straight to your bank.

So why is Brighton and Hove such an expensive area? Although the two towns are amalgamated as a city, they sit on the edge of the South Downs national park – one of the UK’s most sought-after areas. Have a look at this article in the local paper, The Argus for more information.

Starting Your Search For a New Home in Brighton and Hove

Once you have your funds in place, it’s time to start looking at what’s available. Good places to find properties are:

If you are not familiar with the city, check out My Brighton and Hove – it’s a useful guide to key areas of the city, from North Laine and Hanover to St Anne’s Well and Poets’ Corner.

Key Questions When Searching for Your New Home:

1 – Why is the property on the market?
2 – How long has the property been on the market?
3 – How long have the current owners lived there?
4 – What is the local crime rate?
5 – Is the asking price fair / justified?
6 – Which way does it face? When does it get the sun?
7 – Are there any large construction projects underway locally?
8 – Is it handy for schools / trains / shops etc?

If possible, visit the area at all times of the day and night to see if it’s noisy or if parking is easy. And speak to the neighbours if you can, especially if you are moving into a densely-populated part of town!

The Legal Side: Your Conveyancing Solicitors

Once you have found your ideal new home in the right area of town and within your price range, it’s time to talk to a solicitor and get the whole process moving.

A good conveyancing solicitor will highlight other key issues like subsidence, title issues, ownership of fixtures and fittings, and boundaries, but you need to be on the ball too. It’s always a good idea to instruct a surveyor to check the property over for you before legal commitment to avoid any nasty surprises in future about the condition and value of your new home. 

We would of course recommend you speak to Jason at the Brighton & Hove branch of Cunningtons Solicitors when you need a Conveyancing Solicitor.

Contact Us For More Information on Brighton and Hove Property

If you’re interested in buying – or selling – a home in the Brighton and Hove area, please contact us. Our team are all local and can give you up-to-date and impartial insights into the property market.

Contact Cunningtons Solicitors in Brighton & Hove

31 Duke Street
Brighton
BN1 1AG
United Kingdom

Tel: 01273 725 229
Fax: 01273 779 758

jason.bradshaw@cunningtons.co.uk

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Interview with Jason Bradshaw, partner in charge at our Brighton branch

Jason Bradshaw is the partner in charge at our Brighton branch. He agreed to answer a few questions so we can find out more about him …

What do you think makes a good conveyancing solicitor?

As a conveyancing solicitor it’s important to put yourself in your clients’ shoes.

They are engaged in the most expensive purchase they’ll ever be likely to make, and I have to make sure they know what they can expect from me. I will be there on the phone or by email to support them through the highs and lows of their moving process, share their frustrations with delays, with mortgage offers that are promised but seem to take ages to arrive, and the worry that someone in the moving chain might get cold feet, or simply fail to realise they are part of a chain and no one party is in control – nor should they be.

No wonder it’s thought to be the most stressful life event after death and divorce!

But it is all worthwhile when I hear the delight in my client’s voice when I’ve just confirmed they’ve exchanged contracts and set the completion date.

When does your work day start?

My day usually starts well before the phones start ringing and the doors open at 9am. With email being the preferred method of communication for most clients and third parties (and slowly but surely many lenders as well now) I check my email inbox well before the start of the day to see if there have been any issues left over from the day before to resolve, or new pressing issues which need early attention. I often find clients are appreciative when I respond to their email questions quickly, even out of hours where modern technology allows me to view and respond to urgent emails wherever I am.

I use our case management system to check any case milestones that may be due that day too; the system means that files can be reviewed ahead of the start of the day to see if cases can be pushed forward.

What’s your average day’s work routine?

If there are any completions happening, they will have been thoroughly checked already and are now clear to proceed, usually subject to money changing hands. I’ll deal with any matters arising from emails received, and check if any transactions are ready to exchange. Any files which become ready to proceed to an exchange of contracts will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure all necessary information is correct, on file, with the deposit received, and dates for completion agreed. If all is ready I’ll telephone the other conveyancer to check they are also ready.

Typically the day’s post arrives mid-morning, so that’s when you will find me checking mail and placing all documents with the right client files. I then take appropriate actions, whether sending enquiries on to clients who are selling their properties – usually by email to speed things up as much as possible. If a new contract pack (or set of papers including seller’s title and property information form) arrives this will need reviewing on the day it arrives, and I start my property searches and enquiries as soon as possible.

Whilst some solicitors still insist on writing by letter (perhaps to buy some time in the process!) most will use fax or email to make enquiries on all aspects of the transaction. Often this is actually preferable to picking up the telephone; it leaves a paper trail, and allows the other conveyancer time to check and come back with an answer first time. With the number of clients I look after, if I made telephone calls on all these issues the process might well grind to a halt. The exception is usually when I need to contact the estate agent to ask for their help in solving a problem or a hold up in the chain, or simply to update them, a call is often more appreciated.

Throughout the day the I also field calls and emails from everyone involved in the transactions I am working on including customers, estate agents, mortgage brokers and lenders, and of course other conveyancers. I prefer not to leave any unanswered wherever possible – this is, after all, what my clients have come to expect!

Lunchtime: because of the demands on a modern conveyancing solicitor, this is often taken al desko with a quick sandwich and drink to refresh the batteries!

The day ends with the signing of any post which needs to be sent out, and ensuring all urgent emails have been addressed, and in particular that clients have had responses where required.

The working day – for my team at least – ends at 5.30pm when the post is taken to the post office, and phone lines are then closed. It’s this time, when I can’t be disturbed by calls, that I can be really productive and clear all outstanding emails. I often get replies from estate agents surprised a conveyancing solicitor is still in the office at that time!

What annoys you most about your work?<

Those clients (bless them) that arrive unannounced at the office and need to speak to me, while I’m in the middle of a complicated contract pack or dealing with a chain completing or exchanging. Whilst I do always try and accommodate clients who arrive at the office without forewarning (and this does happen quite often when your office is in the middle of Brighton!) sometimes it isn’t possible to break away from the task in hand, but there is always one of my team available to help.

What are the high points of your job?

Completion – when it all pays offIt has to be when a particularly difficult or lengthy purchase or sale completes. You’ve spent many many hours trying to bring a transaction to a conclusion, either the issues have been complicated, or sometimes my client has just been unlucky and had a couple of aborted sales, but when it finally completes, it’s a real relief and very satisfying.

How has your work changed in the last decade?

Most of the changes I’ve noticed have been technological. When I started working in conveyancing there was much more paperwork and more communication had to be undertaken by post. This meant that everything was a lot slower, of course!

These days stamp duty is dealt with online, as is the Land Registry. This means that I can cross-check and verify more of the process quickly and (sometimes) easily. There are, of course, a lot more emails, which means that conversations that were once entirely either on the phone and had no record, or by post and took a lot longer, now take place over email and quickly, or at a time to suit everyone.

Another change is that people can now find out a lot about our business quickly and easily through our website, and I appreciate that all businesses are more open. This also means that more potential clients find us online, and they can look at the testimonials on our website and on Google – without having to just take pot luck through Yellow Pages.

Our website is now ‘responsive’, and this means that even more people can look at it on their phones and tablets wherever they are. The problem with having a website is that I have to keep writing for it and people expect to be able to find out a lot about the business and its key employees whenever they want.

We also have an improved case management system, which helps again with speeding up communication and keeping a track of milestones.

The downside of all these technological advances is that criminals are also adapting to the changing landscape. This means that as well as increasing our own security we have to ensure that our clients are not taken in by scams – and when you’re dealing with property there is a lot at stake. For instance, I tell clients that we will never, ever, exchange bank account details by email, and that information like that has to be verified in old-fashioned ways such as by letter and telephone. All my clients know me to speak to, so they get the reassurance that is impossible when you’re dealing with a call centre environment.

What is your easiest type of client?

The easiest kind of client is the one who reads and takes note of your expectations of them set out in the first letter they are sent after I have received their instructions. I ask all new clients to provide full ID, and if they are buying a new home then I will need details of how they have accumulated the money they are using. It always helps matters go more smoothly if this information is sent to me early on.

If a client won’t declare where their money is coming from it causes issues with money laundering legislation, so it’s not just me being nosey!

What one thing do you want all your clients to bear in mind?

That I have only one pair of hands and like many other professionals and tradespeople I have to manage my case load to try and ensure every client receives the service they expect!
Obviously we advise clients not to use email to confirm bank account details, as it is not always secure. We have all read horror stories about money being transferred into the wrong account, and we do what we can to make sure it doesn’t happen to our clients!

What’s it like to practice in Brighton?

Brighton: Vibrant, beautiful and sought after!Brighton and Hove is such a vibrant city. Since the financial crash of 2008 the housing market, whilst taking an initial knock, has, in common with London, powered on to the point where it is now one of the least affordable cities in the UK for first time buyers.

However much like London there is also a wide variety of different property in Brighton and Hove. Whether it is checking the alterations made to the many listed buildings along Brunswick Terrace, or whether that swimming pool in the upmarket Hove Park area needed planning permission, to checking enforceability of old restrictive covenants imposed when the various estates where developed particularly in the 1920s and 1930s there is always a new and interesting legal problem to solve.
Being located in central Brighton means we can be reached easily by rail (5 minutes from the station), bus (2 minutes from Churchill Square and North Street) or by car (lots of parking across the road in Churchill Square).

With the office situated on the pedestrianised part of Duke Street also means we are serenaded daily by local buskers!

If you have any more questions for Jason, feel free to contact him – selected questions will be added to this page!

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