Property Laws in the UK

by 28 Sep 2012

This article briefly explains the various real estate regulations in England and Wales.

UK property law is pretty extensive and covers several aspects of real estate like agricultural tenancy, business leases, tenants’ laws, and mortgages etc. You need to understand the nuances of the various land holding acts for buying and selling property in the UK or conveyancing.


This occurs when a certain property is up for sale and the owner accepts a buyer’s offer. Contracts are exchanged between both parties who also decide the amount of the despot as well the last date of the transfer of ownership. During this time, the remaining balance is paid by the bidder, and the keys are handed over.

UK property law does not require that your consult a solicitor to conduct the conveyance. You can do it on your own. However, most people do hire a professional in order to minimize the risks involved in the buying and selling of property. Solicitors firms do charge a fee for their services and you should do some research in order to compare different prices.

Property Information

Another law deals with the Home Information Pack or the HIP. This is a collection of documents that provide essential details of a property to all those are interested in purchasing it. The law stipulates that all homes in the UK should have an HIP and it is the responsibility of the property owner or the seller to hand it over to interested parties. There is no charge for obtaining the HIP on the part of the buyer.

More than One Owner

UK property laws also explain the details regarding co-ownership of a property. Many times people purchase a property together. The owners mostly include a group of students or a couple living together. Each person has par in the ownership and is equally responsible for the maintenance of the property. If one partner wants to cancel out his/her membership, the joint tenancy would be severed.

If unmarried couples buy a property, they have to pay a stamp duty at the time of purchase. However, laws are different from joint ownership in case an unmarried couple has a property dispute. 

Height Safety Laws

Although working at a height is not restricted to the property business, these regulations also constitute real estate laws in the UK. If you are constructing a building, you need to ensure that all you workers receive the proper safety equipment.

The work at height laws were passed in 2005, and important amendments were made two years later. Working ‘at height’ refers to all places in a property where a worker can suffer from injury if he falls over.

This means that the law not only pertains to working on the roof. Even if a person falls at ground level and suffers injury, the employer could face legal action under the work at height law. Examples of dangers at ground level include falling from a ladder, or falling in a hole or a drain.

However, if someone falls from the staircase while viewing the property or walking around, it will not be considered a violation of the work at height laws. Moreover, the law does not apply outside the person’s area of operation.

So along with providing safety gear to the workers, guardrails, fences and walls have to be built in order to provide a steady support for the workers and to avoid other people from falling over.

About the Author

Eva Holmes, the author, is a legal practitioner in the UK who provides consultation to clients about property laws like height safety.


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