Property development law


Property development can be a difficult area for the unwary, or people new to the business. The basic concept of property development is that you buy a property, make changes to update and improve the property so that it suits the intended market and sell it for a profit.

If you are planning to develop your house, or you are a business working on a large scale development project, call us and we will recommend a specialist property solicitor to help you file any relevant planning applications.

What is property development?

The property development process involves instructing a solicitor who can help you throughout the process and possibly with successive properties.

Firstly you will need to know whether you are developing for the business or the residential market, and on what scale you are developing. A massive city-centre offices-to-apartments conversion will require considerably more solicitor involvement than a residential home update.

Before you buy the property it is important that you properly assess the area and the potential profit. Failure to do this can mean that you are entering a property development lottery.

Why do I need a solicitor?

Property development is a legal minefield and you should instruct solicitors from the outset to provide you with advice on buying and selling property as well as implementing any changes you want.

If you want to get involved in property development you will need a solicitor to help you purchase the property. Your solicitor will undertake all the necessary searches and ensure that you complete the requisite paperwork. For this, you will need a specialist conveyancing solicitor, as opposed to a property solicitor.

You should also ask your solicitor to consider your plans for property development. If you want to make changes to the property, inside or out, then you should be aware that you may need planning permission to do so. If you want to change the building from a house to a shop, for example, you will need to make a ‘change of use’ application to the local authority.

In the case of listed buildings you will need permission for just about everything you do, including:

  • Knocking down a garden wall
  • Installing Sky television

Making applications to the local authority tends to be time consuming and costly and you will need the help of solicitors to ensure the process is completed as quickly as possible.

Once you have bought your property and undertaken the necessary development, property solicitors can help to sell your property.

Property development does not always generate profits and you should be aware of the potential for loss when you undertake a project.

Property development law has a great deal of regulations and it is vital that you instruct a solicitor who is familiar with planning law to help you file the necessary paperwork and ensure that your development plans are not delayed by any means.

For more information on obtaining planning permission, see our page on planning law.

Do you need assistance in obtaining permission for property development? Whether it is residential, or a large commercial development, Contact Law works with a range of property solicitors, specialised in property and planning law who can help you. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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