If you’re thinking about a property deal, call me – I like to be involved right from the start so that I can anticipate what is needed and act swiftly. Working with developers, buyers, landlords, tenants and banks, I see the property market from every angle. In addition, I’m qualified in both Scotland and England, so can assist clients on either (or both) sides of the border.
I am completely committed to my clients – I would never let a client do a bad deal. I’m not afraid to walk away from a negotiation and I will not only deliver but keep an eye out for new opportunities and chase them down.
I love the fact that my job gives me the chance to help to create something – new homes for families, new offices for companies. Outside work, my family and Rangers Football Club are my passions – usually in that order!
It is never too early to speak to your solicitor. Often, by the time heads of terms are agreed, positions have become entrenched. Consulting your solicitor at an early stage helps avoid this.
Never sign any legal documents without taking professional advice.
Don’t be afraid to ask a ‘silly’ question. There is no such thing. If something doesn’t sound right, or you don’t understand it, then your question isn’t silly.
What are the differences between the law in Scotland and England?
Do you have a couple of hours to watch my PowerPoint presentation? The main difference is that there is no Landlord and Tenant Act in Scotland, which means that the Scottish courts (in my view) don’t defend parties who don’t need defending. In most other respects, while the commercial principles are broadly identical, the terminology and systems are radically different. The system of Land Registration in Scotland, for instance, is about 50 years behind the English Land Registry, although it is getting better.
Is ‘gazumping’ illegal in Scotland?
No, it’s perfectly legal (as is ‘gazundering’). The main reason why it’s uncommon in Scotland is that, having instructed a lawyer to sell at a price, if a client subsequently instructs his lawyer to accept a higher offer, the Scottish lawyer is bound to cease acting for the unscrupulous client. It’s a great example of the Scottish profession standing together against unsavoury practice.
I’m buying a buy-to-let property, but I don’t own any other property in the UK. Do I have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax?
Probably, unless you’re intending to live in the property as your main residence. It’s vitally important to take proper tax advice. Not only can the savings be significant, but the penalties for getting it wrong can be catastrophic.