Legal guide for England and Wales

Due to different conventions, and differences in the legal system, there is a separate legal guide for Scotland

A step-by-step guide to the legal process for England and Wales

  1. You tell us which woodland you want to buy, and you give us the name and address of your lawyer. (We have a list of efficient, reasonably priced solicitors recommended by past purchasers.)
  2. We take the woodland off the market, i.e. we clearly mark it as sold on our website, and we do not offer it for sale to anyone else.
  3. We send your lawyer a letter confirming that we are selling the woodland to you, and giving our lawyer/conveyancer's name and address. You get a copy of this letter with a copy of the plan showing the boundaries of the wood you are buying.
  4. You send your lawyer :
    • a cheque for 10% of the purchase price
    • the name(s) in which you want the wood registered
    • queries about any matters regarding rights and title that you want checked up on.
  5. Our lawyer/conveyancer sends your lawyer a "draft contract" and a copy of our Land Registry title to the land.
  6. Your lawyer sends our conveyancer a questionnaire called "pre-contract enquiries" together with the other queries you had (if these have not already been covered by phone).
  7. Our lawyer/conveyancer with our help completes the questionnaire and returns it to your solicitor.
  8. Meanwhile, your lawyer does a "local search", asking the local authority about planning, rights of way, etc.
  9. Your lawyer sends you the contract with an attached plan showing the piece of land you are buying, and the other tracks over which you will have right of way. You sign this and return it to him/her.
  10. Our lawyer/conveyancer sends us an identical contract, etc., and we sign and return it.
  11. You tell your lawyer that you will have the rest of the money available for the completion on an agreed date and authorise the exchange.
  12. The lawyers/conveyancers agree a date up to four weeks ahead for completion. Your lawyer retains the deposit that you have sent them as "stakeholder".
  13. The two lawyers/conveyancers exchange the signed contracts.
  14. You send your lawyer the balance of the money, also payable to their "client account". Allow time for the cheque to clear well before the completion date.
  15. Your lawyer draws up another document, very like the contract. This is called the transfer, and its function is to notify the Land Registry of the transaction, and authorise the issue of a Land Certificate in your name.
  16. The transfer is checked by our lawyer/conveyancer, signed by you and witnessed, signed by us, and sent back to your lawyer, who sends it to the Land Registry.
  17. On the completion date, your lawyer sends the balance of the money, and the woodland now belongs to you.
  18. We send you a key to the gate, and a copy of our book, as well as offering you many other benefits to get you started. We also give you any information you need about local contractors, etc.
  19. And, finally, we each pay our own legal costs.

The time between the agreement for the sale (1) and the exchange (13) is normally around five to eight weeks. If there are long delays, without any obvious reason, we may have to let the woodland go back on the market, but this is very rare.