Commercial Property Development Legal Services

When looking to invest in property, one of the most successful ways to make a profit is through property development and regeneration. However, this is not always a straightforward process, as there can be a lot of legal hoops that you will be required to jump through.

Property development can be an extremely complicated process from a legal standpoint, and so it is important to have an expert on hand who can guide you through it and help you to avoid some of the most common pitfalls.

At Lovedays Solicitors, we have extensive experience in the property development sector, and can assist you at every stage of the process. Our professional legal team can offer advice and solutions that can help you to navigate through some of the complexities that you may encounter in order to help your project to be a success.

Understanding Property Development Legal Services

Property development legal services can cover a wide range of aspects. In order to successfully develop any property, you will need a thorough understanding of issues such as funding and planning as well as construction itself. Each of these are governed by a strict set of regulations, and it is important to work within these and satisfy all of the legal requirements in order to get your development off the ground.

Property development tends to be part of a changing landscape, and situations can move quickly, meaning that you will need to be able to call on expert advice in order to respond and prevent any unnecessary delays. A property development solicitor can often anticipate many of the challenges that you might be presented with and can either help you to avoid them or provide workable and practical solutions when they appear.

It is therefore important to work with a solicitor who is a specialist in property development, like those at Lovedays Solicitors. Their knowledge of the sector can allow you to plan in advance to avoid some of the common issues that many developers face during a project, and can also navigate any obstacles that you might encounter as things progress. This type of advice is relevant for those working in commercial property sectors such as offices, industrial and retail fields, and can span any size of development, from a single plot to multiple units.


Key Legal Services for Property Development

Strategic land and site assembly, joint ventures and partnerships

Strategic land refers to sites which are currently undeveloped and do not have any existing planning permission attached to them and therefore have a low existing use value. These sites often have great potential when it comes to developing them into higher value commercial sites. It is therefore important to identify strategic land that could be perfect for your development, or even pockets of land that can be assembled together to form something larger.

Joint ventures and partnerships can often be a successful route, as developers and specialist land promoters partner with investors to help fund and manage the project more successfully.

All of these options will need specialist legal advice, and agreements will need to be drafted for partnerships to outline the responsibilities, financial burdens and profit shares of each party.

Planning, infrastructure, highways, utility agreements, and environmental considerations

Before any work can begin on your development, you will need to obtain the relevant planning permission. It is therefore important to understand any planning laws that might affect your current site and put together detailed plans outlining what your proposals are and the impact that they are likely to have on the local area.

You will not just need to consider the structure of the building, but also the local infrastructure and any highways that might be affected, as these could need alteration in order to accommodate your plans.

In many cases, you will also need utility agreements in order to ensure that your development will be supplied with gas, electricity and water. It is also essential to take any environmental issues into account by thinking about nature conservation, flooding, environmental contamination, water and air quality and many other aspects.

A property development solicitor can help you to understand all of the factors that might affect your site and draft any necessary agreements that you need to have in place.

Option agreements, conditional contracts, overage, and clawback agreements

In some cases, it may be beneficial to put an option agreement or conditional contract in place, where the buyer is contracted to purchase land within a certain period of time or when a particular event has been completed, such as the granting of planning permission to help minimise risk and avoid delays.

When purchasing land for property development, there may be a request for overage, which is an agreement that the buyer will be liable for an additional payment to the seller in the future if certain conditions, such as obtaining planning permission or completing a development, significantly increases the value of the land that was sold.

A clawback agreement can work in a similar way, giving the seller a percentage of the increased value for an agreed number of years after the sale. 

These factors can all make the purchase of land for development easier, and can mitigate some risks, but they will all need to be professionally negotiated and drafted.

Construction and engineering contracts, warranties, and building agreements

If you intend to employ specialist construction and engineering services for your property development, then it is important to put the right contracts in place.

These are legally binding, and so must be drafted by a solicitor in order to ensure that they are correct and cover all necessary matters. A construction contract will set out the agreed timescales, rights, obligations and expectations for both parties to help avoid disputes or problems during the build.

Warranties will also need to be put in place for the work that is completed, and these should be professionally drafted and checked by a solicitor to ensure that they offer full protection.

Development finance, including acquisition and funding

When embarking on a property development, it is important to make sure that you have all of the necessary funding in place. Property development finance is a complex matter and so it requires specialist knowledge in order to secure it. This can refer to loans, mortgages, bridging loans and funding grants, and so is a very wide-ranging subject.

Your solicitor can advise you on the documentation that will be needed to apply for most finance options, including building contracts, collateral warranties, business plans, bonds or guarantees or professional appointments. Many funding options tend to be short term, as it is expected that you will be able to pay them back once the development has been completed and the profits from it have been realised.


The Role of Legal Services in Sustainable and Community-focused Developments

It is now more important than ever to be aware of the environment and the impact that we have on it, and so sustainability needs to be taken into account when considering any type of property development. There are many laws and regulations that are now in place to ensure that any development limits the detrimental effects that it might have, and so it is important to have a full understanding of these.

There are many ways to make your development more sustainable, from meeting green financing requirements and minimising the carbon footprint of the build. It is also necessary to look at the carbon emissions of the property itself and consider how this can be minimised.

Some laws might be specific to a particular area, depending on how it might affect the local community, landscape or wildlife, for example. There may be targets in place that you are required to meet, and it is important to understand what these are and the penalties that you might face if you fail to comply.

Community-focused developments are also important considerations, as some planning restrictions will now have requirements on developers to contribute something positive to the local community in addition to their development. This might relate to local infrastructure or providing additional services or facilities.

A professional property development solicitor will be aware of the laws that you need to be compliant with and can help to guide you in this area. By choosing a solicitor who understands the local area, you can also benefit from understanding what the local authorities may require from you as a developer.

Challenges and Solutions in Property Development Legal Services

Any property development project is likely to be subject to its fair share of legal challenges, so it is important to work with a solicitor who understands these. This allows you to prepare for what lies ahead, helping you to avoid some of the most common problems or find a prompt resolution to them if they do occur.

There are often a lot of contractual difficulties involved in property development for a range of reasons. This could be due to disputes over payments, a confusion or misunderstanding over the work involved or issues around the termination of contracts. It is therefore important to ensure that all contracts have been professionally drafted and checked by a property development solicitor to ensure that many of these issues are clear, and that the details of the contract can be used to quickly settle any disputes.

Purchasing the land for the property development can sometimes be a difficult process, and searches can often reveal easements, covenants and restrictions that may stand in the way of plans, whilst boundary disputes and environmental issues can also be a problem. Making use of option agreements and conditional contracts can help to ensure that the purchase of any land only takes place once any issues have been resolved.

Construction related issues are also common as there can be delays with supplies and sub-contractors or with the quality of the work that has been completed. Outlining expectations in a contract can be very important, as this allows all parties to know where they stand. A contract can also define what the penalties will be for any issues, which means that resolutions can easily be found.

Lovedays Solicitors have years of experience in dealing with all aspects of property development and can therefore help to ensure that all of the correct documentation is in place that can cover you in the event of any issues arising.

During a property development, it will be necessary to deal with a wide range of professionals including surveyors, planners, architects and other solicitors, so it is important to work with a specialist property development solicitor who can look at all of the information that you are given and interpret it in order to avoid any misunderstandings or errors.

The experts at Lovedays Solicitors can collate all of your information and ensure that any issues are highlighted as quickly as possible, providing you with practical solutions to your problems.


Why Choose Lovedays Solicitors for Your Property Development Legal Needs?

Developing property can come with a range of legal challenges that it is important for you to understand and anticipate in order to ensure that your project is completed within your timescales and your budget. At Lovedays Solicitors, we have handled many cases just like yours, and so we are in the perfect position to assist you.

We have a range of property development solicitors based in Derbyshire who are committed to using their many years of experience to help bring your property development project to life. We treat each client as an individual and will take the time to understand your own specific needs in order to help you develop a plan. We will help to draft contracts and agreements that are tailored to your situation and can create bespoke solutions for any problems that you might encounter.

Our local knowledge can be very important, as we have a good understanding of some of the planning and environmental considerations that might apply to your project and can therefore help you to incorporate these into your plans – saving you time and money.

We can help you with the full range of legal aspects surrounding a property development project, therefore minimising the number of people that you need to deal with. We always look to build a friendly and professional relationship with our clients so that we are in the best position to help and advise you when you need it, from the moment you first embark on the project right up until the point where your project is completed, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.


Property development will always be complex, but working with Lovedays Solicitors can help to make your project a more successful one. We can help to ensure that you make informed decisions for your development and can draft all of the necessary documentation to cover all eventualities.

Our understanding of the legal challenges that you may face means that we can help you in the preparation and planning stages of the development, as well as creating bespoke solutions to any problems that occur along the way.

Our expert knowledge makes us the perfect partners for your Derbyshire property development, as we can provide all of the required legal services that you will need for every stage.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I resolve a dispute with a contractor?

If you have a building or construction agreement in place, then this should outline the details of the project and any penalties that may be applied if the agreed terms and standards are not met. A property development solicitor can help you to assess the dispute and find solutions or negotiate on your behalf to find a resolution.

What is an overage period?

Overage is an additional payment which is made to the seller of the land that you are developing at the point where a certain specified event occurs which increases the value of the land. The overage period is the time in which that condition is valid for and can be anything from three years to 20 years depending on the situation.

What is a section 106 agreement?

A Section 106 agreement is a private agreement made between property developers and the local authority which can then be attached to planning permission to make a development acceptable. This usually involves making a financial contribution to the community, such as providing some form of affordable housing, making a donation to local services, compensating for any loss or damage or mitigating the impact of the development.

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If you're planning a property development project, ensure its success by partnering with Lovedays Solicitors. Our experienced team specialises in property development legal services, offering expert advice and comprehensive support at every stage. Contact us today for a consultation and take the first step towards a smooth, compliant, and profitable development project.

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About Lovedays

Lovedays Solicitors, Potter and Co Solicitors and Andrew Macbeth Cash and Co Solicitors are the trading names of Derbyshire Legal Services Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08838592. Registered office Sherwood House, 1 Snitterton Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3LZ.

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA ID number 637916.

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