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Vacancy - Conveyancing Assistant

Posted: 8th March 2019

Job title:             Conveyancing Assistant

Salary:                To be agreed

Job Description:

TMJ Legal Services are looking for an enthusiastic individual to assist conveyancers in the day to day administration of client files.  The successful applicant will be based at the Durham office but would be expected to travel between the firms other offices if required.  Previous experience of conveyancing work would be desirable.  Duties will also include typing, taking telephone calls, filing and other duties as required by the conveyancers.

Person Requirements:

  • English and Maths GCSE or equivalent grade C or above
  • Knowledge and use of IT systems including MS Word and Excel
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Able to work to a deadline and under pressure.
  • Able to work as part of a team.

Working hours:

Full time – Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm

Start date:

April/May 2019

Application Information:

Email CV and covering letter to , apply via the Government Gateway here or by post to Helen Edwardes, Administration Manager, TMJ Legal Services, Foster House, 99 Raby Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8DT.

Vacancy - Part Time Receptionist / Telephonist

Posted: 6th March 2019


Job title: Receptionist / Telephonist

Salary:  To be agreed

Working hours: Part time

Job Description: Receptionist and telephonist duties, typing and general administration. The role is based at our Hartlepool office but the person employed should be willing to travel to any of our offices.

Person Requirements: 

  • English and Maths GCSE or equivalent Grade C or aboce
  • Knowledge and experience of IT systems including MS Word and Excel
  • Experience of working as a receptionist and/or telephonist with good administrative skills 
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent attention to detail

Start date: April/May 2019

Application information: Email CV and covering letter to or by post to Helen Edwardes, TMJ Legal Services, Foster House, 99 Raby Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8DT. 

To see the Job Centre advertisement for the role and to apply using the Government Gateway click here

What are Freehold and Leasehold Properties?

Posted: 5th March 2019

You might have heard the terms “Leasehold property” or “Freehold property”, and are wondering what these phrases mean.  

Well, simply put, in English law, if you own a freehold property, what you own is a perpetual title to the land included in the title, and any property built on the land. Freehold titles last forever, and cannot be ended prematurely. Freehold titles can be transferred, sold, gifted and mortgaged.

Leasehold property is a little different, because when you own a leasehold property, what you own is the right to occupy the land, and any property included in the title for a set period of time, but you do NOT own the land the property is built upon and your ownership is subject to the terms of a Lease granted by the landlord. The landlord is the person who owns the freehold title out of which the leasehold title has been granted, and is sometimes referred to as the “Freeholder”.  

A lease is essentially a type of tenancy, however unlike a normal tenancy of rented accommodation, which is a personal right, a lease is a legal interest which can be sold on, gifted, transferred or mortgaged - in many ways just like a freehold title. However, unlike freehold titles, which last forever, the lease which creates the leasehold title will grant the title for a set length of time, which can vary widely depending upon the terms of the lease. It is quite common to see leasehold titles granted for 99 or even 999 years. A leasehold title is sometimes known as a “term of years absolute”.

As the owner of the leasehold title, you have the right to occupy the property for as long as the lease which created the title remains valid. However, there may also be conditions within the lease which you have to comply with, otherwise the lease might be forfeited, which would allow the landlord to obtain possession of the property without waiting for the term of years the lease was granted for to expire.

You may be required to pay rent to the freeholder during your ownership of the leasehold property, which is known as “ground rent”. Sometimes, usually where the lease is very old, the ground rent will be a negligible amount which is not actually collected by the landlord. At the end of the term of the Lease, unless the Lease has been extended, the freeholder will recover the property.

Usually, where a property is a flat, you can expect this to be a leasehold property, although this is not always the case. This is because the grant of a Lease allows the landlord to control what the tenants are permitted to do, and can require the tenants to make payments towards the upkeep of common areas. It is also possible to have a leasehold house - this is quite common in the Wingate and Trimdon areas of County Durham. 

The conveyancing team at TMJ Legal Services has extensive experience with a wide variety of freehold and leasehold properties, both flats and houses, and can also advise freeholders and leaseholders on the terms of Leases, extension of Leases, and the grant of new Leases. Contact a member of our team today if you have any queries regarding any aspect of leasehold or freehold land, and we will be glad to assist.

Why are Lasting Powers of Attorney so important?

Posted: 21st January 2019

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to decide who to appoint to make decisions on your behalf about your property & finances and/or your health & welfare. An LPA can be used by your attorney(s) in the event that you are no longer able to make such decisions.

A Property & Financial Affairs LPA covers aspects concerning your property & finances. For example, your attorney can assist with managing your bank accounts or contacting various financial institutions on your behalf. They can also act in more significant decisions for example, selling or purchasing a property. This LPA can be used both with your consent and in the event you are no longer able to make decisions yourself.

A Health & Welfare LPA allows your appointed attorney(s) to make decisions about your personal welfare for example your day to day care, decisions in relation to medical treatment and also life sustaining treatment, if you have expressly authorised this in your LPA. A Health & Welfare LPA can only be used if you lack capacity to make these decisions yourself.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society by 2025 more than 1 million people in the UK will have dementia. If you ever lost capacity, handling your affairs becomes virtually impossible.

If you are unable to manage your own affairs there is no automatic right for your spouse, partner, children, family member or friend to access your money or manage your personal affairs.

This is why an LPA is vital to help protect you and your family.

If you do not have an LPA in place and you were no longer able to manage your affairs your family can face the drawn out process of applying to the Court of Protection to appoint them as Deputy to act on your behalf. The cost of this application is much more expensive than an LPA application. Even more concerning is the choice of who to appoint lies with the Court, not with you, potentially resulting in someone acting who you may have not wanted to.

You can instruct a Solicitor to ensure your LPA is properly drafted and registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01429 230031 or email at

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