Buying A Property Together Part Two
Buying a property can appear to be a very daunting task. Here at Tollers, our expert solicitors are here to guide you through the process every step of the way. To make this process as seamless as possible, we have made a list of some of the information your solicitor will need from you, as having this in order right from the start will mean faster progression:
What should I tell my Solicitor?
When you are buying a property, there is a huge amount of information that you will receive from your solicitor. It is equally important that your solicitor gets certain information from you. Below is a list of some of the most important issues you will need to make them aware of.
If you are obtaining a survey, you should forward a copy to your solicitor. Your solicitor will check the survey for any matters under “Matters for your Legal Representative” and raise any legal issues highlighted with the seller’s solicitors.
Your solicitor will not visit the property. It is important that the boundaries on the ground are checked against the boundaries shown on the title plan. The plans do tend to be on a small scale but checking is essential. You should let your solicitor know if there are any discrepancies.
Your solicitor may not be aware if the internal layout of the property has changed or if the property has been altered externally. You must make your solicitor aware of any alterations internally or externally, so that they can check the works comply with planning and building regulations. For example, replacement windows, removal of load bearing walls, extensions, loft conversions, porch, conservatories etc.
If the property is in a conservation area or is a listed building further consents could also be required.
If there have been electrical works carried out and/or works to the gas supply you need to let your solicitor know. The regulations regarding these are very strict.
You should inform your solicitor if you intend to extend or alter the property after completion. The property may be subject to a restrictive covenant (a legal restriction on the use of the land) that would prevent certain alterations to the property. The property could be subject to planning restrictions that restrict permitted development or there may be utilities (drainage pipes that cannot be built over, for example) within the boundary of the property.
If any part of the deposit or balance of the completion money is being provided by someone other than yourself, i.e. a relative, your solicitor needs to be advised at the outset of the transaction. The solicitor needs to verify the funds comply with Money Laundering Regulations and ensure they obtain the consent of your mortgage lender to proceed with the gift (if you have one). This is an area which can cause delays in a transaction so be prepared and provide this information as early as possible.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)
In April 2016, new SDLT rates were imposed for people who own more than two properties. If you, or anyone else that you are buying the property with, own more than one property anywhere in the world, you may be liable to pay an additional 3% SDLT. Your solicitor will need this information, to allow them to calculate the correct SDLT payable on completion.
You should inform your solicitor if there are any factors that affect the time you want to complete (i.e. holidays/school holidays).
The information provided in this article is meant as a guide and is not a replacement for specific legal advice. If you have any queries about purchasing a property, talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.