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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, property owner, property searches, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

After weeks of paperwork and to do-lists you’re now ready to get the keys to your new home. Have a look at our handy checklist below to avoid any delays on moving day!

  • Make sure you’ve sent your fees and purchase money to your Conveyancer in plenty of time for Completion day.  The last thing you need is to be organising a bank transfer today!
  • Be ready to hand over or collect the keys once you’ve Legally Completed. It’s in your Contract that this should happen by 2pm – but this can sometimes be a bit earlier or later.
  • Make sure you’ve organised for all your mail to be forwarded to your new house from today.
  • Don’t forget to read your meters on your old house and your new house, make a note of the readings and call your utility providers as soon as you can to give them the information.
  • Label all your boxes – especially the important ones like “Kettle” and “Mugs” (or wine glasses and bottle opener!) so you can make a cuppa while your unpacking the less important stuff!
  • Keep a list of the items you are taking and what you are leaving behind such as curtains, blinds and kitchen fittings.
  • There could be a bit of waiting a round – Make sure you phone is charged and you are ready for the call from your Conveyancer to confirm you can collect your keys. In the meantime, have a plan and don’t put yourself in a position where your sat in a van for hours waiting for the call. Remember it could be gone lunchtime before you get your new keys.
  • No-one expects your old house to be left spotless but it’s advisable to leave it in a condition you hope to find your new one in – it’s only courteous!
  • Get your friends and family to help with packing, unpacking and cleaning.  Many hands make light work and you can always bribe them with the offer of a pizza or two for supper!
  • Keep your pets fenced or locked in or if they are liable to make a run for your old house every time you open a door. Get a friend to look after them for the day while you are moving.
  • Remember that it’s only one day of madness and you have the rest of your lives in your new home to organise and unpack. Rome wasn’t built in a day, just get the basics sorted.
  • Be flexible. Depending on the amount of people in your chain, Completion can be chaotic and there may be some waiting around. There’s no harm in your buyers moving their furniture into the living room while you’re still emptying the garage!

 

If you need advice or help from our specialist and experienced Conveyancing team – simply give us a call. We’re used to the ups and downs of moving day and are happy to talk you through anything that’s worrying you. Call us on 01623 45 11 11 or visit www.fidler.co.uk to find out more.

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Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Deposit, First Time Buyers, help to buy, help to buy ISA, Property, Property Market, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

What is a Help to Buy ISA?

A Help to Buy ISA is a new type of ISA which have been created to help first-time buyers save for a deposit for their home. As you are busy saving for your deposit you’ll receive a helping hand from the government to boost your savings amount and help you to get onto the housing ladder. The government will add a generous 25% on to your savings, up to a maximum of £3,000 on savings of £12,000 (this is per first time buyer. So, if you and your Partner both open an account you could receive up to £6,000 on top of your own savings).

Find out more and get organised!

As soon as you decide you want to start saving for your first home you need to set up an ISA account with your bank. This means you start saving as soon as possible as the more money you save the more you will benefit from the scheme.

Make sure you know the limits of the scheme

  • The government boosts your savings by 25% (i.e. a bonus of £50 for every £200 you save)
  • You can save up to £200 per month
  • The maximum bonus you can claim is £3,000 so to get the best bonus you would need to save £12,000
  • The house you purchase must cost a maximum of £250,000 (or £450,000 in London)

 

When you have found a house to buy…Tell us you hold a HTB ISA as soon as possible. Our initial information forms will ask you about this

  • Complete the forms we send you

Once we are aware you wish to take advantage of the scheme, we will send you a form to complete giving us information about your ISA account and asking for your authority to apply for the bonus on your behalf.

  • Go to your bank to close the account before completion happens (we will talk to you about this)

Your money will be sent to another account for you. You will need to instruct your bank that you wish to close the account and they will transfer your savings into another account of your choosing. They will then provide you with a closing statement.

  • Provide us with the closing statement

We need to submit this to the government website to prove to them the amount of savings you had in your ISA.

We will submit your signed authority form and closing statement to government website with a request for funds a few days before you complete your purchase and you will receive a letter from the government, through us, confirming the bonus has been approved and is being transferred to us.

  • We will ask you for your deposit less the sum we expect to receive from scheme

Don’t worry if this means you have less than a 10% deposit. Most sellers will agree to a lower deposit in these circumstances. You will receive statements from us showing the bonus sum we expect to receive.

  • We receive the HTB Bonus before completion and use this towards the purchase price.

 

If you are a first time buyer and you’re interested in a Help to Buy ISA…

We have a specialist team who have processed hundreds of Help to Buy ISA’s and would be happy to help you with any questions you may have. Simply call us on 01623 45 11 11.

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conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, recruitment    No Comments

Naomi Mather – Conveyancing Fee Earner

When I was asked to write a blog on why Fidler and Pepper a great place to work, I initially started to write in the way I would normally, I could tell you about Pension contributions, holidays, childcare vouchers, corporate gym memberships, paid for Christmas parties, etc but so could most other firms!  As I wrote I realised that’s not why Fidler & Pepper is a great place to work…

Life before Fidler & Pepper

Before I found my way to Fidler & Pepper I had previously worked in a number of firms, including a highly stressful environment, a company where I felt little support was given, and I felt a constant fear of being sued, fired or just not being good enough. I didn’t find this a healthy atmosphere for the workers and therefore not good for customer service. I found that things took a long time, and unnecessarily time consuming procedures were in place. Going to work was not something I looked forward to.

I’d heard great things…

I applied for a job at Fidler & Pepper simply based on their reputation as a good employer (and on looking at their website, the way they seemed happy to poke fun at even themselves!) I know the grass isn’t always greener, I have heard it all before; and that’s right, the grass wasn’t greener….. It wasn’t even green! It was blue and yellow and red and a rainbow of colours made up of the people of Mansfield and the surrounding areas; people working hard for their clients while also at least appearing like they were having an amazing time. This couldn’t be right could it?

…turned out it was.

It was a whole new world!

As I settled in at Fidler and Pepper I noticed that everyone was treated equally, from the newest apprentice to the longest standing supervisor. The Partners and Heads of department were approachable and kind and didn’t even have separate offices! They sat with us, the worker bees in an open plan office space and seemed to be actually normal people!  They supported everyone, whether it is with a legal question about their job or if they were just having a meltdown because the kids had played up over breakfast!

You can be happy at work!

Employees did work hard and work was getting done, at an astonishing rate in fact, but in a happy jovial atmosphere where everyone joined in with chats and arguments alike. Most importantly for me, I felt that (and have been told as much in fact) Fidler & Pepper had my back and I could relax and get on with trying to do the best job I could for my clients and they would always support me.

A happy place to work makes happy staff

Because employee retention is so important, many of the staff here have been with them for years and some since they left school. There are many and varied training opportunities to develop what could start out as a job into a fulfilling legal career.

How to look after your staff…

If you want a bit of spin, then I can tell you that our IT systems and case management are second to none and this means that my job is ten times easier to do and I am able to do twice the amount of work in half the time. New initiatives are looked at all the time to make the workplace  happier, most recently for us, this included a bonus scheme for meeting targets, fruit baskets in every department and a half day off on your birthday which have all been met with enthusiasm from staff members.

In short, Fidler & Pepper’s main argument for how they work and how they treat their staff is that happy staff make happy clients, and I for one, cannot disagree!

…Oh and we have a flexi-time scheme too if you’re interested…

Want to find out more about Fidler & Pepper?

Have a browse around our site www.fidler.co.uk and get a flavour of who we are and what we do. Or if you would like to see our staff benefits and vacancies visit us at https://www.fidler.co.uk/people/careers.cfm

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, terms and conditions, Title Deeds    No Comments

glass

Picture this, you are buying a house, a lovely Victorian terrace and a few weeks after the day of completion your Conveyancer sends you an email with an attachment to a three page document advising you that this is the title to your property.

We live in a digital age

This cant be right can it? Where are the giant yellow hand written documents, the wax seals, the sense of importance? Well, unfortunately for those nostalgics out there, we live in a digital age  and these are your Deeds. Since the introduction of compulsory land registration in 2002, although these deeds are nice to have around, they mean very little as all the relevant information for the property and its ownership is registered online with the Land Registry. Lenders, when they held a mortgage over a property used to hold the deeds as collateral but once registration of a property had taken place, very often the deeds were destroyed to save on storage costs.

Pre-registration deeds

So, although in some cases, your Conveyancer might still send you a musty old folder of what we now call “pre-registration deeds” which may be very interesting to read through, they don’t really hold a lot of value anymore and we don’t treat them with the same care we used to. Most Conveyancers wont even store pre-registration deeds for you in their deeds store as it is unnecessary.

Peace of mind for you

So, if you receive a  letter saying you now hold you title, we aren’t being mean and holding back the good stuff, this is all we have. Having said that, remember that having your title registered with the land registry centrally in your name is much safer than holding those old deeds in your hand.   It means if the pre-registration deeds are lost or destroyed, its not really that much of a concern to an owner, their solicitor or a prospective buyer. It’s all safely stored for you electronically.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions about your deeds or if you want to find out if your property is registered, then don’t hesitate to speak to your Conveyancer on 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Buy your freehold, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, leasehold, Leasehold Conveyancing Quote, Leasehold extension, Property Report, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

coloured_keys

What is Freehold Ownership?

Freehold means that you will be the sole owner of the property as well as being the owner of the land the property sits on and is surrounded by. This is often preferred for many buyers as you will not have to pay any additional ground rent or service charges. As the freeholder you are responsible for the repair and maintenance of the building but you will have control over when the repairs are made.

What is Leasehold Ownership?

Leasehold means that you are buying the right to use the property from the freeholder or ‘Landlord’ (the person who owns the building and land it resides on) for an agreed number of years. Leasehold is typically how flats and maisonettes are sold but is also used for houses both new and old.

If you own a leasehold flat or house you are likely to be required to pay ground rent, maintenance fees and annual service charges either on a monthly or annual basis to the freeholder. Sometimes these rents can be very low especially on very old properties but the fees can also range up to and over ₤1000 year and even more in London.

All leases are different so make sure your Conveyancer explains this thoroughly and you understand your responsibilities to the Landlord

  • You may have to gain permission from the freeholder if you want to undertake any major works on your property such as replacing your windows or extending the property
  • You may need to gain permission if you wish to rent the property out
  • Leases can be as short as 40 years or as long as 999 years – but the longer the better
  • If you require a mortgage then the lease usually needs to be to be at least 80 years
  • Leases can be extended or you can apply to buy the freehold of the property from the Landlord but the shorter the time remaining on the lease then the then more costly this becomes

Are you somewhere in the middle?

In the world of Conveyancing, there’s always another option to consider. Often freehold houses, especially on new build estates are sold as freehold but there is a clause in the title giving the responsibility to maintaining the communal areas on the estate such as shared drives, car parks and open spaces to a Management Company. Generally you would, if there is a Management Company, be liable to pay a yearly service charge to the company for its services. Remember to check the small print for any hidden costs even if a property is advertised as freehold.

Have any further questions?

Our specialist team have extensive experience dealing with both leasehold and freehold properties. Simply give us a call on 01623 45 11 11 and we will be happy to help you further.

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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Case Tracker, Contract, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, First Time Buyers, Landlord, property owner, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, renting, Stamp duty, Stamp duty land tax, Uncategorized    No Comments

this-one-btl-quad

Can you believe it’s been a year since the last round of stamp duty changes? Things have settled down since the initial frenzy of changes and most people know the main rules. But if you’re not sure of the changes, here is a round up of the vital information you need to know before you decide to hop on to the buy-to-let train yourself.

  1. If your spouse owns another property the Inland Revenue treat that as yours too and you are liable for the higher rate even if you don’t have any interest in their house, unless you are divorced or legally separated (for example by a court order).
  2. If you own a property in a different country, you still own a property and this means you are buying the property in the UK as a second property and you are liable for the higher rate.
  3. Companies buying a property are always liable for the higher rate, even if they have never owned a property before. The government makes the assumption this is an investment property.
  4. If you are selling the property you live in and buying a new property to live in (for examples swapping main residences), it doesn’t matter about your buy-to-let portfolio and you will pay the lower rate. But if you are buying a property to live in but not selling one, you must pay the higher rate. You can however sell your old main residence within 3 years and make a claim for a refund from the Inland Revenue.
  5. The higher rate is charged on second properties purchased for more than £40,000.

Get in touch – we’re happy to help

Fidler and Pepper have a dedicated team of Conveyancing specialists who are always happy to help explain the second property stamp duty rules. Simply give us a call on 01623 45 11 11.

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Case Tracker, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, First Time Buyers, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

wip

So, you’re selling a property, your Conveyancer has been in touch with an abundance of forms for you to fill in and sent you the Contract to sign and you have sent it all back as quickly as you can and then…nothing… You call for updates and are told that they are waiting for your buyers to confirm they are ready…what’s going on? It’s a common situation that can scare a Seller into thinking their Buyers aren’t proceeding, have ran off without telling anyone or have been abducted by aliens….well OK, so maybe not that last one!

Don’t panic, no-one has forgotten about you

What’s really going on here is actually much less dramatic. The problem is that a seller does lots of work at the beginning of the transaction giving all the information about the property over and then really doesn’t have anything to do then until their buyer is satisfied they are ready to complete. While everything is quiet on the sale front, your buyers solicitors are frantically running around behind the scenes organising searches (which can take 3-4 weeks) , checking the title for defects and reporting everything to the buyer and their mortgage lender. Your buyer may also organise their own home buyers survey or structural surveys which will also be done during this time. Most Conveyancing transactions actually take about 8-12 weeks to complete.

Your conveyancer will be happy to keep you up to date

Moving house or selling a property can be a stressful and emotional time. If you’re worried, have questions or just want to check in on how things are going – then give your Conveyancer a call. They will help put your mind at ease, give you an update on where they are in the process and you can relax and have a cuppa!

Fidler & Pepper offer a free, online, secure Case Tracker to all of our clients. This allows clients to check on the progress of their case day or night to see what stage they are at and helps put your mind at ease.

For more information about the conveyancing process or our frequently asked questions then visit our website or give us a call on 01623 45 11 11.

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Beginners Guides, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Declaration of Trust, First Time Buyers, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

First time buyer

 

Moving in with your partner or buying a house together is an exciting time and there is a lot to think about. But as well as deciding which side of the bed you’re sleeping on and choosing between vanilla mist and coffee dream for the living room walls, you need to think about something much more important. It may not be something you want to think about at the time, but what would happen if your relationship breaks down?

Things to think about in case you break up…

  • The contributions each of you are making towards the purchase of the property. Are you contributing the same or is one party contributing more? Would the person contributing more want their full share back if you split up?
  • Are you both going to have an equal share in the property or is one of you going to have greater contribution? Are you happy to own more or less of the property?
  • Are there children involved or could there be children in the future?
  • Is the property going to be purchased in your sole name for mortgage purposes even though you could both actually be contributing equally?
  • What would happen to the property in the event either of you should die?

What does joint tenants and tenants in common mean?

When purchasing your property you can own the property as joint tenants or tenants in common. Joint tenants means that in the event one of you dies the remaining share will automatically pass to the other partner. Tenants in common means that if one of you should die your share will pass to whoever you nominate in your Will.

The Bank of Mum and Dad

It’s very important to think about where your deposit is coming from. Are you going to be receiving a gift from your parents or other family member towards the deposit? That parent might be happy giving that gift to you but they may want some formal protection that the gift amount will go back to you if you sell the house in the future as a result of you breaking up. Giving some thought to the above at this early stage can avoid problems in the future. When purchasing your property your Conveyancer can draft a legal document called a Declaration of Trust to give you piece of mind, then if there is a dispute in the future and emotions are running high, what will happen with the property and the equity in it, is clearly set out.

Get in touch – we’re happy to help

For more information about the Conveyancing process and protection for your money through a declaration of trust, simply call one of our specialist team on 01623 45 11 11. For other helpful information visit our website. 

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Commercial, commercial property, Lease    No Comments

I often get asked about VAT on commercial properties. Commercial properties are exempt from VAT however this exemption can be waived.

It is important for a tenant to check at the early stages of the lease negotiations as to whether or not VAT  is payable. If it is then VAT at the appropriate rate will be payable on top of the rent. If the tenant is registered for VAT this is not much of an issue it will just effect cash flow in that the tenant will have to pay the VAT out and then reclaim the VAT payment back. The problem is when the tenant is not VAT registered as they will pay VAT on the rent and will not be able to claim it back.

There is then the additional problem in that even if VAT is not payable when you initially tkae on the lease it could become payable during the term of the lease as the landlord can opt to charge VAT on the property at any time.

Is there anything the tenant can do?

Yes. In the initial negotiations if VAT is payable and the tenant is not VAT registered they can try and negotiate a lower rent

If the VAT  is not payable at the start of the lease and the tenant wants to ensure that this remains the same throughout the term of the lease, then the tenant can try and  negotiate that a clause be included in the lease to state that during the term the landlord will not opt to charge VAT.

Any landlord realistically will wish to avoid both of the options above this is why it is important for a tenant at the early stages of negotiations to instruct a solicitor so that the tenant is aware of all the options available to them and  to ensure that they negotiate the best rental terms.

If you are a tenant and are thinking of taking on a lease please feel free to call me on 01623 663244 and I would be happy to assist with any enquires.

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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Change solicitor, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, DIY Conveyancing, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, sale, searches, signing contracts    No Comments

House with key icon

So, your Conveyancer keeps twittering on about ‘exchanging’ and ‘completing’ but, what is exchange? What happens on completion?  Let’s face it all you want to know is when you get your keys right?  So what are we actually talking about?

Exchange

When your Conveyancer talks about exchange they are referring to the legal ‘exchange of contracts’. In simple terms this procedure legally secures the purchase or sale. It is called an exchange because each Conveyancer has one signed copy of the contract which they exchange with each other. Both Conveyancers agree to the terms in the contract verbally over the phone and confirm the date of legal completion. Your Conveyancer is legally obliged to send to the sellers Conveyancer your 10% deposit at this stage, although in practice this rarely happens and is just held by your Conveyancers on a promise it will be sent with the rest of the purchase monies on completion. Your Conveyancer may call you to get your verbal authority to exchange for you on the day and afterwards you will need to make sure that your buildings insurance for your new property is in place from the date you move in. Make sure that you are absolutely sure before you exchange contracts as if you fail to ‘complete’ after you have exchanged contracts you will lose your 10% deposit.

Completion

This is the day you have been waiting for. It’s the day you get your keys. On the day of completion (or generally the day before) your Conveyancer will have received the money from your lender if you are having a mortgage and will send this money plus any other money due from you to your seller’s Conveyancers by way of a telegraphic bank transfer. This transfer can take anything from a few minutes to a few hours to reach the seller’s Conveyancers bank account. Once they have received the money then completion is deemed to have taken place and usually keys can be released to you at your estate agent, or from the seller directly, soon after. However the contract will often state that the sellers can take until 2pm to move out and arrange for a key hand over if they need more time.

The final part…

While you’re unpacking we carry on working on your file and will pay stamp duty and then apply to the Land Registry to transfer the property in your name. It might be a few weeks until you hear from us again when we send you the deeds to your new home.

Need help with your conveyancing?

If you would like a conveyancing quote, more information or to see our frequently asked questions then please visit our website or call 01623 45 11 11 and speak to one of our experienced team.

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