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

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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

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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

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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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Beginners Guides, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, DIY Conveyancing, Do your own conveyancing, drainage search, environmental search, First Time Buyers, full structural survey, Property Market, property searches, Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

Clip Board

Solicitors like Latin. Conveyancing Solicitors like one Latin phrase in particular, CAVEAT EMPTORThis means “Let the Buyer Beware!”

In English Law it is the responsibility of a purchaser to ascertain whether the property is structurally sound, whether there are any physical defects and also whether there are any legal issues. This means your seller is not necessarily legally obligated to reveal defects in the property.

Searches on the property you are buying

Searches are investigations that your Conveyancer carries out as part of their Conveyancing work.  They send a standard list of questions to certain authorities in order to obtain information about the property. The searches most commonly undertaken are:

Local Authority Search which gives information such as whether there have been any planning applications or building regulations applied for the property.  This can indicate whether the works done to the property were undertaken in accordance with statutory regulation.

A Water & Drainage Search shows whether the property is connected to proper drainage and a water supply.

Environmental Reports indicate whether the property is at risk of contamination, flooding, subsidence and other environmental factors.

A Mining Search may be required depending on the property’s location. You may need to have a coal, tin or some other kind of mining report undertaken to check that the property has not been adversely affected by past mining activities.

Surveys

A Survey must be carried out by a surveyor.  It is not generally a legal requirement but is very much recommended.  A surveyor can check that the property is structurally sound, whether there are any defects and even give your Conveyancer some hints as to whether they need to look into a legal matter further. A surveyor will visit the property and see it physically, in person. Remember although a Survey is not a legal requirement, because of the Buyer Beware rule if you find something wrong with the property after completion, you’re stuck with fixing it yourself.

At Fidler & Pepper Solicitors we have our own search company so we can run the searches quickly alongside our conveyancing which makes the process much easier.

Get in touch – we can help or provide you with a quote

Take a look at our website if you would like a conveyancing quote, need more information or want to see our  frequently asked questions. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced team please call 01623 45 11 11.

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Uncategorized    No Comments
auction hammer
If you are planning to sell a commercial property I suggest that you instruct your solicitor to prepare the auction pack as soon as possible. The more time that buyers have to view all the document then it my opinion it is more likely  that the property will sell. An auction pack will normally include the following:-
1. the title documents- we will get these from the land registry and they show the plan of the property being sold and confirm the name of the owner, if there is a mortgage on such etc. If there is a mortgage a redemption statement will be required to confirm what monies are required to clear the mortgage as the property will need to be sold free of any legal charge;
2. CPSE replies (commercial property standard enquiries) these are a list of questions that provide potential buyers with important information about the property such as boundaries and maintenance,  planning, environmental matters.  The issues that seem to cause the most difficulty for sellers are planning and evidence of planning permission;   VAT and capital allowances. It is important for the buyer to know whether VAT is payable on the purchase price. Further a buyer may be wanting to claim capital allowances and needs information from the seller to assess such.
3. Searches ,  when a property is being placed into auction I would advise the seller to provide as much information as possible to prospective buyers and this includes providing searches. I would also suggest that the seller request that the buyer pays back to them the cost of the searches as part of the auction contract.
4. If the property is subject to tenancies/leases copies of the tenancies/leases will need to be provided and referred to in the contract so that any buyer knows that the property is not being sold with vacant possession,  further details of the rents paid and whether there are any rent arrears will be required.
I have lots of experience in dealing with commercial properties being sold at auction and would be happy to provide you with a fixed fee quote for the work.
Please feel free to call me on 01623 448302 or email me on climb@fidler.co.uk
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Beginners Guides, Buy to let, Change conveyancer, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Deposit, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, Stamp duty    No Comments

hollow-out-alphabet-colored

We know that moving house can be a stressful time and there is a lot of information to take in and understand. Our experienced conveyancers have pulled together a quick A-Z reference guide of the most common conveyancing terms to help you through the process.

A-AGREEMENT

The legal document you sign to agree to sell or buy the house. But do not worry nothing is set in stone until Exchange of Contracts. See below.

B-BREACH OF CONTRACT

Is if either party pulls out once Contracts have been exchanged.

C-COMPLETION DATE

The day you move out of your old home and get the keys to your new one!

D-DEPOSIT

This is usually 10% of the purchase price, which we require to be paid to us to Exchange Contracts.

E-EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS

This is the day you DO NOT look back as you are legally tied into the deal!

F-FIXTURES AND FITTINGS FORMS

A list of things the seller has agreed to leave you.

G-GAZUMPING

Where another buyer puts a higher offer in than yours.

H-HOME BUYERS REPORT

A Survey that we would strongly advise you have carried out on the property. BUYER BEWARE!

I-INDEX MAP SEARCH

This is a search carried out to see if a property is registered at the Land Registry.

J-JOINT TENANTS

Means your share in the Property if you passed away would automatically pass to the surviving owner.

K-KNOW HOW

This is the trust you can put in us to know how to do the job.

L-LAND REGISTRY OFFICE COPIES

These are your deeds showing your ownership of the property and are held electronically by HM Land Registry.

M-MORTGAGE DEED

The document you sign to confirm you will pay your mortgage payments to the mortgage company during the term of your mortgage.

N-NEGATIVE EQUITY

When the amount you owe on your mortgage exceeds the value of the Property.

O-OCCUPIERS CONSENT

The signing of a Deed by a person living in the property who is not the owner confirming that they will move out on completion of a sale or if the mortgage company takes possession of the property.

 P-PROPERTY INFORMATION FORM

The document the seller fills in which asks lots of questions about the property, such as boundaries, alterations to the property, legal rights, utilities details.

Q-QUASI EASEMENT

Is a general legal right over land, it could be something which is used for the benefit of the property, such as right of way, drainage etc.

R-REDEMPTION FIGURE

The amount owed on your existing mortgage.

S-STAMP DUTY

Tax which has to be paid to the Inland Revenue on the purchase of a property.

T-TRANSFER DEED

The document which is sent to the Land Registry on completion and registers the property in your names.

U-UNILATERAL NOTICE

Where someone else has registered an interest on the title deeds to your property.

V-VENDOR

Another term used for the seller.

W-WAYLEAVE AGREEMENT

A deed entered into by Service Providers to install piping or cabling over or under the property for your use of electricity, water etc,

X-MARKS THE SPOT

We always mark where we require you to sign deeds and documents with an X.

Y-YOU

As our client YOU are important to us and we will ensure we do our very best.

Z-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Sleep easy while we make Conveyancing a stress free experience for you!

If you would like a conveyancing quote please call 01623 45 11 11 or visit our website for more information. Have a look at our frequently asked conveyancing questions or to see a guide to how the conveyancing process works.

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