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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

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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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