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Auctions, Beginners Guides, Boundary Disputes, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, First Time Buyers, flipping, full structural survey, help to buy, help to buy ISA, Property Auctions, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, Quicker conveyancing, restrictive covenants, searches, signing contracts    No Comments

When we talk about ‘flipping’ we’re not talking abut pancakes! We mean buying a fixer-upper to do up and ‘flip’  (do it up and sell it at a higher price to make a profit) to boost your savings. But it’s important to remember that you have a lot to think about before you go ahead and buy a property to ‘flip’. There may be some obstacles in your way…

Do You Need Planning Consent?

If you’re planning to extend then you should check before you buy that you can get the planning consent you need for the work you want to do.  Often small extensions and conservatories don’t need planning consent, but if some extension works have already been done or your planned extension is large then you will still require planning consent from the Local Authority.  It’s always best to check this before entering into any Contract, especially if your purchase is based on being able to extend. You should also think about the costs of applying for planning consent.

If the property is a listed building, a conservation area or in an area where development rights have been restricted, then there may be even more hoops to jump through!

Building Regulations – Do You Know What Needs Sign Off?

Structural work to a property needs to comply with building regulations. There are costs of getting your plans approved from the Local Authority and extra costs for building inspectors to sign off the work once it’s completed. You’ll also need a Completion Certificate which legally confirms that building regulations rules have been complied with. As well as extensions you also need a building regulations certificate of compliance for electrical installation, gas installations, new double glazing, removals of chimney breast, removals of internal (supporting) walls and re-roofing.

What Are Restrictive Covenants? 

Even if you have the planning consent and the building regulations you need, you could still be prevented from extending or altering the property under a Restrictive Covenant. A Covenant is a legal promise in the Deeds to the property which can be enforced by a developer, a council or even owners of neighboring properties.  A Covenant can apply to modern or very old properties.

Covenants can prevent new owners making any changes to the property and owners can be sued for doing something that breaches it. It’s common for there to be a Covenant about adding a new building or extending or altering any existing building on the property without the consent of the original developer. Failure to apply for consent under the Covenant could result in the owners being taken to court, being forced to pay a fine, having to return the property to its original state or delays selling the property. Your Conveyancer who will be able to tell you whether there is any risk of breaching a Covenant in the property.

If You Have Questions About ‘Flipping’, Don’t Get In A Flap – Get In Touch 

If you’re a first time ‘flipper’ or are thinking of buying a property that have a Restrictive Covenant, then we can help you. Simply call 01623 45 11 11. For more about our Conveyancing services or an instant quote visit our website.

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Auctions, Case Tracker, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, house buyers report and inspection, Property, Property Auctions, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches, purchase, searches, Stamp duty, survey    No Comments

There are a great number of benefits to buying a property at auction such as a quick completion time and often the chance of getting a property at a very cheap price. However, it’s essential that you think carefully about what will happen when buying an auction property. Make sure that you go in with all of the information you need and above all don’t get caught up in the excitement of the auction house!

There’s a lot of things to think about – make sure you do your homework!

Have you seen the property?

Don’t be tempted to make a purchase on a whim if it seems like a bargain. It is so important to view the property first and to also obtain a survey on the house to establish if there are any structural issues which could affect value or your ability to get a mortgage. There could also be a tenant occupying the property which may complicate matters for you, or the property could be located in an area which may make it difficult to sell or rent. Doing your homework first will help you to avoid problems later on.

Do you have the money?

If you succeed at the auction you will need to exchange contracts immediately and pay a deposit there and then. This is usually 10 per cent of the price of the property. You will also be required to complete the purchase within a time limit, usually around 4 weeks from the date of the auction. Once you have exchanged contacts, you are legally bound to buy the property and if you don’t complete within the stipulated period, you may lose your deposit. Be sure you have all your funds available and if you are buying with a mortgage, that you have at least your mortgage in principal in place before you attend the auction. A delay on any of your funds prove a costly mistake.

Have you read the legal pack and spoken to a specialist Conveyancer?

Each property at auction has a legal pack and this contains all the information you would obtain through your solicitor when completing the purchase of a property through the usual channels. You should obtain the legal pack before the auction and ask your Conveyancer to review it for you so they can highlight any difficult areas. This could include title issues and items revealed in the searches which may affect the value of the property and often small print which makes you responsible for the seller’s legal fees or other costs. Being aware of these issues before bidding on a property is critical!

If you want to go ahead – your Solicitor will contact the auctioneers to get the legal pack and give you a report on the contents for a fixed fee. If you then are successful at auction can be deducted from the full legal fee for purchasing of the property.

Get in touch – we’re here to help

If you are interested in purchasing a property at auction and want some legal advice simply call us on 01623 45 11 11 for further information and an instant quote.

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conveyancer, First Time Buyers, help to buy ISA, Property Market, property owner, Uncategorized, Wills    No Comments

Everything to do with moving house is stressful, right? Not necessarily!

Of course, moving is a busy time, and there are so many deadlines and things to organise – Finances, packing, post redirection, schools…the list goes on…

We can’t help with everything, but we can take the weight off your shoulders when it comes to the legal side of moving house.

Let us help you…

Our award-winning Conveyancing teams use the latest technology and their years of experience to sort out the legal side of things as efficiently and smoothly as possible; from searches, deposits and signing contracts, to exchange and final completion. What’s more using our text message alerts and password protected case tracking system, we’ll keep you in the loop 24 hours a day 7 days a week, with access to your whole file online.

We’re really proud that our Conveyancing service has been recognised in both local and national awards. These awards demonstrate our commitment to improving our processes, using technology to provide a quality service and showing that we receive positive client feedback. Check out Matt Slade, Head of our Conveyancing team (pictured above) after winning the LFS Conveyancing Firm of the Year award 2017 – East Midlands region.

We can help with Conveyancing AND getting your affairs in order 

Our teams are second to none when it comes to Conveyancing but you should also know that we have the Wills, Trusts and Probate specialists too. When people move house, they sometimes forget to change their Will and its vitally important you make sure its up to date.

Get a quote in seconds…

We’re forward thinking and progressive but were also a friendly local solicitors, established in the area since 1888.  We like to think we are the best of both worlds and that is why we have won a number of awards, gained some fantastic client feedback and have exciting plans for the future – watch this space!

Take a look at www.fidler.co.uk  or call us on 01623 45 11 11 to get a quote in seconds!

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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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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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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, 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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Buy to let, Commercial, commercial property, Conveyancing, Landlord, Property, property owner    No Comments

buy to let

 

With the increase in stamp duty on the horizon for residential buy to lets you might want to now consider investing in commercial property as buy to let. The benefits of buying as commercial buy to let over residential include the following:-

– generally commercial property generate higher rental income;

– a commercial lease provides the landlord with greater protection and swifter enforcement provisions;

– commercial tenants are generally required to meet the insurance costs of the property and also all of the repairs;

– the term for commercial leases are usually for longer avoiding the landlord agents fees for re marketing and also solicitors fees for drafting new leases;

– the rent reviews provide for the rent t remain the same or are upwards only

– it is possible to claim capital allowances on commercial properties

 

If you are thinking of buying a commercial property to let then please contact me on 01623 663244 or email climb@fidler.co.uk, I would be happy to assist  with the transaction.

 

 

 

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Conveyancing, Mortgages, Property, Property Market, property owner, Uncategorized    No Comments

Don’t worry this is not a blog about Engelbert Humperdink!, I just wanted to share some thoughts with you on the subject of equity release, as we have found in recent months that the number of client’s enquiring about equity release plans has increased quite significantly.

Equity release plans are a way for homeowners over the age of 55 to release some money on the basis that the loan is secured against their property and is only repayable upon sale of the property or in the event of death or leaving the property to go into permanent long term care.

equity release pic

The main type of equity release plan available is known as a lifetime mortgage. With a lifetime mortgage, you borrow a proportion of your home’s value. Interest is charged on the amount at a fixed rate which is compounded or ‘rolled up’ over the period of the loan, but nothing usually has to be paid back until you die or sell your home.   Lifetime mortgages allow you to retain full ownership of your property and offer a flexible way of releasing money in later life without the worry of meeting regular monthly repayments.  Most lifetime mortgages offer a no negative equity guarantee which means that the amount repayable under the plan will never be more than the amount the property is sold for.

Lifetime mortgages are not right for everybody.  The fact that a compounded interest rate is applied means that it is likely that by the time the loan is repayable the costs of doing so are three or four times higher than the original loan amount.  This will of course mean that the value of your estate could be substantially reduced which might not be your plan! Entering into a lifetime mortgage could also have implications on your eligibility to receive certain welfare benefits and could also affect your tax position.

Whilst it is possible to shop around and compare the different equity release plans available yourself, we would strongly advise you to consult an independent financial advisor to gather information on the various products available and to find the right plan to suit your needs.  Make sure that you enquire about all the fees that are involved with any products offered to you as you do not want to be caught off guard!

Once you have found the equity release plan that suits your needs and you are happy to proceed with it, you will be asked to provide the contact details of a solicitor to act on your behalf.  We would be happy to help and to provide you with a clear fixed fee quote for guiding you through the legal process culminating in the release of funds to you.  For further information feel free to contact our Mr Luke Rees on 01623 663246.

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commercial property, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Property, Property Market, property owner, Property Report, property searches    No Comments

Caveat emptor. An old Latin phrase well known to us property lawyers!  Roughly translated it means ‘Buyer beware!’.

In the modern world when everyday purchases of goods are heavily protected by wide ranging consumer laws, it is easy to overlook this long standing principle, but it is still very much in force when buying  land or property as demonstrated in the recent high profile case of Hardy vs Griffiths.

 

Forsale

The case involved the purchase of a property for £3.6 million.  The buyers proceeded to exchange of contracts (the point in the transaction when they legally committed to buy the property) without the benefit of reading the results of a building survey.

The survey actually highlighted that the property suffered from damp and rot.  On discovery of this the buyers attempted to pull out of the purchase on the basis that the state of repair of the house had been misrepresented to them in replies to enquiries  given by the seller.  The sellers issued court proceedings for breach of contract over the buyer’s refusal to continue with the purchase.

 

The court found that the sellers had not attempted to hide the damp and act fraudulently. The sellers simply answered the relevant question saying they were not aware of any damp or rot issues but that as it was an old property their reply could not be taken to be a warranty (a legal promise) as to the condition of the property.  The Court found in the sellers’ favour and ordered the buyers to pay the sellers the cost of the deposit agreed in the sum of £150,000 and damages for breach of contract of £210,000.

 

This high profile and rather expensive example serves to demonstrate that the rule of caveat emptor applies when purchasing property and land and that the buyer accepts the physical state of property at the time of exchanging contracts to buy it.  This not new law.   If you are purchasing property or land, the onus is very much on you to investigate, search and investigate some more so that it is clear exactly what you are buying!

 

For a fixed fee quote for acting on your behalf in any residential or commercial property or land transaction, call us on 01623 656200.

 

 

 

 

 

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