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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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Barratt Homes, Case Tracker, Change conveyancer, Change solicitor, Contract, conveyancer, Conveyancing, Conveyancing Quote, Do your own conveyancing, First Time Buyers, help to buy, help to buy ISA, House Prices, management companies, Property, Property Market, Property Report, signing contracts, Uncategorized    No Comments

When Would You Need To Pay A Management Company?

Some properties may have extra land surrounding them, such as a shared access, a park or just a simple piece of additional green land, which makes the surrounding area look more attractive. These areas are often maintained by Management Companies and you may be asked to pay a fee to help look after these areas. When you are buying or selling a property we may need to do some extra legal work, there may be some extra fees and delays to get this information in order.

Who Is Responsible?

The question which you may not always consider is who is going to be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this extra piece of land? The local authorities are reluctant to carry this out as they are already responsible for the upkeep of most roads and public spaces and therefore developers often outsource this responsibility and the cost to Management Companies.

The cost of the administration of these Companies and the works they have to carry out in order to maintain these extra pieces of land are usually shared between all the owners of the properties who use or benefit from these additional areas of land. This is usually referred to in the deeds of your property as a “rent charge”, “service charge” or an “estate rent” is another term used.

How Do You Find Out If you Have To Pay Extra Charges?

Often these extra charges will not come to light until your Solicitor is sent the deeds to the property, which could be a few weeks into the sale or purchase. The Solicitor acting for you and the Management Company may charge you extra fees for carrying out the additional work involved in the Conveyancing process and also after you’ve completed your sale or purchase. Your Solicitor will be working hard to get the right information from the Management Company as without this it can cause you delays.

Be Informed – Ask Questions And Give Information

If you’re buying – make sure you ask the current owner or the estate agents if there is any communal land which they pay extra fees to a Management Company for. This will then avoid any problems along the way of purchasing a new property.

If you’re selling – give this information to the buyer and estate agents. Also, get in touch with the Management Company as soon as the sale is agreed to pay for the Management Pack, which answers a list of queries your buyer’s Solicitors will need to know in order to avoid any delays.

Get In Touch

We have an experienced and specialist Conveyancing team used to dealing with all of the bit and bobs that happen in the Conveyancing process. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’d like a quote for moving house then visit www.fidler.co.uk or call us 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, 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

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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

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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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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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