What specific things do I need to look out for if I’m buying a house on the coast?
With worsening weather and floods now becoming increasingly commonplace, with the media remarking on it in depth, buying a property that has a likelihood of flooding is a difficult decision to make. Not only is there the issue of cleaning up if it does flood, but insurance premiums will be much higher (and perhaps even prohibitive).
For homes in coastal areas, there is also the problem of coastal erosion, where some properties have been seen to literally fall into the sea.
However, the good news is that picking a home in a coastal region doesn’t automatically mean that it’s going to be subject to flooding or that it’s eventually going to slip into the sea. The searches ordered by your conveyancing solicitor will identify the level of risk associated with the property and, based on this, your solicitor may recommend that you take out specialist reports (e.g. from Landmark or other organisations) to get a more in-depth description of the risks and options. These are in addition to the standard set and will be charged to you as a disbursement at cost.
Your surveyor will also be able to identify evidence of previous floods and other problems during their inspection and provide advice in their report. If the problems are considered sufficiently severe, the surveyor may also note the specifics for further investigation by your conveyancing solicitor.
How do you determine stamp duty?
The Stamp Duty you will owe is based on the valuation. Stamp duty will be £12510 on a £417000 property (correct March 2013).
What will a Abercarn conveyancing solicitor advise if the home is in a conservation area in Caerphilly planning authority and has inappropriate doors fitted?
The local authority LLC1 searches carried out by a solicitor during the conveyancing process will identify whether the property is within a designated conservation area and evidence of planning consent for modifications will be requested. If no necessary permissions be provided, your solicitor will inform you of all options such as getting covered by an indemnity policy or getting retrospective consent.
How much effort is it to sort out a house in multiple occupancy (HMO)?
A house in multiple occupancy is defined as a property where at least three tenants live forming more than one household (one person or more living together), but share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
As a landlord of an HMO, your responsibilities include ensuring proper fire safety measures are in place, gas safety checks are completed annually, the electric system is checked every five years, there are sufficient bathroom and kitchen facilities for everyone to comfortably use, communal areas are kept clean and safe to use, and waste disposal is managed effectively (provision of bins and bags).
This requires more effort than having a property to rent to one household, and you may wish to employ a solicitor to sort out the legal side of things in the first instance, and a property management company to handle the administration, disputes, etc. on a daily basis.
Homeward Legal's experienced solicitors have completed many different transactions including properties for HMOs. Why not give us a quick call now on 0800 038 6699 to get your conveyancing under way today?
Can I agree a sale price without involving an estate agent or solicitor?
This depends on whether you have signed up with an estate agent and what agreement is already in place. While it might seem unfair if you’ve found a buyer outside of the estate agency process and you’re expected to still pay the agent their fees on sale, you should be very careful about stepping outside the agreed terms and conditions since this is legally binding and you may face penalties as a result. Therefore, if you want to follow this course, it’s worth checking the details with a solicitor to ensure you’re following the letter of the law.
If you’re not with an agent, you can publicise your house details with a number of publications and online sites (some are free, others require a fee), but you’ll need to do all the legwork and administration. For a legal standpoint, you don’t need to appoint a solicitor to perform the conveyancing, but it would be an unwise option to pursue as you will probably have neither the training or experience in some its complexities, and you won’t have the protective indemnity insurance in the event of a problem arising with your work.
What type of local checks as respects the risk of floods in Caerphilly will a Abercarn property lawyer actually conduct on a residential property we are hoping to buy?
A conveyancing solicitor will carry out standard protocol conveyancing and environmental searches that should include Abercarn flood risk data.