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?
How early should we get a solicitor?
If you use a firm offering a 'no move, no fee' guarantee, the earlier in the process you can instruct a firm, the better, as there are several tasks that can begin very early in the process. Instructing your solicitor earlier for a purchase means that your offer may be taken more seriously if you already have a solicitor instructed, or, if you are selling a property, documents can be prepared earlier, considerably accelerating the whole process.
Should I organize a private purchase of items on the Fixtures and Fittings form?
This would be very unwise as the Fixtures and Fittings Form (TA10) forms part of the contract, and it lists all the items that the seller is planning to leave at the property with an agreed price for anything they want money for.
To try to organise a private sale outside of this clear and controlled process may result in difficulties later on in the process, which is precisely why this form is in place. If you want something to remain that’s not listed on the Fixtures and Fittings Form, raise a query through your solicitor so that negotiations may be formally carried out.
Worried about what your responsibilities are in the legal side of your move? Let Homeward Legal help with their experience and low fixed fees. Call our team now on 0800 038 6699.
The home I’m buying has been empty for two years; what questions should I be asking the solicitor, the estate agent, and the surveyor?
If a home has been empty for a considerable period (such as the two years mentioned here), there’s usually a reason for it. There is estimated to be around a quarter of a million properties in the country that have been empty for more than 6 months.
The primary reason is that the owner hasn’t the funds to renovate the property, or they’ve started gutting the place and run out of money to take it further, or perhaps there’s been a significant problem (e.g. fire or flood are common instances). Most likely, these properties will come up at auction.
Your estate agent will be aware of its history if the property is on their books, so you can find out a lot from them, the council will have an empty property officer, and the Land Registry will have information on the deeds. As far as the solicitor is concerned, they will establish the position on the property as part of the conveyancing, while the surveyor will have experience of checking out such properties, with the advice that you order a Building Survey (the most detailed of the options) to check out its structural integrity. Note that mortgage lenders will be more reluctant to offer a loan on such homes.
Ultimately, the ball is in your court and, if you want to pursue buying such a property, you need to be prepared to do the research, which can take up a lot of time.
The moving process can be bewildering and stressful. Let Homeward Legal look after the legal side of things for you and we'll guide you through the process from start to end. Call 0800 038 6699 to find out more.
What is stamp duty and land transaction tax?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a proportion of the final sale price of a property payable to HMRC by the buyer. The current trigger threshold is for any property priced at £125,000 or over (unless you’re a first-time buyer, in which case you pay less or no tax for properties priced at less than £500,000). Your solicitor will handle the transfer of the tax as part of the final tasks on your conveyancing.
In Scotland, buyers have to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and, in Wales, the Land Transaction Tax is triggered at properties priced over £180,000.
In all cases, the amount payable is based on a sliding scale as the price goes up as a proportion of that range added together than an overall flat tax amount or percentage. So, the higher the price goes up, the greater the amount of tax you have to pay.