The current owner looks to have installed inappropriate new windows on the flat in Coniston which I think might infringe local conservation area rules
A property solicitor will carry out searches find out if the property is located within a designated conservation area, and if so, whether any modifications have appropriate consents from the South Lakeland authority.
Should no necessary permissions be provided the solicitor will advise you of the best alternative e.g. getting an indemnity insurance or obtaining retrospective approval from South Lakeland planning authority.
Is the buyer or seller responsible for the searches?>
It is you, as the buyer, who is responsible for checking that all is well with the property you are buying. This is why your conveyancing solicitor will order a set of standard searches (Local Authority, Water and Drainage, Environmental, and Chancel Repair – these are also the searches requited by your mortgage lender), plus additional searches dependent on the property, recommendations from the surveyor in the survey report, and the location and history of the area.
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Will the Coniston conveyancing solicitor tell me about the cost of the council tax on a Band F apartment before exchanging contracts?
The lawyer will consult with the South Lakeland local authority to ascertain the current council tax band and rates, which will then be written in the conveyancing report on title. Council tax rates for properties in Coniston are detailed on the South Lakeland council site. Currently on 05 February 2013 the rates are:
- Band A - £1,044.00
- Band B - £1,218.00
- Band C - £1,392.00
- Band D - £1,566.00
- Band E - £1,915.00
- Band F - £2,263.00
- Band G - £2,611.00
- Band H - £3,133.00
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.
How much does my conveyancing searches cost?
With a Homeward Legal solicitor, a purchase conveyancing client expected to pay no more than £249 for a standard bundle of searches. Searches are disbursements, and will not be included in the quoted conveyancing fees.