How soon should we speak to a conveyancing solicitor in Copthorne?
With few exceptions, the earlier in the process you can instruct a conveyancing firm, the better, as the legal work can start very early in the process. Early instruction of a firm can limit the risk of your transaction falling through.
Can I change the purpose of use for a purchase as part of the conveyancing procedure?
Putting in a planning request to change the use of part or all of a property is a straightforward process and you can deal directly with the local authority, which authorises plans and requests. However, tying it in with a planned purchase of a property has its own problems, since you don’t yet formally own the property, and the length of time to get through the planning process (with no guarantee of success) will need to be factored into the purchase duration, which the seller may not agree to.
We would advise you to either buy the property and then put in the planning request after completion (or exchange at the very earliest), or buy a property that’s already fit for your purposes. Or you might be lucky to find a property that already has the relevant planning consents in place.
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 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.
What will the council tax cost on a buy to let Band C flat in Copthorne?
Your council tax band will usually be set out within the report on title, and by the local authority. Correct charges for residents of Copthorne are set out online at the Crawley council site. At the time of writing (28 September 2012) band rates are:
- Band A - £992.00
- Band B - £1,158.00
- Band C - £1,323.00
- Band D - £1,488.00
- Band E - £1,819.00
- Band F - £2,150.00
- Band G - £2,480.00
- Band H - £2,976.00
Which local authority is responsible for Copthorne?
Copthorne is located in Crawley Borough Council, Town Hall, The Boulevard, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1UZ, contact: 01293 438 000
Will I need a chancel liability search if I am buying a Copthorne residence near a parsonage?
Potentially amounting to over £100,000 in repair cost obligations, chancel liability should be considered by buyers of Copthorne property likely to be affected. Liability has the potential to impact the value of a property, but insurance is available should an obligation to fund repairs be enforced. Church lands in this area include St. John the Evangelist.