Why is it silly to buy a leasehold with less than 99 years to run?
In large part, if a leasehold drops below 90 years, it’s because mortgage companies will not be willing to lend money to purchase the leasehold. They will almost certainly have a stipulation on the length of the leasehold as part of their criteria for lending.
Most buyers are very aware of this and the trend is for an insistence of the sellers to provide an extension back up to the 99-year or 125-year thresholds before considering its purchase. Otherwise, even if you can finance it, eventually you’ll have to consider the legal cost of extending the lease yourself.
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.
Should I change the locks after I move in?
It would be a wise move to replace the locks upon moving into your new home, for peace of mind if nothing else. Although you may have received a number of copies of the keys, you may not know accurately whether that bunch constitutes every copy.
Although changing the locks will be an extra cost, you may find that buildings insurance may look on the move favourably, too.
Need guidance on what to expect from the conveyancing and legal work associated with your planned move? Call our team at Homeward Legal on 0800 038 6699 and they'll get you set up today.
Do I have to be present at viewings?
No, you don’t. It used to be the case that estate agencies were happy to leave the homeowner to show prospective buyers around. However, this has now been dispensed with because they won’t necessarily have the property skills and experience of dealing with and selling to a buyer. Therefore, the preference is usually that you should not be present in the home at all, although this can obviously be difficult with infirmity, working from home, and childcare.
The best option is to discuss this with the estate agent when you appoint them, so that you are aware of their expectations for each viewing, and they will be able to work around you if you have to be present in the home. Whether you are present or not, you should still take care not to be too messy and tidy up as much as possible prior to the viewing appointment, so that good impressions are maintained.
Our fixed fees and the 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee alongside our results-focused solicitors mean that Homeward Legal is your best choice for the conveyancing. Find out more on 0800 038 6699.
Can we get out of paying for stamp duty?
Stamp Duty Land Tax must be paid for houses over 125,000 pounds. We do not recommend any stamp duty reduction scheme. Such schemes are highly expensive and unreliable.