I’ve lost my gas/electrical certificates; will that stop me moving?
There is no legal imperative for you to provide either the gas or electrical safety certificates as the seller; you are required to provide a gas safety certificate on an annual basis, however, if you are planning on letting the property out. The Institution of Electrical Engineers recommends that an electrical certificate be updated at least every ten years or when the property is transferred to a new owner (every 5 years if you are letting the property out).
However, this usually means that this is the responsibility of the buyer with the onus on organising an inspection for a new certificate falling on them.
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Should I get my short lease extended before selling?
Buyers are becoming increasingly wary of buying leaseholds with less than 90 years to run because, first, the cost of increasing a leasehold is becoming far more expensive, and, second, mortgage companies are becoming increasingly reticent to lend money to buy leases that have dropped below the 80-year mark (indeed, this will be one of the criteria that they set to ensure their investment is protected).
As a result, buyers will often insist that the leasehold be extended back up to the 99-year or 125-year typical thresholds before going ahead and buying it. So, as the current leaseholder, you will almost certainly be expected to do the legal work required to extend the lease to a level that buyers will be happy with.
What do we need to calculate Stamp Duty Land Tax, and what will it be on a £879000 Dunstable residence?
Stamp Duty is calculated based on the house's value. On a £879000 house, stamp duty will be £35160.*
*Accurate as of 01/02/2013
The residence being purchased is on a ex-industrial site. Can the soil still be contaminated?
There are laws in place in order to manage topsoil contamination. Data on many contaminants, such as groundwater contaminants like organic compounds and acidic compounds, will be included in an environmental search.
What should I do about the transfer of ownership of the utility billing?
It is the responsibility of the former owners to inform the utilities firms (gas, electricity, water, etc.) that they are moving.
You should give your current suppliers at least 48 hours’ notice that you’re moving home and, when you leave your old property, you should take all the necessary readings and send them to your old supplier(s) along with your forwarding address, so that they can send you a final bill and sort out any credit you might be owed.
You should give your new utility suppliers at least 48 hours giving your personal details for the new property. When you move into your new property, you should take all the readings again and send them to the new suppliers so that they have a record of where to start the bills running.