If there are outstanding works approved in the planning consent, can I still use it?
Generally speaking, planning permission legally has to have an expiry date, which is usually for a period of three years from approval for the building work to start (and not necessarily complete, unless the consent has a suitable caveat).
This means that the consent is against the property and the intended construction rather than the person who made the application. As such, if the planning consent remains within the expiry period, the agreement is transferrable to the new owner of the property.
Your solicitor will be able to provide further advice, once enquiries with the local authority have been satisfactorily completed as part of the conveyancing.
I plan to purchase a converted chapel in Gayton. Will a chancel search be important?
Whichever Kinver parish in which you are buying, a property lawyer could recommend a chancel search. In Kinver's much older areas, chancel repair may be apportioned on the owners of a home where Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) may have not done so in the past. It is not safe to rely on the historical behaviour of the parish council alone as a guide.
If I’m renting out rooms in my house, do I need to appoint a solicitor?
No, you don’t, because there is no legal imperative for you to do so. However, it’s not as straightforward as simply leasing out a room to a renter because there are certain provisions that must be met in order to protect you as the renter and the person renting the room.
This depends on the room and where it is in the property, state of the plumbing, insurance, and a number of other factors. You’ll also need to draw up a tenancy agreement to ensure demarcation and rights for both parties. While you won’t necessarily need a solicitor involved, it’s worth contacting a letting agency who will have the experience and knowledge to ensure you have everything in place. Be aware that any advice you seek from professionals may come with a fee, so it would be worth shopping around first.
Should I list my property with more than one estate agent?
The choice is entirely up to you and your specific circumstances. Going with a sole agent is probably the cheapest option (although the reach to buyers is dependent on how many clients are on their books), while multiple agents will be more expensive (but will reach a broader client base).
If you’re looking for a quick sale or the market is rather sluggish, it makes sense to put your property on with a number of agents. If the market is buoyant, it makes more sense to place the property with a sole agent.
Whichever you choose, you should always check the terms and conditions so that you know what service you’re getting for your money and how much it will cost you once the home is sold. You should also understand if there are penalties should you decide to place the property with more or fewer agents later on during the agreement period.
What’s the difference between residential and commercial conveyancing?
In essence, there is very little difference between the tasks needed for residential conveyancing against commercial conveyancing. The real difference comes in the type of property and the purpose for which it is intended to be used.
The majority of residential transactions are freehold, whereas commercial transactions are almost exclusively leasehold, and commercial property conveyancing searches will tend to be more expensive because the structure and land will occupy a greater space on average than that for residential property.
Is there a benefit to going to auction over a standard estate agent sale?
The majority of homes sold via an estate agent will be in a reasonable condition and usually modernised, whereas auction properties will often require a lot of modernisation or structural work before it can be lived in. That’s not to say you can’t use either for your sale, of course, irrespective of the state of the property.
Whichever option you choose, you should line up a focused, proactive solicitor on a fixed-fee agreement protected by a ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee. You should appoint them as early as possible, too, so that the conveyancing work can start immediately – this is particularly important for auctions, as there is usually a four-week completion stipulation on its sale.
At Homeward Legal, we offer you’re the best quality service on all types of sale and purchase, including auctions, for competitively low fees protected by our 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee. Try our online quote calculator or call our team on 0800 038 6699.
How much is stamp duty and land transaction tax?
The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is based on a trigger threshold of £125,000, followed by a calculation of increasing percentages against the price bands, which are then added together:
- Less than £125,000 = 0%
- £125,000-£250,000 = 2%
- £250,000-£925,000 = 5%
- £925,000-£1,500,000 = 10%
- More than £1,500,000 = 12%
For example, a house bought for £450,000 will trigger SDLT at £12,500 (£0 for the first £125,000, £2,500 for the next £125,000, and £10,000 for the next £150,000 as the price falls in the first three bands).