Do you recommend taking action to bypass paying stamp duty to the Revenue?
Stamp duty is payable on property sold for over 125,000 pounds. We firmly advise against any stamp duty mitigation, as such schemes are expensive and the HMRC can review a scheme up to 6 years after a sale is completed .
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.
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.
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.
Should I accept an offer on my home if I haven’t found one to buy?
From your prospective buyer’s standpoint, they are not going to want to wait around for you to find somewhere to move to necessarily, meaning that they might drop out of the process to look for a property that is more readily available. However, you might want to have the discussion with your estate agent as to the best way to manage this as part of the process of putting your house on the market.
It’s not always going to be easy for everyone in the chain to have everything lined up from mortgage offers, sale price agreements, solicitors, surveys and so on. Therefore, you can be honest and tell your prospective buyer that, while you’re accepting the price, you haven’t completed your part in the chain; if they are unhappy with this, your other option is to consider a short-term rental or moving in with friends temporarily to protect the sale.
With our experienced solicitors at low, fixed-fee quotes with 'No Completion, No Fee' protection, Homeward Legal is in the best position to look after your conveyancing. Call us now on 0800 038 6699 to get started.