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.
How much can the cost of my conveyancing searches be?
With Homeward Legal's conveyancing service, clients are charged at most £249 for a standard bundle of searches. Conveyancing searches are paid out to a 3rd party.
What is the council tax on a Thirties converted Band F property in South Sutton?
You should be contain your property's band in the title report. The latest council tax charges for properties in South Sutton are detailed at the Sutton council website. Currently (09 August 2012) rates are:
- Band A - £965.00
- Band B - £1,126.00
- Band C - £1,287.00
- Band D - £1,448.00
- Band E - £1,769.00
- Band F - £2,091.00
- Band G - £2,413.00
- Band H - £2,895.00
May my conveyancing quote take into account any hidden costs?
Regrettably, sellers need to be watchful for extra costs hidden in a quote's terms and conditions. Homeward Legal will never charge any hidden fees. Be aware that some solicitors' firms will give a low estimate, not an accurate quote, which they will not be bound to.
We are buying on a ex-industrial use land. What should we do regarding rubidium (Rb) topsoil contamination?
With the history of industry in parts of South Sutton, topsoil contamination is difficult to avoid. Environment search results will factor contaminants, including metals and others such as hazardous gases.