Is there a risk that our purchase may be gazumped?
Gazumping arises when an offer is accepted but then rejected by the seller, in preference to a higher offer. Though gazumping is uncommon when property prices are falling, there is still a danger. Consider instructing your property solicitor early, and even before acceptance of an offer to reduce the chance of your offer being gazumped.
What is the council tax on a Forties terraced Band B home in Tewkesbury?
You will be given detail on the houses council tax band as part of the report on title. Council tax charges for Tewkesbury are tabled on the Tewkesbury local authority site. Currently (31 October 2012) band rates are:
- Band A - £957.00
- Band B - £1,117.00
- Band C - £1,276.00
- Band D - £1,436.00
- Band E - £1,755.00
- Band F - £2,074.00
- Band G - £2,393.00
- Band H - £2,872.00
We are buying in Tewkesbury on a recently-developed ex-industrial site. Could the soil be contaminated by industrial waste like lead (Pb)?
Soil contamination is tested regularly. Other sources of contaminated land include groundwater contaminants like petrol.
The survey revealed that no planning consent was obtained for an extension: What are the issues I’ll face?
The chartered surveyor inspecting the property will check any extensions or works that have occurred and highlight any concerns for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor, who will make enquiries with the local authority to establish whether the consents and building regulations are in place.
If the building regulations agreement is not in place, the vendor is not legally allowed to sell the property until they are, since the title deeds cannot be transferred to your ownership. If building requiring planning consent is present at the property but without proof of consent approval, the local authority might be willing to accept a retrospective approval, although this could take a long time, and, even then, they may instruct you, as the new owner, to return the building to its former state, which could be very costly.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the most appropriate course of action to take, including whether the retrospective planning or the reversal of building works can be renegotiated from the agreed sale price.
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.