What searches are carried out and when?
On your purchase, searches are carried out at 2 stages: pre-exchange and pre-completion.
The pre-exchange searches undertaken are with public bodies e.g. the Local Authority, Drainage Authority, Environment Agency etc.
These searches reveal information about the property such as any planning restrictions, tree preservation orders, local developments which may affect the property, whether or not the property is connected to mains water and drainage.
Pre-completion searches are carried out at the Land Registry and Plymouth Land Charges Department.
Dependent on where a property is and any specific lender requirements, additional searches may be required e.g. Coal Mining, Flood Risk. We will advise you of any additional searches that are required.
Why do I need to show you evidence of my identity?
Identification will be needed in order to complete either a sale or a purchase. This is to comply with Money Laundering Regulations, which stipulate that we must obtain evidence of a client’s identity. We will need, for each owner of the property, a valid passport as well as a recent utility bill.
Are there any hidden costs?
No, there are no hidden costs associated with our conveyancing service. We will provide you with a fixed legal fee to cover the work. We will only ever increase the fee, if, during the transaction, something comes to light which was unforeseen. If this did happen, we would discuss this with you before incurring extra charges.
How long will it take to complete the conveyancing process on a sale/purchase?
It is very difficult to give an average timescale for a conveyancing transaction. We would usually expect a transaction to take between six to eight weeks to reach an exchange with another one to two weeks for completion, making a total of eight to ten weeks. However, much of the timing is outside of our control. You should not make any final arrangements for moving or give notice on any temporary accommodation until contracts have been exchanged and a definite completion date has been agreed.
Why do I need a solicitor to buy a property?
It is not compulsory to instruct a solicitor but it is advisable to do so. Buying a property is a complex procedure, there are many things that a solicitor will investigate when they are instructed by you, such as if there are any planning issues with the property, if any third party has a right of access over the land, or if there are any other matters that will affect your overall use of the property. A solicitor will help clarify and explain legal documents in the process of purchasing a property and will ensure you fully understand what you are agreeing to before purchasing.
What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a tax payable to HM Revenue & Customs when you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current threshold for stamp duty to be payable is £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties. Stamp duty land tax may also be payable if you lease a property. Click here to view a stamp duty calculator which will calculate this for you.
Do I pay stamp duty on a lease?
It is possible that you will have to pay stamp duty on a lease but it depends on how much you pay for the lease; how much rent is payable and how long it is for. Click here to view a stamp duty calculator which will calculate this for you.
Can my pension buy a property?
Yes, so long as it is a commercial pension and not a private pension. A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) would usually purchase the property but we would advise you to seek appropriate financial advice before making any decision to invest in this way.
How long will a purchase of a commercial property take?
Providing there are no unforeseen delays, a usual transaction for the purchase of a commercial property takes between 8-12 weeks to complete. It will depend on the type of property being purchased and if there are any complexities to the transaction. Some properties such as pubs and restaurants can be subject to licences, other properties can be subject to other matters which can result in the transaction taking longer than expected.
What is a freehold?
If you own the freehold it means that you own the building and the land it stands on, subject to any mortgage or charges over the property. The Land Registry records will show your name as the freehold proprietor of the property.