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 UK Property Solicitors – Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

When does the buyer have to hand over his payment?

The first part of the payment is the deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price, which is paid when the contracts are exchanged. The deposit may sometimes be deemed unnecessary by the seller and contracts can be exchanged with a nil deposit. In either case, both parties decide upon a completion date at which time the balance due is paid to the seller. If the payment to complete the transaction is delayed, interest is incurred, usually at 4% above bank base rate. Payment to the seller, where appropriate, may be made by cheque or by electronic credit transfer directly from one bank account to another bank account. Often there is no payment made directly to the seller as the funds are used by the solicitor to finance the subsequent purchase of another property and will be retained by the solicitor to facilitate completion in due course.

 

What is a Title Deed?

This document attests to the ownership of a piece of land or property. You can also find other information related to the property in a title deed including mortgages, restrictive covenants and rights of way. Traditionally, title deeds are recorded on paper however modern title deeds are stored electronically by the Land Registry and are printed out as and when the need arises.

 

What is joint property ownership?

Two or more people can own property jointly in two different ways :-

 

As joint tenants

This is the most commonly practiced form of joint property ownership. When a couple decide to live together or get married, they normally own their property as joint tenants. In the event that one of the partners passes away, the surviving partner automatically gains sole ownership of the property, regardless of what is stated in the will.

As tenants in common

Under this arrangement the joint owners effectively own the property separately. This means that in the event that one of them passes away, the other does not automatically get the deceaseds share as in a joint tenancy. In this case, the will determines how the property is dealt with. In the absence of a will, intestacy rules require that the deceaseds share go to his next of kin as determined by law. In either case a grant of probate or letters of administration is required in order to be able to deal with the deceaseds share in the property. This is in contrast with a joint tenancy which only requires a death certificate.

 

What is a restrictive covenant?

A restrictive covenant is a stipulation included in title deeds which indicates a constraint regarding how the property can be used. In order to remove or amend a restrictive covenant it is necessary to make an application to the court alternatively it is possible to obtain a waiver from the person who benefits from the restrictive covenant.

 

What does the buyers solicitor do to earn his fees?

A solicitor must ensure that the person selling the property is the actual owner and has the right to sell. The solicitor must also investigate the property to make sure that the buyer knows all about the property and about anything that may affect the property in the future. The solicitor must deal with the documents and arrange for a contractual agreement and thereafter complete the sale and register the details at the land registry. Our solicitors are based outside the metropolitan areas, have low overheads and carry out many of the necessities online thereby enabling them to offer low cost conveyancing.

 

What is stamp duty?

A purchaser of a property is required to pay a government tax. The Chancellors coffers benefits from this tax, which is called stamp duty. Not all purchases are required to have stamp duty. Only purchases that go beyond a threshold are charged with stamp duty and the amount varies depending on the price and location of the property.

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