Financial & Legal News

Help us help you! Important things to tell your conveyancer

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As conveyancers, we want to make your house-move hassle free and as smooth as possible.

When you first instruct us, we will ask you all sorts of questions about the property. We’re not being nosey – we just need to understand every aspect of your move to ensure you get what you want and expect.

Help us help you

We know you’re excited about your impending move but we also know it’s easy to forget things. You might not think to tell us something because you think it's not important for the house purchase. But by letting us know about the things that are important to you - such as parking a caravan or commercial vehicle or extending in the future – you could stop delays in the purchase process later on.

Doing some simple preparation before you instruct us can help us to help you.

Why are you buying the house?

Prepare for that first meeting or telephone call with us by jotting down all the information you think is relevant. Or you could tell us when you return your completed documents. When thinking about what is relevant, consider the following:

  • Why did you choose this house?
  • What aspects of the sale or purchase are particularly important to you?
  • What features of the house drew you to it?
  • What aspects of your life make this house so suitable for your lifestyle?

How are you funding the house purchase?

You also need to provide us with the details of how you are funding the sale. Consider the following:

  • Where is the deposit coming from?
  • How much of your own funds are you investing in the property? Are they in cash or investments?
  • Do you intend to take out a mortgage? If yes, have you got an offer? From which bank/building society? How much will the loan be?
  • Will a friend or family member be loaning any money to you? How much? When will the loan be made? When will it be repayable? Will they want a charge over the property to secure the loan?

Other financial issues to consider

Help to buy ISA: those saving for their first home who save money into a “Help to Buy: ISA” will receive a boost to their savings of 25% from the Government. (For example, for every £200 saved, the government will pay a bonus of £50.) The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000.

Gifted deposits or loans from family or third parties: if your parents or another third party is giving you the deposit to buy your new home, there are a number of issues you must consider. You cannot just ask your parents to transfer the money to your bank account. For example:

  • Money laundering laws: your conveyancer will need to ensure you comply with the money laundering laws.
  • There may also be mortgage restrictions relating to the gifted money. 
  • if your parents die or become bankrupt within 7 years of the gift, you might in certain circumstances have to pay back the money.
  • If a property is listed, there may be restrictions on what changes you can make to the house. You might also be limited in how you can decorate.

Other general issues to consider

Future extensions or alterations? If you intend to extend, you might need planning permission. In some cases, such permission can be hard – or impossible - to obtain. It is better to find out before you buy the property.

Keeping a commercial vehicle or caravan/boat at the property: the ownership papers (called “title deeds”) might restrict what you are allowed to park on your driveway.  You might own the property, but if the title deeds forbid you from doing something, your neighbours can take action to make you remove the boat/caravan/commercial vehicle.

Keeping anything other than a domestic pet at the property: again, title deeds might restrict you from keeping certain animals on the property or its land.

If you are buying the property to rent it out: when you borrow from a bank by taking out a mortgage to buy a house, banks will usually include a term that forbids you from renting out the property [without permission]. The banks have specific mortgage products that relate to buy-to-lets. It is important to choose the right product to ensure you can use the property in the way you intend.

Err on the side of caution and tell us

If in doubt about what you should tell the conveyancer, err on the side of giving us the information. If you don’t - and it turns out to be important - it could lead to delays in the process and in the worst cases, the sale or purchase falling through.


For more information about buying or selling a house, contact conveyancing experts 0161 785 3500

Further reading

Find out more about Help to Buy ISAs here

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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