Posted on 17th October 2014

Property Sellers are Facing Testing Questions

Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property

Debate surrounding the property market never abates, whether it is positive or negative in tone. But some things never change. When preparing to sell a property it is vital that the relevant paperwork is completed before a buyer comes knocking.

Paperwork relating to renovations or upgrades to a property should be kept in a safe place to avoid problems and delays when a home owner decides to sell. If the tradesperson didnt provide the right paperwork, the home owner should track down what they can before they get too far along the sale process.

Any work involving electricity or gas should be carried out by someone who is suitably qualified and they should certify that the work has been properly carried out in accordance with applicable regulations. New windows should have a FENSA certificate, which is sent in the post weeks or months after a job has been completed.

Internal modifications may need building regulations consent and, when the work is complete, a property owner will need a certificate confirming that those regulations have been satisfied, together with any planning permission, if that was also required.

It is down to the householder to make sure these documents are made available to prospective buyers, although it can mean having to be firm if a tradesperson treats such paperwork as of secondary importance, especially once the work is completed and they have been paid.

Old deeds and conveyancing documents may also be important.

Although most properties are now registered at the Land Registry and the owners title consists of an electronic entry held by the Land Registry, the old deeds may contain information that does not appear in the Land Registry records. For example, the Land Registry title may state that a property is subject to certain rights or undertakings - known as covenants - but the record may not include the details about what exactly those rights or covenants are, and the only way of finding out is by referring to the old deeds.

If the property owner does not have access to the right records and certificates, it is bound to cause delay and, in the worst case scenario, it could lead to a buyer backing out. It is vitally important that when deciding to put a property on the market, the home owner ensures that all relevant paperwork is to hand. Leaving such administrative tasks to the eleventh hour can be problematic and is unfair to the prospective buyer who will expect the basics to be in place.

For further information contact Martin Williamson 01325 341500