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When buying a property, whether it be for the first time or one of many, deeds to a property must be inspected properly to avoid any nasty surprises rearing their head further down the line. In this blog, Karen James, Partner in the Residential Conveyancing team, looks at just a few of the issues that purchasers could face should their conveyancer not deal with the transaction diligently:

Rent Charges

These are historic and are usually a small fee. Although the sums are small, should payment not be made, the flat/home can be seized. Although these are now rare and the majority will be extinct by 2037, the Rent charges Act 1977 failed to deal with estate rent charges.

Recently, somebody was charged £700.00 for estate rent charges by a housing association who sold him the Freehold. He already pays a service charge but now finds that he is liable for this also.

Restrictive Covenants

These are very common and can prohibit certain uses or limit alteration or development. These need to be flagged by solicitors to their clients so that they are aware and do not breach these. Additionally, solicitors need to consider any recent development and confirm that restrictive covenants have not been breached previously. Should this not be done, life changing sums can become due.

Recently, a young couple purchased their first home only to find they had to pay £45,000.00 due to the developer breaching restrictive covenants when building the home. Although insurance was purchased, this was invalid as the developer was made aware of the breach prior to the purchase of the policy.

Chancel Repair

This somewhat antique charge relates to repairs to the local church. Homeowners can be forced to pay large sums to the church, regardless of their faith or beliefs. At Ramsdens we offer Chancel Repair Insurance to cover this issue.

Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”)

This is a much more modern cause for concern. This is payable for new developments to local authorities. At Ramsdens we use search providers that flag these up for purchasers.

In one case, the builder had not followed the process properly and by the time the council issued a demand, a couple were living in the house. In this case the couple they were found to be liable for £5000.

Contact Us

If you are looking to move house in the new year and want expert advice before you proceed, then please speak to our Residential Conveyancing team by calling 0808 1685 643, fill out an online enquiry form, or email and we will be in touch.