When you buy a property, whether it’s your first home or a buy-to-let investment, there are still many common misconceptions and questions we all face. We spoke to Poonam Umrania from Kidd Rapinet solicitors in Slough to get the facts behind the property fiction.
1. Buying a property is easier if you are a cash buyer. It’s not, we’re afraid! You still have to go through the same lengthy legal process as everyone else, especially if you are in a chain. It’s not as easy as just turning up with your money and getting your dream home!
2. Flats or leasehold properties don’t take that long to purchase. Again the same legal process has to take place. And in the case of flats or leasehold properties, the landlord/management pack has to be completed, which takes time. When a property has additional management companies involved then this can also add time, and fees, to the process.
If you are purchasing a flat as a buy to let, there is also a responsibility on you as landlord. To rent out a flat, you may need permission from the freeholder and/or managing agent. You must also ensure that the appropriate smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in place and that the electrics and boiler have been tested and checked yearly. Don’t forget there are strict rules relating to a tenant’s deposit you will need to abide by.
3. You will complete and move on a Friday. While Fridays used to be a more common day to move, it was more of a preference than a rule. Now, people are much more open to moving on any day of the week.
However, there are generally busy periods throughout the year. The Fridays before any long weekends are popular completion dates, and school holidays (Christmas, Easter and the long summer break) are obviously in demand.
4. There are delays in my chain and I don’t know who to chase. Your estate agent acts as the middleman for you and should get updates from everyone, so always contact them first if you are unsure. It’s their responsibility to keep you regularly informed, especially in the case of any delays or issues and where there is a lengthy chain involved.
5. The Stamp Duty is only calculated on my property’s value. The stamp duty guidelines actually state that £2,000 for items at the property should be included in the sale price, so the fixtures and fittings you are gaining from the property’s previous owner actually contribute to the amount of stamp duty you have to pay.
Don’t forget that as of 1st April 2016, any second home purchased will be subject to the 3% stamp duty surcharge. There is a tax implication for this if you pay an interest only mortgage, as you used to be able claim the interest back. However this will also soon change, so make sure to speak to your solicitors, financial advisors and accountants if you are unsure.
Kidd Rapinet, with offices in London, Buckinghamshire, the Thames Valley and Surrey, are a modern, forward-looking law firm with a strong combination of skills and resources, offering an extensive range of services to today’s individual and business clients. To find out more, visit their website