The next edition of our FAQ series sees us advise a soon-to-be divorcee that’s been threatened with legal action if they don’t move out of the family home.
Q: My wife and I haven’t been getting on for some time now. Recently, we’ve been discussing divorce. I have just received a letter from the divorce solicitors saying that I have to start moving out of the marital home immediately or I’ll be taken to court.
I’m well aware that we’ll have to split up soon and sell the house as part of the divorce proceedings, but aren’t I entitled to stay in my house during the short term at least? In separation, who should move out? The house is as much mine as it is my wife’s and I’ve nowhere to live currently.
A: What you’re describing, moving out of the family home, is one of the first steps in progressing a divorce – and it’s certainly one of the most delicate issues you’ll face. But you’re right, in the short term you are entitled to stay in your home. More...
The next instalment in our FAQ series sees us advise a homebuyer who is in the process of buying a leasehold property, and has been surprised by unexpected costs.
Q: I am buying a leasehold property and understand that there are additional charges payable that were not on my initial quote. Is this correct and why is this?
A: Leasehold transactions often incur fees that are payable to the management company/landlord and your solicitor should have advised you of this. The fees that are payable are often unknown at the time that you would have received your initial quote as the fees come to light once contact is made with the management company later on in the transaction.
When you buy a leasehold property it is likely that you will have to serve notice on the landlord/management company on completion to confirm that you have purchased the property and/or mortgaged the property. There is nearly always a fee for this and the fee varies between management companies. There may also be other fees payable such a deed of covenant fee. Upon receipt of the management company information pack from the seller’s solicitors, your legal adviser should explain the fees to you. More...
Q: I have found a property that I really want to buy and my offer has been accepted. I was devastated however to find that the survey highlighted a couple of issues that need urgent attention such as a problem with damp. What should I do next?
A: Don't panic if it all seems like bad news. The survey is designed to highlight defects and there are some options open to you.
In the first instance you should consider obtaining a specialist contractor's estimate for the work needed to rectify the problem, e.g. contact a damp specialist. Your estate agent might be able to recommend someone and it might be worth obtaining a few quotes from different specialists.
You could use the estimates to try to renegotiate the purchase price with the seller. If there are major problems, your solicitor should inform your lender (if applicable) to ensure that the lender is happy to continue to lend the money. If the work will substantially improve the property you might want to split the cost with the seller. More...
The next in our FAQ blog series answers a home seller’s question on selling their leasehold property, as well as some other frequently asked questions related to leasehold ownership.
Q: I am selling a leasehold property and my solicitor has asked me to pay an additional £350 for the management pack. Is this correct? It seems wholly unfair that I have to pay this as an additional expense on top of the fees already payable especially when it wasn’t included in the estimate provided.
A: I will assume your property is a leasehold flat and not a house. Leasehold properties are run by management companies who are responsible for collecting ground rent and maintaining the building together with its common areas such as gardens and private estate roads.
A management pack is required when selling the property as it contains information detailing the expenditure for the building together with any arrears that may be due on completion. The management pack will also provide details of any past work carried out or any future works that may be required for the building ranging from new landscaping to painting the building or replacing the roof. Each unit will be responsible for a proportion of the cost and the managing pack will inform the buyer of their future liability. More...
In the latest post in our FAQ series, we answer a first-time buyer’s questions on stamp duty in the UK.
Q: I am a first-time buyer looking to purchase a house for £130,000 but with the new stamp duty reforms I am concerned that I can no longer afford a property in that price range as the stamp duty seems to have risen to 2%. Is that right?
A: Thank you for your query. Yes the stamp duty land tax has had a bit of a shake-up but it is generally to buyers’ benefit, especially for first time buyers where the purchase price is close to the threshold of a higher stamp duty rate. The new stamp duty thresholds are as follows:
0% up to £125,000
2% on £125,001 - £250,000
5% on £250,001 - £925,000
10% on £925,001 to £1.5 million
12% over £1.5 millionMore...