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New Build Property Q&A with Richard Thornton

Richard Thornton
Key Individual: Richard Thornton
Direct Dial: 02920 867111
Richard Thornton is a Senior Associate of the firm and is a vastly experienced new build conveyancing specialist. Richard adheres to the strict deadlines imposed by developers, has many retained buy-to-let clients and is one of the most experienced conveyancers in the UK in dealing with the Help to Buy Wales and England government schemes. Richard receives excellent feedback from his clients on both our facebook and google review pages.

Buying a new build requires additional legal paperwork with regards to the plans relating to whether the property complies with planning and building regulations and if the contract sets out everything that the builder has agreed to do. Recognising the need for a different approach when purchasing a new build property, Philip has developed fast, efficient teams of new build specialists in each of our branches as timescales for exchange of contracts and completion are required.

It is very likely that we will have already represented a client purchasing on your particular development, meaning we have the necessary knowledge to complete your case quickly and efficiently.

Buying a new-build home requires additional legal preparation. Time is of the essence in any purchase transaction, but with a new build property, if you do have to exchange within 21 or 28 days, then you need someone you can trust to get the job done on time.

When purchasing a new build, there are additional legal issues which need to be checked, such as: planning permission, rights of drainage and water supply, as well as rights to use all pipes and cables to the property.

Solicitors must establish whether the plans reflect what is registered at the land registry and ascertain whether the property complies with all of the planning and building regulation requirements.

In addition, the solicitor must ensure that the contract sets out everything that the builder has agreed to do, for example: installing additional sockets, laying carpets or landscaping. Any additional enquiries you wish to raise with regards to your particular plot (property) will be dealt with swiftly without delay.

We work with developers and developer’ solicitors to carry out all the necessary enquiries and searches for an entire development well in advance of a buyer. This means we are ready to go when you are! Instruct us and we can prepare the necessary paperwork immediately with answers to questions you haven’t even asked.

Speeding Up the New Build Conveyancing Process

(Q) Richard, you must be asked this on a regular basis, but how long would it take for a potential purchaser of a new build property to have their conveyancing process completed? Also is there anything that can be done by potential purchasers to speed up their process?

(A) When completing a new build transaction there are strict timeline requirements that exist between the point of instruction and the exchange of contracts. The timescale is typically 28 days, followed by legal completion being finalised at a later date, depending on when the properties are due to be built.

There are ways in which purchasers can avoid delays and ultimately speed up their transaction time. When moving home we completely understand that it can be a stressful time added onto your busy lives. There are a few simple steps I would like to discuss that can reduce the overall transaction time.

It is important that once an instruction form is received that it is completed and returned to us, so we can proceed with the process.

In addition to purchasing your new build property, if you are also selling your own property we require that The Law Society Property Information Form is completed and returned immediately. This can sometimes shave weeks off the overall transaction time.
Once we receive the form we can highlight any potential problems that could be present i.e. obtaining management packs if the property is leasehold, lack of planning permission that may cause issues, gaining gas / FENSA / electrical certificates etc.
Due to the nature of conveyancing, there are some issues which can make it difficult or impossible for us to control. This can delay the time it takes to complete a transaction. Some of these points include;
  • Incorrect details on the mortgage application.
  • Time taken transferring funds to solicitors.
  • Not declaring where funds are coming from i.e. gifted deposits.
  • Part of the chain pulling out.
  • Delays for local authority searches.
  • Different parties in the chain wishing to follow different timescales.
  • Mortgage affordability interviews taking longer.
  • Delays during the completion of mortgage valuations.
  • Not having signed documentation returned on time.
As a company we work with all major developers, by doing so we can complete the process quickly and efficiently. We have close relationships with these developers which helps the transaction complete smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Developers We Work With

Barratt Homes
Cardiff Pointe
Charles Church
Taylor Wimpey
The Retreat (Llandaff) Limited
Waterstone Homes

Want to find out more?

Get in touch with our specialist new build conveyancing team – whether you are simply considering buying a new build property or are ready to buy – we will be able to help and advise you.

Call a member of the team on 02920 404038 or email us at

A new home…..a new start……

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