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It is still unclear how we might be able to progress house transactions as we face a number of issues.
PLANNING – it appears it is not possible to check the planning enforcement register which is necessary in any case where there is or might be an unauthorised development (e.g. extension / garden shed/office etc.).
LAND REGISTRY is only providing a very limited service (having been fully locked down until representations from the Law Society has caused them to provide a partial service.) As a result, they have now a backlog of applications which means their records are not necessarily up to date. This will have the effect of, at least, delaying matters. Further, it is not possible to request copy documents which are often essential to a transaction. This can prevent a sale/purchase proceeding.
LENDERS VALUATIONS – as access cannot be provided for a valuer to visit a property some lenders are accepting “drive by” valuations from their lenders. It is important that you check this with your lender as they will not allow drawdown of funds unless they have a satisfactory valuation.
SURVEYS – if access cannot be provided to the house in sale (and this is the norm) it would not be possible for a purchaser to carry out a pre contract survey. It is not possible to sign contracts etc. without purchaser having first completed their survey.
In light of these most unusual of circumstances it is possible that buyers and sellers solicitors might agree that contracts can issue and be exchanged in the usual way but SUBJECT TO the transaction not completing until certain conditions are met such as :
a) Once a lender has received a satisfactory valuation and/or
b) A satisfactory survey has been received and/or
c) Appropriate land registry documents have been received and are acceptable and/or
d) Clear planning searches are available
Such an agreement would allow transaction to progress pending the outstanding matters being resolved. If not satisfactorily resolved then the contract is at an end and the purchasers’ deposit would be refunded in full.
It is necessary, however, to be aware that this will involve solicitors in carrying out all the services relating to the sale or purchase perhaps right up to the point of completion but that the transaction might not complete for any of the above reasons.
As a result, it is necessary for us to advise you that should you wish to proceed as outlined above our fees and outlays will fall to be paid even in the event the transaction does not proceed. The fee to be charged would depend on how much of the normal conveyancing services had been delivered at the time the transaction was abandoned.
We will be happy to discuss these aspects of a conveyancing transaction with any prospective client.