Monthly Archives: November 2016

rented property issues

The rented property issues to know before signing tenancy agreements

Tenancy is subject to several issues.  Tenants have limited right on the flats they live in. Landlords get to make most rules that govern tenure. Most of these rules suit landlords rather than tenants. Tenants are the ones who live in these properties. Subjecting them to rules that they do not subscribe to is subjecting to them to slavery at the very place that they should feel comfortable and secure.  Inappropriate rules are just one of the many other rented property issues you need to know before conveyancing.

Tenants cannot manipulate immobile components of their homes to their advantage. Almost all landlords forbid modification of their properties. Sometimes a tenant wishes to change their showerheads from the obsolete ones to new ones that pour hot water. However, because their rights to changing immobile properties are limited, they will be unable to modify the shower heads. Even kitchen set-ups may not be impressive to tenants. Changing immobile properties such us showers and kitchen set-ups are forbidden by tenancy laws. Therefore, tenants have to put up with the conditions of their homes, whether they like it or not.

What kind of rented property issues may arise

Tenants must pay rents regularly and at specific times. Most landlords demand monthly payment of rent. A good number of people do not earn a steady income. Sometimes they go for long without earning anything. These people are highly inconvenienced with regular payments of rent. Failure to pay rent is subject to severe punitive measures. These range from extra charges to impromptu loss of tenancy.

Tenants are usually required to pay a deposit upon signing for tenancy. The deposit is generally equal to but separate from the rent. The deposit covers for depreciation of the unit occupied by the tenant. It also protects landlords from tenant’s inability to pay a months’ rent. The deposit should be refunded to the tenant upon signing out of the unit. However, this is never the case. Most landlords make up all sorts of excuses to keep the entire deposit or a significant portion of it. This is an inconvenience that tenants endure.

Tenants are required to leave the apartment cleaned when signing out of tenancy. The apartment must be cleaned, not by the tents themselves, but by a professional. It is the tenant’s responsibility to hire the professional cleaner. If the landlord thinks that the unit requires repainting, then he will coax the tenant into repainting it. It is ridiculous to have to clean a house you are leaving. It is also expensive. To make matters worse, this demand is usually never included in the tenancy agreement.

Tenanted properties do not have proper guidelines regulating the use of common areas such as lifts and lobbies. The properties are occupied by many people from diverse backgrounds. Everyone has his own ideas about how to use common area. Some use these areas to the disadvantage of others. This results into a conflict between tenants.

Most tenanted properties are managed by real estate agents. These agents work for money. They have little regard to tenants’ interests. Complaints put forward by tenants are easily ignored by the agents.

vacant possession

What Vacant Possession really means?

Vacant possession is a term commonly used when selling or purchasing a piece of property. It is a legal obligation of the relevant party to ensure that the property is in a proper state that is fit to be occupied. “Vacant possession” otherwise known as VP among some legal circles is present to ensure that the person coming to occupy or possess a piece of property has full freedom to do whatever he/she wishes to do with the property. Any impediment left by the previous tenant or owner of the property is deemed a violation of vacant possession.

There however always rises cases where one cannot clearly define the term “vacant.” For instance, in certain cases, even the smallest pieces of rubbish could pass off as a violation of vacant possession. In other courts rubbish no matter the amount would not qualify.

Cases where vacant possession is given

The word “vacant” is still not a clearly defined term so there has to be a set of rules as to when vacant possession can be given. Here are some of the main circumstances where vacant possession is given:

  • When a piece of property is sold or a lease is granted
  • When a tenant vacates
  • When a tenant vacates the property or breaks the contract early

It is important to note that vacant possession is required for a purchaser to actually complete the transaction. If vacant possession is not given, then the purchaser has the right to settle the matter in a court of law. Here he would be required to prove that the previous occupier or owner of the property did not entirely “vacate” the premises.

What “vacant possession” really means

For vacant possession, the property must first be empty of all items or what in legal terms is known as chattels. Chattels are any items that might be deemed to impede the full occupation of the property or in any way curtail the purchaser’s right to enjoy the property fully. Chattels can include pictures, boxes, furniture, equipment and all sorts of goods.

Chattels can also include any form of rubbish that is left on the property. In fact, most of the cases involving vacant possession revolve around the issue of rubbish. As mentioned earlier the nature and the amount of rubbish that constitutes a violation of vacant possession is not clearly defined. It is up to the plaintiff to prove that the rubbish in some way prevented him from fully enjoying the property.

One other requirement for vacant possession is that any people do not occupy the property. The seller must ensure that any individual including family, friends, acquaintances, employees and so on vacate the premises before the buyer arrives.

Vacant possession also requires that there be no one else with the right to possess the property. Vacant possession will not be given if anyone besides the buyer has any legal claim to the property in the form of a lease, a deed, an occupational licence and so on.

It suffices to say the vacant possession is an important part of a real estate transaction. The seller must ensure that all the conditions about vacant possession are met so as to complete the deal.

Land Registry Forms

Land Registry Forms during Conveyancing – Things to be considered

Land Registry is the most vital and most important part of the conveyancing process. Even if the entire process of search and contract has been completed, the land registry gives the final legal validation to the change of the title of the property. However, the buyer or the seller of the property has to fill the Land Registry Forms during the process in order to complete it. Change of Title is a crucial part of any property, and that may arise after or before the conveyancing as well. If the seller wants to change the title of the property before selling it off to avoid confusion, then it can be done at the office with the help of a solicitor. However, that does not necessarily mean that it can be changed as anyone wants. There are certain procedures and requirements of supportive documents to carry out the process. Here are the things that you must consider.

When to Register?

The first thing is to understand that when should you register at the Land Registry office. Whenever you buy a home, inherit it or transfer it from someone, build it, after the mortgage as well, you need to go for registration. However, for registration process of at the Land Registry Office, you need to complete the registration forms and complete the documentation. However, the documentation and land registry forms may differ here and there, but the core process remains the same for the registry. The forms are also required if someone is changing the title of the property for different reasons. It can change of name after marriage or after divorce. It can be due to the inherited property or others. The purpose of the Land Registry is to record each and every change that is happening in the every residential house across the United Kingdom. It is therefore very important to carry out the process during the conveyancing process. It is even required for the leasehold properties in the UK unless you have the lease for fewer than seven years.

Land Registration Forms

There are different Land Registration Forms that are to be filled by the applicants with the help of the solicitor. There are many forms and here are some of them that are important for conveyancing process and the overall transfer of property.

Standard Form of Charge – Approval is also known as the ACD form and used for Charge Deed or Mortgage Deed. For Adverse Possession or ADV forms, you can use ADV1 for registration and ADV2 for notification. AN1 is used for Agreed Notice of Registration. AP1 is on the other hand used for Change of Register. AS forms are used for Registered Title (AS1, AS2, AS3). For Commonhold CM1-CM6 are used for all the process from registration to termination. There are many other forms for Commonhold properties like COM, CON, COG and others. DS forms are used for mortgage issues. EX forms are used for Document Exemptions. HR forms are used for Renewal and Rights, and ID forms are used for Identification. TR forms are used for the whole registration and other purposes of the title.

Many other forms are available for Land Registry and the use depend on the purposes.

Conveyancing Searches

Different Conveyancing Searches and their significance

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the property from one title owner to another. However, it has different stages that must be completed by the solicitor hired by the buyer and the seller respectively. After the draft agreements are agreed upon the solicitor of the buyer must conduct conveyancing searches in different local authorities in the United Kingdom to ensure that the property in concern is free from all liabilities and has the merits to be sold. This is one of the most crucial procedure in the conveyancing process and also the most time consuming. It is not always easy to get the clearance or pass certificate from the local authorities for the different searches that are to be performed as part of the conveyancing process. This is why it becomes very important to be aware of the process and the various conveyancing searches.

Different Conveyancing searches

There are many searches that must be performed as part of the conveyancing process. These searches are basically associated with the planning and legal association of the property. As per the rules and norms of the the United Kingdom and Land Registry office, multiple searches are to be conducted by the solicitor on behalf of the buyer. Here are the different conveyance searches and their details.

Local Authority Searches

The local authority searches mainly deal with the planning part of the property. It is about any dispute, boundaries of the property, planning permissions, Rights of the way, Utility services, Guarantees and other contracts if applicable. These searches are generally the most common ones and do not really take much time.

Water and Drainage Searches

The local water company must be contacted to get the clearance about the water and drainage of the property. It also includes the searches concerning the public sewage and proximity of it from the property. Any buyer should conduct this search for the proper information and avoid hassle at later of the point of time after the completion of the conveyancing process.

Environmental Searches

This is one of the most important searches for conveyancing purposes. The property under consideration must not violate any environmental norms, and a passing certificate must be obtained from the concerned authority. If the search is not conducted, and any violation is found even if by the previous owners, the current owner has to bear the wrath of the law and government. This can result in the hefty amount of fine and cleaning up a process that may end up in thousands of pounds.

Common Searches

If the property has a boundary with any common land, then the common registration act must be verified for a smoother process.

Mining Search

If the property is located in an area with mining history, then the stability of the ground must be verified.

Land Charges

The solicitor of the buyer must ensure that all the land charges of the property are cleared. The land charges can be for taxes, insurances, and other liabilities.

Chancel Repair Liability

If the property belongs to the area of Parochial Church Council of United Kingdom, then the verification of the chancel repair liability must be conducted. The charges for the chancel repair liability are very high, and if ignored then the buyer may have to face the cost.

Documentation

All the documentation pertaining to the property must be verified by the solicitor of the buyer to ensure that the property is legally valid from all aspects.

The conveyancing searches may be conducted by the local authorities or by the search companies. The local authorities search generally cost more for the buyer.

Chancel Repair Liability

How Chancel Repair Liability Impacts Conveyancing Process

The Residential Conveyancing process may look pretty simple when two solicitors come together from buyer and seller and sign an agreement. The agreement gets registered at Land Registry office and the conveyancing process gets completed, this is the very basic idea of conveyancing. However, in real life, there are many complications and obstructions that come before the buyer or seller during or before the conveyancing process. Some are common and often classified as legal complications but some are uncommon but equally complex. Chancel Repair Liability is one of the issues that can have an adverse impact on conveyancing cost and thus it is very important to understand what it is and how it should be dealt.

What is Chancel Repair Liability?

The properties in the United Kingdom that are built on the ecclesiastical land of the Church are responsible for the maintenance of it. To elaborate it more preciously, all the properties that come under the Parochial Parish Council should contribute to the maintenance of the Church. In fact, the Church is entitled to have it. Even though the Land Registration Act 2002 enforced a 10 year deadline for the Chancel Repair Liability, but the properties registered before 13th October 2013 are largely vulnerable to this entitlement. However, the Section 29 also allows the Council to seek interest on the same even on the property registered post that date. The claim of the church can be huge and sometimes extremely high.

How does it impact conveyancing?

Any person who wants to legally buy a property that comes under the Chancel Repair Liability may get the notice of the maintenance cost. In the United Kingdom, the liability cost is generally huge and that may either shelve the plans of the buyer or a legal battle may start. It is time consuming and money losing chances equation for the buyer. However, due to the liability claims many tend to buy the property especially if the property was last registered before October 13, 2012. In such cases, the buyers may get a good price. However, that does not mean that the liability claim cannot be made. There are still chances that the Church can make liability claims even if the registration is done after October 13, 2012.

What one should do?

For a buyer, it is very important to take a clear stand on the issue. The first thing is to carry out a detailed search of the property by the solicitor to ensure the probability of this liability claim. The registration of the property and the valid papers are generally cross verified to understand the chances of chancel repair liability. A buyer can pay the amount through a solicitor or go for the legal assistance. However, insurance and early measures are more recommended for the repair liability claims. There are many properties that get into the not so famous chance repair but early consideration and careful observance can be very helpful for the buyer.

The conveyancing process may get hampered and the cost of conveyancing process may increase by considerable fold including the time to complete the process.