What documents are required
When selling a property, there are a number of documents that will need to be in order. As the seller, you will need to gather the following yourself:
- Proof of identity: you will need to show your solicitor a passport or driving licence and proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement
- Property title deeds: if you do not have these, then the solicitor you instructed when you bought your current property or your mortgage lender might. Your solicitor will also need to obtain official copies of your title deeds from the Land Registry
- Fittings and contents form (TA10): this form clearly indicates what is included in the sale of the property. It’s broken down on a room by room basis, and includes items such as the fridge and shower curtain, for example. If relevant, it also covers any items in outdoor areas, such as greenhouses, sheds, trees and washing lines
- Property information form (TA6): as the seller, you will be required to complete this form. The questions included in the form relate to:
- Boundaries: this will include the position of the boundaries and who is responsible for the upkeep of a fence or hedge.
- Disputes and complaints: this could include any ongoing disputes with neighbours.
- Notices and proposals: this will include any letters from neighbours, or local authorities regarding proposed development in the vicinity.
- Alterations, planning and building control: this will include any major building work that has been carried out on the property, such as an extension or new windows. It will also include the building’s listed status, if relevant.
- Guarantees and warrantees: this may be for the building itself, if it is very new, or may be related to the new roof, for example.
- Insurance: this will give the prospective buyer an understanding of how much it is likely to cost to insure the property and whether there are any anomalies.
- Environmental matters: among other things this covers any flooding risks, the presence of Japanese knotweed and also refers to the EPC.
- Rights and informal arrangements: among other things, this may include shared access and chancel repair.
- Parking: this will inform the prospective buyer as to whether or not there is off road parking, or a garage etc.
- Other charges: this might include lease expenses for leasehold properties, and maintenance costs for blocks of flats or gated communities.
- Occupiers: this lets the prospective buyer know whether anyone is living in the property and will continue to do so after completion.
- Services: this relates to the condition of the central heating and electrical wiring, among other things.
- Connection to utilities and services: this section specifically refers to the suppliers of gas, electricity and water to the property and the location of the relevant meters.
- Transaction information: this should include whether, as a seller, you are also looking to buy another property. It will also include any special requirements around moving dates.
- Copies of documents referenced in the property information form, such as a Building Regulations sign off or FENSA certificates for replacement windows.
- Leasehold / shared freehold documents: if the property is leasehold then a copy of the lease will be required. If the property retains a share of the freehold then the relevant documents will be required, such as the Share Certificate if there has been a company set up to manage the freehold
- Management Information Pack: this is obtained either by the seller or by the seller’s solicitor from the freeholder or managing agent, if the property is leasehold. The pack can take several weeks to arrive so it is vital it is paid for (by the seller) and ordered as early as possible in the selling process
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): an EPC needs to be included when a property is sold. These certificates assess the property’s energy use and CO2 impact. If you do not have an EPC, your estate agent should be able to recommend a qualified assessor.
Stamp Duty Information
- Anyone who buys additional residential property, including second homes and buy-to-lets, will have to pay an extra 3 percentage points in stamp duty from April 1, 2016.
- The additional charge applies above the current “stamp duty land tax” rates. This means there will be 3pc tax (currently zero) to pay on homes worth up to £125,000, 5pc tax (instead of 2pc) on homes that cost between £125,001 and £250,000, and 8pc (currently 5pc) on homes worth between £250,001 and £925,000.
- Homes worth up to £1.5m will be subject to 13pc stamp duty and those over this amount will incur a 15pc charge.
- In practice this means that someone buying a £450,000 house will have to pay an extra £13,500 of tax.
- Anyone buying a second home has 36 months to sell their original property. They can then get a refund on the extra tax.
- In addition, anyone who sold their home before November 2015 but does not currently own their own home has until November 2018 to buy a new one without paying the extra tax.
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