Sale and Purchase Legalities

(a) You should maintain sufficient building insurance on your property until completion of the sale.

(b) If you are obtaining a mortgage the lender will have specific requirements for building insurance.

If you are not obtaining a mortgage or have elected to make your own buildings insurance arrangements the property must be insured from the date of exchange. It is essential that you arrange comprehensive insurance on the buildings for the full reinstatement value ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF EXCHANGE.

It will be your responsibility before completion to notify all utilities companies of your move and to take relevant meter readings.

It is wise on you moving into any property to take meter readings yourself and not rely on your seller to do this.

(a) On your sale, if an estate agent is involved please lodge at least one set of keys on or before the completion date with them. We will authorise the release of the keys to the purchaser on completion when the buyer's money is received.. Other keys may be left in the house.

(b) Keys will not be released prior to your purchase money being received by your sellers solicitors. Please arrange prior to completion with the seller where the keys to your new property may be collected from. usually the keys will be held by the agents. On the day of completion we will telephone you once completion has taken place and the seller's solicitors have authorised the estate agents to release the keys. If there is no estate agent, you and the seller will have to make arrangements for where to collect the keys.

On exchange of contracts you will become legally bound to sell or buy the property. Until exchange of contracts there is no legal liability on either the buyer or seller to proceed.

The date of completion is the date when you must give up possession of any property you are selling and take up occupation of the property you are buying. On completion the balance of sale/purchase monies are dealt with.

(a) Agreements reached between you and the Seller or you and an Estate Agent cannot be relied upon unless they are specifically referred to in either the contract itself or the correspondence between the respective solicitors. If you do make any such agreements you should state that they are "Subject to Contract" and let us know as soon as possible.

(b) You should not sign any documents relating to your purchase without consulting us. If you have done so please send them to us immediately.


We strongly advise you not to exchange contracts without:

- a mortgage offer which is acceptable both to you and to ourselves as to your
  ability to comply with any conditions attached thereto; 

-  exchange of contracts on any related sale, or if you are remortgaging any 
   other property to raise finance on this purchase, without confirmation of that

- being released from an existing mortgage. If you are a party to another 
  mortgage from which you are in the process of being released, in order to 
  comply with your new mortgage conditions, we will not be able to exchange 
  until the Transfer of Equity and release is in a position to be completed; 

- all necessary local authority, water searches, environmental searches as 
  required by your mortgages.

Until contracts are actually exchanged please do not:- 

- confirm any bookings on removal arrangements; 

- organise delivery of furniture, works to be carried out by building contractors, 
  or fitting of carpets etc., for a fixed date; 

- give notice on your tenancy (if applicable).

As early as possible, we will require details of:- 

- any other occupiers in the property you are to purchase other than you as the 
  purchaser, who are aged over 17 years;

- any bankruptcy notices which may have been served against you or as far as 
  you are aware against the property.

(d) Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney

A sale of property may affect the terms of your Will. If you are selling or buying a property as an Attorney you are advised to check the Doner's Will to see if there is any effect on the Will due to the sale/purchase.



Depending on whether you property is freehold or leasehold we will send to you one or more questionnaires to complete and return. The information you provide will be passed to your buyer.


For registered titles since 13th October 2003 Land/Charge Certificates (Title Deeds) are dematerialised. The Land Registry now provide copies of the entries registered against your name and Title Number.

If you have one or more mortgages please supply details of :-

· each Lenders full name and address
· each mortgage account number

Notwithstanding dematerialisation your Lender may have ancillary documents which will aid your sale ie., Leases and planning permissions.


It may be helpful to your Seller's solicitor to know what stage has been reached on your related sale so that they can work towards an approximate completion date on this purchase and any related transaction their client has. Solicitors have a professional duty to keep client's business confidential and we need to have your authority before we can disclose any information concerning your sale to your Seller's solicitor.



There are two ways in which two or more people may be registered as owners of a property:-

(1) Beneficial Joint Tenants whereby on the death of one of the owners of the property it will AUTOMATICALLY pass to the survivor(s). In this case there is a presumption that the purchase price is provided in equal shares.

(2) As Tenants in Common whereby each owner has a share in the property and each owner has the right to dispose of his or her share by will or trust deed. On the death of one of the owners the whole property DOES NOT pass to the survivor(s).

Deed of Declaration of Trust

The deceased owner's share forms part of his or her estate and will pass according to the terms of his or her Will. If the owner has not made a Will there are various complicated provisions governed by the law at the time. With Tenants in Common there is no presumption that the purchase money was provided in equal shares.

If you are providing the purchase money in unequal shares, we recommend that you enter into a written agreement setting out the shares in which the property was purchased. We will be happy to prepare such a deed but there will be an additional fee.


If you are having a mortgage we will probably be acting for the Lender. We are under a duty to disclose relevant information (e.g. price reductions) to them. Your signature(s) on the Purchase Particulars Form constitute(s) your authority for us to disclose to your mortgage lender any information we consider to be relevant.


We will usually have to carry out various searches in respect of your purchase. These will include a local authority search. The local authority search relates only to the property you are buying and does not give details of any proposals to develop land near to or in the immediate vicinity of the property you are to purchase. Nor will the search give details of any parking restrictions which affect the area in which you are buying. If you require such information, you can either contact the council directly or alternatively specifically instruct us to carry an additional search. This will reveal proposals of development in the vicinity of the property.


You take the property in the condition it is actually in. We strongly advise that you have a full structural survey carried out on your behalf before exchange of Contracts in order to satisfy yourself regarding the condition of the property. When you sign the Contract and return or hand it to me or a colleague, we will take it that you have satisfied yourself.

The usual building society or bank valuation is not a full survey. The level of inspection varies between each building society/bank surveyor.

Your mortgage lender or the person arranging the mortgage for you should advise you as to the type of valuations and surveys available. For your own protection we must advise that you should have a full structural survey.

It might be possible, when making initial contact with your mortgage company for them to arrange for their surveyor to carry out a House Buyers' Report or full structural survey so that only one surveyor need be engaged.

If the surveyor only prepares a valuation for the mortgage company the contract may only be between the surveyor and the mortgage company. In that case you may not have any right to sue the surveyor should any negligence on his part be proved. If the surveyor also prepares a report or survey for you then, if he is negligent, you would be able to sue him.


If this matter is dependent on the sale of your own property then under the usual conditions of sale the deposit from your sale can be used towards the deposit on your purchase. Depending on the amount available this may be sufficient. If it is not we may have to ask you for a further payment.

If you are not selling, or if your buyer's deposit is insufficient, your deposit money will need to be available at a few days' notice.

If you have not paid the full 10% deposit on exchange and you are unable to pay the balance of the purchase monies on the agreed completion date you will be immediately liable to pay a further deposit equal to the balance of that 10%.


Some types of work, e.g. property purchases and settlement of large claims may involve us in making substantial payment to third parties from the money which we hold in our client bank account. Our client account is operated in accordance with professional rules which govern payments against uncleared funds. Where money is to be paid to a third party five working days must be allowed for clearance of any cheques deposited with us by you or anyone on your behalf for the purpose of making such payments. In many cases, it will be both cheaper and more convenient for you to arrange for funds to be sent to us by telegraphic transfer and we will advise when this is appropriate.


If anyone over 17 is to be sharing the property with you then your lender will require them to sign a form confirming that any financial or other interest they may have in the property will take second place to the right of your lender to take possession if you do not pay.