In order to help us progress matters for you as smoothly as possible, please read this leaflet and attend to the various issues as soon as possible.


1 Your Title Deeds and Mortgage

We need to obtain your Title Deeds so that we can prepare a Contract for Sale as soon as possible. If you have any mortgage on your property, then it is most likely that the Title Deeds and documents will be with your Lender.

If you previously had a mortgage which has since been paid off it is likely that your deeds remain with the Lender if you have not made specific arrangements to have them returned to you.

Please provide us with details of your Lender and any mortgage account number so we can request your Title Deeds. These details should be on your most recent mortgage statement.

The sooner we have your Title Deeds the sooner we can review your Title and apply for property certificates and searches.

Should more than one Building Society or Lender have a Mortgage/Charge secured on the premises, we will require the name, address and account number of each, together with an approximation of the debt outstanding.  You will be expected to pay off all mortgages charges secured on the property at completion. Please note that we will act on your instructions and accordingly if you fail to notify us of any relevant information, including details of secured debt, upon which we rely to our detriment, we shall hold you liable for any loss suffered by our firm.


2 Property Certificates and Searches.

You will be asked to provide the following searches and property certificates to the Purchaser:-

  1. DOE Property Certificate (£42.50)
  2. Local Council Property Certificate (£60.00)
  3. Enforcement of Judgement Office Search (EJO) (approx £30.00)
  4. Bankruptcy Search (approx £30.00)
  5. Statutory Charges Search (approx £30.00)
  6. Registry of Deeds or Land Registry Search (approx £30.00)

The sale cannot complete until clear property certificates and searches have been obtained.

You will already have received an estimate of these costs in your quotation. Please therefore let us have payment of £250 at your earliest convenience so that we can obtain these as soon as possible.

This figure is estimated as the price of the searches differs depending on various circumstances. Based on our experience £250 is an accurate estimate of the cost of these searches and certificates and we will adjust your final Bill of Costs at completion to allow for any overpayment or shortfall.

We have set out methods of payment in the covering letter in the ‘Next Steps Checklist’ section.

We would recommend obtaining searches as soon as possible to enable us to review these and identify potential issues.

Please note that we cannot apply for the certificates or searches until we have received your payment.


3 Pre-Contract Enquiries (PCE)

You are required under the Home Charter scheme to furnish the Purchaser’s Solicitors with all relevant and available information about the premises.  These enquiries are enclosed in a standard form of questionnaire known as Pre-Contract Enquiries.

We have attached the PCE to this letter and would be grateful if you can complete them, together with the Fixtures and Fitting List, as soon as possible. The Purchaser is entitled to rely upon your replies when entering into contract with you and may be entitled to rescind the contract, or seek damages, if they can show that any part of the replies are misleading or incorrect. We realise that some of the questions are quite technical in nature, so please make an appointment with me if you need assistance to complete the PCE.


4 Additional Works to the Premises/Guarantees

The Purchaser will want to know if you have made alterations to the premises or made additions to it. They will expect to receive statutory approvals for these works. If they do not exist, and the work has been carried out in the last 10 years, then they will expect you to seek retrospective approval of these works from the appropriate authority. They will also want you to assign the benefit or any guarantee or policy you might hold in relation to works which have been carried out. These approvals should be obtained as soon as possible so please let us know if you have carried out work in relation to:

  1. Construction or alteration of garage
  2. Sunroom or extension
  3. Removal of internal weight -bearing walls
  4. Adding or altering windows
  5. Installing new radiators or heating systems
  6. Cavity wall insulation
  7. Conversion of attic or roof space
  8. Fitting of new PVC windows or doors
  9. Any other structural alterations

It is always preferable to identify such works and be in a position to provide all approvals and consents at the outset, rather than have the Purchaser or their surveyor raise the issue during the course of the purchase process. The less input a Purchaser’s lender or surveyor has the better!


5 Septic Tank and Soakaways

Most properties are connected to main sewers. This will be confirmed by the DOE property certificate referred to above. In rural areas, and some new build schemes, mains sewers are sometimes not available and sewage is dealt with by a septic tank and soakaway. If you do have a septic tank we need to be able to demonstrate that you have a valid Consent to Discharge in place and that both the tank and the soakaway are within the boundaries of your property. If you don’t have consent or the tank or soakaway is outside your boundaries please let us know immediately. In our experience, these issues often cause lengthy delays until the position is rectified.


6 Service Charge records, Ground Rent Receipts and Annual General Meeting Minutes

If you are selling an apartment or your home is in a development where the common areas are maintained by a management company, the Purchaser will need to see an up to date receipt from the Management Company showing that your service charges are paid up to date. They will also want to see the last 3 year’s minutes of AGM to ensure that the development is being properly maintained and that there are no ongoing complaints from any of the residents.

If your home is held under a long lease and your Landlord collects the ground rent we will need to send the Purchaser an up to date receipt.