New Build Conveyancing Solicitors

New Build Conveyancing If you are purchasing a new build property you will need to understand the role of new build conveyancing solicitors and how they can help you with the legal aspects of your purchase.

A new build property refers to a residential property that has been recently constructed or is currently under construction. These properties are typically sold by developers or builders before they are completed. The process of purchasing a new build property involves specific legal and procedural considerations, which may differ from the process of buying an existing property. It is advisable to hire a new build conveyancing solicitor who specialises in handling the legal aspects of purchasing new build properties. Bretherton Law can help.

WHY BRETHERTON LAW?

For a friendly initial chat and a fixed fee quote please use the contact form or call 01727 869 293.

Why Do I Need a Specialist New Build Solicitor?

The process of conveyancing for new build properties differs from the conveyancing process for existing properties in several ways. Here are some key differences:

  1. Contractual agreements: When purchasing a new build property, you will typically enter into a contract with the developer or builder. This contract will outline the terms and conditions of the purchase, including the completion date, payment schedule, and any additional agreements such as warranties or guarantees. The contract may also be subject the the  “28 Days to Exchange Contracts” rule which is explained below.
  2. Exchange of contracts: In the case of new build properties, the exchange of contracts usually takes place at an earlier stage compared to existing properties. This is because new build properties are often sold off-plan, meaning they are purchased before construction is complete. The exchange of contracts may occur once the property is at a certain stage of construction or even before construction begins.
  3. Snagging process: New build properties may require a snagging process, which involves identifying and rectifying any defects or issues with the property before completion. A new build conveyancing solicitor can help you navigate this process and ensure that any necessary repairs or adjustments are addressed by the developer.
  4. Help to Buy schemes: If you are purchasing a new build property through a Help to Buy scheme, there may be additional requirements and procedures involved. A new build conveyancing solicitor can guide you through the specific requirements of the scheme and ensure that all necessary documentation is in order.
  5. Compliance with building regulations: New build properties must comply with various building regulations and standards. A new build conveyancing solicitor can help ensure that the property meets all necessary requirements and that the appropriate certificates and documentation are obtained. We explain the inspection in more detail below.

28 Days to Exchange Contracts

When purchasing a new build property, there is typically a time frame within which the exchange of contracts must take place. This time frame is commonly referred to as the “28 days to exchange contracts” rule. It means that once you have reserved a new build property, you have 28 days to exchange contracts with the developer.

The exchange of contracts is a crucial step in the buying process as it legally binds both parties to the transaction. It involves signing the purchase agreement and paying a deposit, usually around 10% of the property’s value. Once the contracts are exchanged, the purchase becomes legally binding, and both the buyer and the developer are committed to completing the transaction.

The 28-day time frame is designed to ensure that the buying process progresses efficiently and that both parties can proceed with confidence. It provides a reasonable period for the buyer to arrange financing, conduct surveys, and complete any necessary due diligence before committing to the purchase.

It’s important to note that the 28-day time frame is not set in stone and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the development and the parties involved. Some developers may offer longer or shorter time frames for the exchange of contracts. It’s always advisable to discuss the specific time frame with your new build conveyancing solicitor and the developer to ensure that you have a clear understanding of the deadlines and requirements for your situation.

The NHBC inspection or Warranty Inspection 

An NHBC inspection refers to an inspection carried out by the National House Building Council (NHBC) in the UK.  In this article we refer to the NHBC  inspection as they are the largest provider of new build warranties but it is important to note that the NHBC is only one of a number of independent organisations that provide warranties and insurance for new build properties in the UK. Others include include LABC Warranty, Checkmate and Premier Guarantee. There are more providers, too may to list, but whoever does the inspection should be members of the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

During an NHBC inspection, a representative from the NHBC visits the construction site at various stages of the build process to assess the quality of the workmanship and ensure that the property meets the NHBC’s standards and requirements. The purpose of the inspection is to identify any defects or issues with the property that need to be addressed before completion.

The NHBC inspection is an important part of the new build process as it helps to ensure that the property is built to a high standard and complies with building regulations. It provides reassurance to the buyer that the property has been inspected by an independent organisation and meets the necessary quality standards.

If any defects or issues are identified during the NHBC inspection, the developer is responsible for rectifying them before the property is handed over to the buyer. This helps to ensure that the property is in a satisfactory condition and any necessary repairs or adjustments are made before the buyer moves in.

What are the timescales in buying a new build property in the UK?

When buying a new build property in the UK, the timescales can vary depending on various factors. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Reservation: The first step is to reserve the property by paying a reservation fee. This fee is usually non-refundable and secures the property for you.
  2. Exchange of contracts: Once the property is reserved, you will need to exchange contracts with the developer. This usually happens within a few weeks to a few months after reservation. The exchange of contracts involves signing the purchase agreement and paying a deposit, typically around 10% of the property’s value.
  3. Construction period: After the exchange of contracts, the developer will start building the property. The construction period can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. It can range from a few months to a year or more.
  4. Completion: Once the construction is complete, the developer will notify you of the completion date. This is when the property is ready for you to move in. The completion date is usually agreed upon during the exchange of contracts.
  5. Snagging process: Before completion, it is common to have a snagging process where any defects or issues with the property are identified and rectified. This process can take a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the extent of the issues.
  6. Handover: After the snagging process is complete, the developer will hand over the property to you. This is when you can officially take possession of the property and start living in it.

It’s important to note that these timescales are approximate and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the development and the parties involved. It’s always a good idea to discuss the expected timescales with your new build conveyancing solicitor and the developer to get a more accurate estimate for your particular situation.

Do I have to use the developers recommended solicitor to purchase a new build?

You are not obligated to use the developer’s recommended solicitor to purchase a new build property. You have the freedom to choose your own conveyancing solicitor who will represent your interests throughout the buying process. It is important to have a solicitor who is experienced in new build conveyancing and can guide you through the specific requirements and procedures involved in purchasing a new build property. Your solicitor will ensure that all necessary documentation is in order and that your rights as a buyer are protected.

GET IN TOUCH

We are based in the centre of St Albans City. Our new build conveyancing solicitors provide residential conveyancing services across the UK and our team can help you with your property transaction with a level of client care not offered by many conveyancing firms. Over the last 50 years we have built an enviable reputation – but don’t just take our word for it, take a look at what our clients say about us in our testimonials.

Please get in touch for a fixed fee conveyancing quote via the contact form or call us on 01727 869 293. (If you telephone us your call will be answered by a real person no recorded voice saying press this and that number).

Additional Information

New Builds and Planning Permissions

New Builds and Planning Permissions refer to the process of obtaining the necessary approvals and permissions from the local planning authority for the construction of new build developments. These permissions are required to ensure that the proposed development complies with the local planning policies and regulations.

Your new build conveyancing solicitor will ensure that all the necessary permissions are in place and compliant.

New Builds and Structural Guarantees

New Builds and Structural Guarantees are an important aspect of purchasing a new build property. When you buy a new build, it typically comes with a structural guarantee or warranty provided by the developer. This guarantee ensures that the property has been built to a certain standard and offers protection against any structural defects that may arise within a specified period.

The length of the structural guarantee can vary depending on the developer and the specific terms of the warranty. In the UK, the most common type of structural guarantee is provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC). NHBC offers a 10-year Buildmark warranty, which covers the structural integrity of the property for the first 10 years after completion.

During the warranty period, if any structural defects are discovered, the developer is responsible for rectifying them at no additional cost to the homeowner. This can include issues such as subsidence, roof problems or structural instability. The warranty provides peace of mind to the buyer, knowing that they are protected against major structural issues that may arise in the early years of home ownership.

It’s important to note that the structural guarantee only covers structural defects and not general wear and tear or cosmetic issues. It’s advisable to thoroughly inspect the property before the warranty period expires and report any defects to the developer as soon as possible.

When purchasing a new build property, it’s essential to review the terms and conditions of the structural guarantee and understand what is covered and for how long. It’s also recommended to work with a conveyancing solicitor who specialises in new build properties to ensure that all necessary guarantees and warranties are in place and to provide guidance throughout the buying process.

New Builds and Road Agreements

New Builds and Road Agreements refer to the legal agreements between developers and local authorities regarding the construction and maintenance of roads and infrastructure in new build developments. These agreements are commonly known as Section 38 and Section 278 agreements.

Section 38 agreements are made under the Highways Act 1980 and are used for the adoption of new roads by the local highway authority. These agreements ensure that the roads are constructed to the required standards and that the developer is responsible for their maintenance until they are adopted by the local authority.

Section 278 agreements, on the other hand, which are also made under the Highways Act 1980, are used for the alteration or improvement of existing roads. These agreements are typically required when a new development will have an impact on the existing road network. The developer is responsible for carrying out the necessary works and covering the costs, and the local authority will adopt the altered or improved roads once they meet the required standards.

These agreements are important to ensure that new build developments have adequate road infrastructure and that the roads are constructed and maintained to the necessary standards. They help to prevent issues such as inadequate road layouts, poor construction, and lack of maintenance, which can have a negative impact on the residents and the wider community.

It’s worth noting that the specific requirements and procedures for Section 38 and Section 278 agreements can vary depending on the local authority and the development. It is advisable to consult with a new build conveyancing solicitor who can guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary agreements are in place for your particular development.

New Builds and Easements

New Builds and easements refer to the legal rights and restrictions associated with a property. An easement is a right that allows someone to use a portion of another person’s property for a specific purpose. In the context of new build developments, easements may be created to provide access to utilities, such as water, electricity, or gas, or to allow for the maintenance of shared areas, such as roads or footpaths.

Easements are typically created through legal agreements, such as deeds or covenants, and are registered with the Land Registry. These agreements outline the rights and responsibilities of both the property owner and the party benefiting from the easement.

For example, in a new build development, there may be an easement that grants the local utility company the right to access the property to install and maintain utility services. This easement ensures that the property owner has access to essential services and that the utility company can carry out their responsibilities.

It’s important to note that easements can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the development and the agreements in place. It is advisable to consult with a new build conveyancing solicitor who can review the documentation and provide guidance on any easements associated with the property you are considering purchasing.

Contact Us

    When you send an enquiry you are giving your consent to receive marketing emails from Bretherton Law. We promise we won't bombard you with SPAM emails, or sell your information to someone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

    Do you consent to receive marketing information from Bretherton Law?

    YesNo