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Published: 08/06/2022
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Article written by eConveyancer, our preferred conveyancing firm.

This article is not intended to be financial advice to any individual. The views expressed are those of the author and Moneyfacts.co.uk does not endorse the content.

 

There are some key differences in the conveyancing process for new-build homes and resale property. Below, we have highlighted some of the procedures you should note for new-build homes.

Even to a seasoned property professional, the conveyancing journey for new-build properties can seem complex. This is because, contrary to popular perception, purchasing a new home is a more convoluted legal process than buying a resale property.

Concepts like National House Building Council (NHBC) inspections and adherence to planning regulations are just some of the matters that need to be considered.

Being able to navigate these choppy waters and complete the conveyancing journey for new-build properties requires a specific skill set. In this article, we consider some of the key steps you’ll have to tackle when purchasing a new home in the UK.

Losing the plot

Purchasing a new home instead of a resale property is primarily a more complicated process because more things could go wrong. To name a few:

  • A builder might not execute statutory responsibilities in terms of local authority agreements.
  • Site-wide issues could arise regarding the adoption of roads, sewerage management, etc.
  • Plot-specific issues may relate to utility connections being incomplete, unsafe or unsuitable.
  • The property might breach planning regulations, potentially deviating from approved plans.
  • Without NHBC inspections taking place and sign-off being achieved, the home can’t be sold.
  • Completion delays can be caused by anything from severe weather to material shortages.

Alongside these issues are all the traditional challenges of variable completion dates, and ensuring finance remains in place if the process gets delayed. This is further complicated because some lenders require dedicated new-build mortgages, which may have more onerous lending criteria than conventional mortgages.

The importance of being earnest

While this sounds daunting on paper, you should be able to ensure all the necessary paperwork is completed. For instance, checking the property’s completed design and specifications against planning permission documents from the local council will ensure it doesn’t breach any granted permissions. It’s equally important to identify restrictive covenants.

There may be smaller tasks to consider, such as the need to get written permission from the developer before landscaping the front garden.

Since property completion is often a last-minute affair, builders routinely leave paperwork and sign-offs until late on. Therefore, you have to be proactive in terms of chasing up contracts and necessary documentation; don’t assume third parties will execute their responsibilities promptly. Builders often become flustered as a completion date approaches, especially if it’s near their financial year-end.

A stable structure

To ensure the conveyancing process runs as smoothly as unforeseen delays will allow, we’d recommend drafting up a timeline to follow throughout the various build stages.

Ask the builder for all landscape drawings and specification sheets upfront, requesting details of restrictive covenants, factoring and management fees at an early stage. Extend your timeline to the final days, with a tick sheet of approvals and sign-offs to methodically work through.

If this all seems like too much of a complicated process, consider hiring a professional to take care of your conveyancing requirements. eConveyancer offers technology-led conveyancing comparison solutions. Our vision is to put control and choice into the hands of the customer to help them source the best legal and property services in a more cost-effective manner. 

Get in touch today.

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