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NEW BUILD AND HELP TO BUY

The main characteristics of a new build property transaction which make it different from a traditional sale/purchase transaction are;

It is the sale/purchase of a ‘new property’, often when you are purchasing a new build property, buyers are often faced with exchanging contracts and committing to exchanging  contracts and to the purchase of the property before the completion of the property build.

New build conveyancing is a sale of part, whereby the developer will usually own the whole site and is disposing of it in the form of housing plots.

The Developer may choose to adopt a s slightly different conveyancing procedure from that which is normally followed.  Often this is done for their convenience when dealing with a volume of sales simultaneously.

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Conveyancing with new build properties is a more complex transaction than the purchase of an existing house or building.  Additional matters to those relevant to a purchase of an existing property must also be considered.A developer will not normally adopt the National Protocol for Domestic Conveyancing when dealing with new-builds, but will at the start of the transaction supply a comprehensive package of information, which is very similar to the Protocol package but in a different format. This will normally include copies of the relevant planning permission, building regulation consent, Highways Act Agreement and the Water Industry Act Agreement and Bond. We at GCA Solicitors ensure that we go through these packs diligently to ensure that you are fully satisfied with everything that is within these packs to protect you and your lender.
GCA Solicitors, when acting for you in the purchase of a new build property (New Build Conveyancing Transaction) will ensure that the following documentation/information is obtained;
  • Planning permission – checking whether planning permission has been granted. Also checking whether any additional conditions have been or will be complied with.
  • Building Regulations consent – checking that building regulations consent has been granted. The building regulations control and the methods and materials to be used in the construction of the property to ensure that proper standards are maintained in all new-build properties. The lack of building regulations consent in a new build property is a major concern.  It may suggest that the new build development has not been constructed to the proper standards.
  • Structural guarantees – With all new build property transactions  there should be some form of structural guarantee in place. If any structural defects develop after purchase, the buyer may not be able to obtain compensation from the developer as he may no longer be trading. In most instances, a  structural guarantee is likely to be a condition of the mortgage offer in relation to a new build property.
The NHBC ‘Buildmark’ scheme provides a ten year two-part guarantee. Here the developer agrees to remedy all defects which occur within two years of purchase. In the case of a default the NHBC will itself step in. After the first two years, the NHBC provides an insurance style guarantee that it will rectify specified structural defects arising in the house during the next eight years. Structural defects are defined to exclude, for example, defective plasterwork or decorations.Although the NHBC Buildmark scheme is the most common, other similar insurance-backed schemes do exist, for example the Zurich Mutual Newbuild Scheme. Alternatively, if the building work was supervised by, for example, an architect, a certificate to that effect will allow a claim to be brought against such person in the case of structural defects arising out of negligent supervision. 

  • The new estate roads are likely to be adopted, these will then become publicly maintained at some point in the future. We as your conveyancing solicitor will check that a Highways Act 1980 section 38 Agreement has been entered into with the developer and the highways authority. This is an agreement between both parties that the developer will be responsible for the roads. The agreement must be supported by a financial bond, issued by a bank or insurance company, in a sufficient amount to cover against the developer defaulting on the Road Agreement.
  • GCA Solicitors acting as your conveyancer will check whether the ownership and maintenance of the drains has been or is to be transferred to the water authority. To protect you, the buyer, of the new-build property. It is important that a Water Industry Act 1991 section 104 Agreement and Bond has been entered into. This works in a similar way to the Highways Act Agreement.
  • The contract should provide for the grant to the buyer of all necessary easements.
These must include:
  • a right of way over the estate roads until adopted;
  • a right to use the drains and sewers;
  • a right to use all the pipes and cables for all the other services, for example, gas, electricity, telephone.
  • a right of access to maintain these services.
It is very easy to be tempted by the sales incentives that accompany new build homes, such as payment of legal fees, supply of fitted kitchen appliances, Bedroom cabinets and furnishings. Today, lenders will require builders or developers of any new-build properties, converted or renovated property to complete a new ‘disclosure of incentives’ form. This will be reinforced in the CML’s Lenders’ Handbook, which sets out specific requirements for us as conveyancers acting on behalf of lenders in property transactions.The completion of a new build property is different from buying a property in the second hand market.As builders have to rely on various factors such as the supply of materials and weather conditions, no fixed completion date can ever be given. When the property is structurally complete, the builder gives written notice to us that it is ready and the completion must take place within the period specified in the contract, usually 10 working days. This makes it extremely difficult to manage if you have personal commitments.  From the above, it is clear to see that the buying of a new build house is different to the traditional house buying process.

At GCA Solicitors we pride ourselves on the exceptional service we offer to new home buyers.  The importance of making the process jargon free in plain English and adhering to strict deadlines is something that we pride ourselves on, we are fully committed to:-

  • Achieving exchange deadlines
  • Personal contact throughout
  • Liaising regularly with the Property Developer sales teams
  • Efficient communication with all parties involved
  • Advice in plain English, no legal jargon

GCA Solicitors

GCA Solicitors has the expertise, knowledge and depth of experience to help you achieve the outcome you seek. Whether it is for family matters such as divorce or separation, domestic violence, children, wills trusts, commercial law and conveyancing we have the expertise to get a satisfactory resolution.

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