Information for Solicitors
It is usual that the buyer’s solicitor of a property will have many questions to ask regarding the property and the lease. These questions are sent to us and we respond by providing our Solicitors information pack at a fee of £162.06 inclusive of VAT (2023/24). If you require further information once the management pack has been provided, there is an additional fee of £78.78 inclusive of VAT for up to 5 questions.
The buyer’s solicitor and your solicitor will work out the Service Charges and inform you of what you owe; and what the buyers will owe up to and from the completion date. If you have a Direct Debit you need to let your solicitor know so they can take this into account when working out the figures. Please ensure that you cancel your Direct Debit from the date that you move. You must pay off any arrears on the property otherwise you will not be able to sell your home.
There are many legal terms that are used when you move that can be confusing. Below are some of these terms and what they actually mean.
Notice of Transfer – this is the legal notification which tells us that the lease has been sold from you to your buyer. It will detail the date the property is sold, your name and the buyer’s name.
Notice of Mortgage – this is the legal notification of the mortgage that is on the property. When the new notice is sent it will have the buyer’s mortgage details on it.
Notice of Charge – this is the same as the Notice of Mortgage.
Fees – there is a one-off fee of £78.78 inclusive of VAT (2023/24) for all the above documents, each time these are issued.
If you are selling a property bought through Right to Buy, please see below for more information regarding first refusal and discount repayment.
Selling a property bought through Right to Buy within 10 years of the purchase date
Repaying the Right to Buy Discount
If you bought your property within the past 5 years you will be required to pay back a portion of the discount you received. You will need to contact our Legal Department to arrange this.
Right of First Refusal (buy back)
All properties (freehold and leasehold) sold under Right To Buy since 18 January 2005 contain a covenant which compels the owner to offer the property back to the council if they want to sell the property within ten years of purchasing the property under Right to Buy. This is known as the Right of First Refusal and was introduced by the Housing Act 2004. The Housing (Right of First Refusal) (England) Regulations 2005 set out the procedures for owners to follow in offering their properties back to the Council. The Council must also observe these procedures when accepting such offers.
Whilst the owner must offer the council the Right of First Refusal, the council is not compelled to buy back properties offered in this way. The Council will consider whether to buy back the property, looking at the following criteria.
- Whether capital funds are available
- If there is an established housing need and demand for the type of property being offered and the area where the property is located
- If any additional costs for refurbishment are minimal, i.e. to bring the property up to Decent Homes Standards
- The purchase represents value for money
The Council may also consult with other social landlords to see if any of them have an interest in purchasing the property.
To comply with the regulations, you will need to supply the following information to Colchester City Council in writing (This can be electronically via email or in paper form):
- A statement from the owner or trustee saying that they wish to dispose of the property
- The full postal address of the property being offered
- A statement to say there is a covenant regarding buy-back under Right To Buy legislation and what year you bought your property through the right to buy.
- Information about the type of property, (House, Flat, Ground floor, First Floor) the number of bedrooms and details of the heating system
- Details of any improvements or structural changes made since purchasing from the council
- An address where correspondence can be sent
The Council will also need to know whether the property is currently owner occupied, tenanted or empty.
Please send this information to the Housing Acquisitions Officer at Colchester City Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester CO3 3WG or via email at Laurie.Sheldrake@colchester.gov.uk.
If you have any further queries, please contact the Housing Acquisitions Officer on 01206 508773 or via email at Laurie.Sheldrake@colchester.gov.uk