Preparing to sell your property

Here are some of the things you need to consider to get your property ready to sell..

1. Building Works

If you’ve carried out any building works, you will need to disclose the nature of the work to any potential purchaser.

Most works will not require planning permission unless you want to build something new, change the use of your building or make a major change to your building,. But remember, most of Kendal is covered by a conservation area which means that any alterations at the front (including replacement window frames, doors, garden walls, railings, guttering etc.) will require planning permission. External changes to a flat will also usually require planning permission.

Even if you did not need planning permission, you may have needed building regulation consent. These include:

  • The erection or extension of the building
  • The installation or extension of a service or fitting - such as a new boiler, hot water cylinders, foul water and rain water drainage and fuel burning appliances of any type
  • The replacement of windows, roof windows, roof lights or glazed doors since 1 April 2002
  • If the property has been rewired or had any electrical installation since 1 January 2005.

Many contractors are able to “self certify” the work and confirm it is building regulation compliant. For instance, if your contactor is “gas safety compliant” he can issue a gas safety compliance certificate. For windows, the installer should be able to issue what is known as a Fensa certificate. Duly registered electricians should be able to provide the requisite electrical safety certificates.

If any such works have been undertaken, we would always advise clients to keep the certification in a safe place to provide to potential purchasers.

2. Guarantees

If you have carried out any of the building works referred to above, make sure that you keep hold of any guarantees, as it may be possible to pass these on to your purchaser.

At the time that the guarantees are provided, do read through the terms carefully to ensure that you comply strictly with its terms, such as carrying out regular servicing of a boiler. Otherwise, this may affect the validity of your warranty.

3. New Homes

If the property you are selling is less than 10 years old, you are likely to have been provided with a new home warranty (in the form of NHBC or similar). Make sure that this documentation is also kept safely.

4. Private Drainage:

If a property has a septic tank which discharges into a watercourse (e.g a stream, ditch or river), the property owner may be required to upgrade or replace a septic tank to a full “sewage treatment system” or divert the discharge to a drainage field.

We would advise clients to contact a drainage engineer to carry out an inspection and to provide a report with recommendations (where necessary) about any upgrades in order to meet the relevant regulations for small sewage discharges.

5. Private Water Supply:

It is not unusual for us to deal with properties with a private water supply particularly those in rural areas.

Any purchaser will want to know whether or not a risk assessment has been carried out by the local authority. This is only necessary if the supply is shared by 2 or more properties. If this is the case, we would advise a prospective seller to consider asking the local authority to carry out such a risk assessment.

The purchaser will also want to know that any treatment to the supply is appropriate. For instance, you will need to show that any filter or disinfection units were fitted by a competent installer and have been regularly maintained.

Finally, the purchaser needs to know if there have ever been any problems with the supply such as taste, odour, discolouration or insufficiency.

While some of these matters might be outside of the home owner’s control, having adequate filtration systems in place which are regularly maintained and logged will assist on sale.

Clearly the key to all of these matters is to maintain good and complete records. However, in the event that you are unable to provide evidence of all of these matters, there may be other options open such as obtaining Indemnity Insurance, which we will cover in another article.

Our team of expert property lawyers can advise you and will make the process ofselling your houseselling your house as easy as possible, but you can help save time and money if you are prepared in advance.

Published 1 February 2019

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Kendal Office: 114–116 Stricklandgate, Kendal , LA9 4QA T: 01539 721945

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