New Builds – What you need to know from a legal perspective

New year, new home, but are you aware of the unique legal factors that go into buying a new build home?

While there are many advantages to purchasing a new build, there are also some considerations you should be aware of before going through with a sale.


You can choose an independent solicitor

You don’t have to use a solicitor that the builder recommends and are free to choose your own.

House builders will often suggest a certain company of solicitors to carry out the conveyancing process, but you are free to choose an independent solicitor which will ensure there is no conflict of interest.


Your new build may come with housebuilders’ covenants

If your house is situated in an estate, builders can place restrictions on future work you may wish to carry out on your property.

This can include work such as extensions or even painting your front door a particular colour or even limit the types of vehicles you can park on your driveway.


New builds have lower repair costs and come with a 10-year warranty

New builds are known for having the latest regulations so it’s unlikely there will be any need for repairs for a while. The 10-year warranty can be used for any structural problems which may occur with the property.

With the warranty, the first two years will be covered by the house builder, and following this, you will be insured for a further eight years under the warranty.


Land registry and rent charges

The solicitor you have appointed will ensure that the land your property is built on is registered at the Land Registry to avoid future disputes.

Also, there may be estate fees which are required to maintain shared spaces or facilities and your solicitor will advise on the same.


No try before you buy

While companies who create new builds often create a system where you can visit the area, and the site and see a show home, you may not get to see the exact one you have purchased until it is built.

Alongside this, there can often be delays in construction which is something you should be aware of if you are buying a new build. Buyers will need to ensure they are prepared for these delays and have a place to stay should delays occur.

Also, with the purchase of a new build, you may be asked to buy off plan. This is when you are asked to exchange contracts without a completion date but instead are given a completion window in which the date can vary. The completion date would be set by the house builder once the house is complete.


Thinking of buying a new build? Speak to our conveyancing team today.

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