New Builds

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Burrows Solicitors has a team of specialised new build solicitors who can expertly guide clients through the process of purchasing a new build property. While there are many advantages to buying a new property, there are also challenges such as purchasing the property before it is finished, which requires additional work to ensure that appropriate measures and compliances are in place. Burrows Solicitors’ team has extensive experience in all forms of conveyancing for properties, including new builds, and can handle all the nuances and additional details involved.

New build conveyancing is a specific form of conveyancing carried out on properties that have been freshly built or those that are due to be constructed and completed post-purchase. While some of the same concepts and requirements apply across all kinds of property conveyancing, new build conveyancing is often considered the most complex. Clients must ensure their finances are in order before expressing interest in a property, and most builders will want mortgage finance to be in place before contracts are exchanged. Clients must also pay an initial reservation fee and usually have only four weeks to exchange contracts before forfeiting the fee and the house.

Clients must immediately instruct appropriately experienced new build conveyancing solicitors as soon as they have had their offer accepted on a property. The solicitor will check that the build meets regulations, highlight any restrictive covenants, and walk the client through the details of the contract. If the client is happy, they can pay the deposit, and then comes the long wait until completion, upon which they will receive their keys and officially take ownership of their new home. At this point, clients must ensure they receive copies of all guarantees relating to the property, which should cover them for ten years from completion.

Clients must provide additional information for any new build purchase, including documentation for insurance, structural information and guarantees, planning permissions, and building regulations confirmation.

Road agreements can be a significant challenge for new build estates, as they require permissions and definitions of responsibilities for roads created for residents. To ensure a smooth conveyancing process, new build solicitors will need to obtain confirmation of an s.38 road agreement under the Highways Act 1980. This agreement defines the responsibilities for the streets between the builder, developer, and local council.

Easements, or property owner’s rights to drainage, sewerage systems, utility pipes, and roads within the estate, must also be clearly defined with a contract in place to cover any easements that apply to the specific new build.

The work of new build conveyancing solicitors includes liaising with builders and developers’ solicitors and mortgage lenders, checking and reading all contracts, insurance information and guarantees, flagging any issues or enquiries to relevant authorities, ensuring suitable insurance is in place, arranging surveys, checks and reviews, providing required documentation, and supporting in the completion of property registration. Depending on the property’s requirements, new build conveyancing services cover all work required to complete the purchase process effectively, meeting legal and regulatory standards.

The duration of new build conveyancing can vary, with completion taking eight to twelve weeks as standard. Although delays may occur due to missing information, survey problems, or issues with the build itself, some work can be completed before the property itself is finished.

Burrows’ experienced new build conveyancing solicitors can help mitigate the legal complexity of buying a new build property. Their expertise and accreditation through the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme attest to their skill in this area of law. An initial consultation with one of their solicitors is available free of charge to discuss individual circumstances and provide a clearer understanding of how they can help.