The are 3 different types of survey and which one you will require will depend mostly on the type of property you are buying. For newly or recently built properties your lender will usually conduct a Mortgage Valuation. This usually entails a short visit to the property by a surveyor working on behalf of the lender to check that the money they are lending is the correct amount. A Homebuyers Report is often helpful if you are buying an older property or an apartment that is in an older building, like a warehouse conversion. This will go into more detail than a Mortgage Valuation and will highlight any work you might expect to have to do in coming years. It costs more money but does offer peace of mind. Finally there is a Full Structural Survey which you would probably be advised to undertake if you were purchasing an older house (as apposed to an apartment) or an entire building.
Title deeds are the legal documents that show who is the official owner of a property or piece of land. Title deeds will also disclose if there is a mortgage on the property and any restrictions such as access or other rights that might be excluded from the property
This is often taken out to cover anything that's not covered by buildings insurance, for example, chancel repair insurance or if there is lack of planning permission or consent on a building.
Service Charge and Ground Rent
Ground rent, applicable to leasehold properties, is an annual payment to the freeholder. This can vary from 50 to 400 and will over time increase. Service charges are an annual amount payable to the agents who manage a block of apartments. Your solicitor will inform you what is covered by the charge, but it usually includes maintenance of communal parts and building insurance. Sometimes a 'sinking fund' will be in place. This would be money set aside for any emergency work that might arise.
If you are selling a property, it might be necessary for you to leave some money with your solicitor to cover any charges that are still owing once you have moved. This could be monies for outstanding service charges or some scheduled work that you have made use of but not paid for; improvements in the block or general maintenance work. Don't be put out if a buyers solicitor requests this. As long as the amount is reasonable, it's quite usual for this to happen with leasehold and share of freehold properties. If none of the money is used, your solicitor will return the money to you after the accounts are reconciled.
A National House Building Council Certificate is an industry recognised standard for new build houses and apartments. It will provide a 10 year guarantee against any structural defects. In order to comply with NHBC regulations developers will will entail an inspection throughout the build process to ensure that the build meets satisfactory standards and quality. If you are buying a property that was built of converted more than 5 years ago, it will not necessarily have an NHBC certificate. You should, however, look out for some other type buildings insurance.
The date upon which the sales process is finalised and keys can be handed over to the new owner.
A third party property manager responsible for the maintenance of a residential or commercial block.