Home Truths

A guide to buying, selling and renting property

The purpose of this book is to offer, in one place, enough information for you to assess your needs in the world of property thoughtfully, how to ask the right questions (and who to ask).

  • AvailablePaperback9781907444012384 pagesList Price: £14.95 Add to basket
  • AvailablePDF9781907444197384 pagesList Price: £11.96 Add to basket

The purpose of this book is to offer, in one place, enough information for you to assess your needs in the world of property thoughtfully, how to ask the right questions (and who to ask).

The authors start by considering renting, being a tenant, and then guide you through the process of getting your mortgage and buying, including financial and tax consequences.  Looking ahead, they also explain the selling process.

It also looks at property investment in three forms:

  • buy-to-let,
  • buying abroad and
  • commercial property. 

These areas are full of uncertainty and risk as well as opportunity and profit, but risk and uncertainty can be minimised (though not eliminated) by developing an understanding of how these specialised areas of property investment operate. 

The authors also consider property issues that can arise in the later years of life such as property downsizing, equity release and inheritance tax planning.

The purpose of this book is to offer, in one place, enough information for you to assess your needs in the world of property thoughtfully, how to ask the right questions (and who to ask).


INTRODUCTION   1

CHAPTER 1 THE PROPERTY SYSTEM IN ENGLAND AND WALES  5

The big picture  5

The legal framework  5

Some history  6

The Crown Estate  9

Freehold and leasehold   10

Why leasehold rather than freehold?  11

Typical lease terms  14

Leasehold issues  16

Other forms of ownership   24

Land Registration   26

Freehold title issues  31

CHAPTER 2               BEING A TENANT  35

The big picture  35

The legal background   36

Assured Shorthold Tenancies  37

Finding a tenancy  37

The terms  41

Legal responsibilities  42

How to reduce risk  49

Signing on the dotted line  50

The form of tenancy agreement 50

The landlord’s obligations  51

Standard clauses  52

Future contact 52

Tenancy extensions  52

What if there are problems?  52

What to do at the end of the tenancy?  53

CHAPTER 3               BUYING A PROPERTY   55

Buy or rent?  55

Research   58

House price reports  58

The Bank of Mum and Dad   60

What do I want?  62

Finding ‘The One’ 64

Making an offer  74

Buying from new    77

Buying at auction   78

Valuations and surveys  80

The chain   85

Choosing and using a legal adviser  87

The legals  95

Up to exchange of contracts  95

After exchange of contracts  99

Completion day  101

After completion   102

Post transaction review    103

Joint tenants and tenants in common   103

Special schemes for first time buyers  106

‘Home Buy’ 108

Right to buy  112

‘Squatters’ rights’ 114

CHAPTER 4               SELLING A PROPERTY   119

The right approach   119

Choosing your timing  119

Stage 1 - Marketing  119

Choosing an agent and setting a price  120

Agency terms  123

Selling at auction   125

Presenting the property  125

Viewings  127

Choosing and instructing a solicitor  130

Instructing your solicitor  131

Stage 2 ‒ Deciding  133

Offers and how to assess them    133

Decision time! 134

Exchanges of property  136

Exclusivity or lock out agreement?  136

Stage 3 – Getting to exchange  137

Managing the process  137

The legals  139

The chain   141

Stage 4 – Getting to completion   142

Stage 5 - The Great Moving Day  143

CHAPTER 5               MORTGAGES, TAXES AND PENSIONS  145

Mortgages – origins and growth   145

The basic mortgage  146

Mortgages and interest rates  147

Payback time  150

Tax  160

Stamp duty  160

Income tax  163

Capital gains  165

Income from commercial property  168

Property and pensions  168

CHAPTER 6               LOOKING AHEAD   173

Introduction   173

Death, debt, defects, dementia, disputes, divorce  173

Death   173

Debt 179

Defects  191

Dementia  198

Disputes  211

Divorce  224

CHAPTER 7               BUY-TO-LET  229

The big picture  229

Why ‘buy-to-let’?  230

Ups and downs  231

2010 onwards  232

The golden rules  233

Where?  234

What property?  234

Buy at the right price for renting  237

Budgeting  239

Finding a tenant 241

Finding an agent 241

What kind of letting?  242

Tenancy agreements  242

The terms of the letting  243

Letting a property ‒ legal requirements  246

Assured tenancies  247

Holiday lettings  247

Letting to students  249

What is an HMO?  251

Managing your ‘buy-to-let’ 252

Managing the tenancy  252

Managing the property  256

CHAPTER 8               INVESTING IN COMMERCIAL PROPERTY   259

The big picture  259

Ups and downs  260

Investment options  260

Health warnings  261

Market risk  262

Property risk  262

Rental risk  263

Product risk  263

Tax risk  264

Characteristics of the UK commercial property market 265

Leases  265

Methods of commercial property investment 266

Direct investment 266

Shares  266

Collective investments  267

REITs - why do they matter?  272

Thumbnail sketches  276

 

CHAPTER 9               PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT  279

The big picture  279

Guidelines  280

What does ‘buy well’ mean?  280

Adding maximum value  281

Controlling costs  282

Selling well ‒ marketing, presentation and setting  283

Regulatory controls on development 283

Permitted development 285

Class A ‒ extensions and improvements  286

Class B ‒ roof extensions  287

Class C ‒ roof alterations  287

Class D ‒ porches  287

Class E ‒ outbuildings, enclosures, swimming pools and oil and gas containers  288

Class F ‒ hard surfaces  288

Class G ‒ chimneys, flues and soil and vent pipes  288

Class H ‒ microwave antenna  289

Solar panels  289

Making a planning application   289

Penalties for breaching planning controls  291

Requirement for Building Regulations consent 292

What the building control service is for  292

What the building control service is not 293

The Building Regulations  293

Amendments to the BR 2000  294

Applying for Building Regulation approval 295

Local authority building control service  295

Full plans application procedure  295

Building notice procedure  296

Approved inspectors  297

Regularisation certificates  297

Enforcement 298

Enforcement notices  298

Injunctions  298

Prosecution (section 35 and 35A, Building Act 1984) 300

Time limits  300

The future of Building Regulations  301

Green issues and property development 302

The big picture  302

Incentives for Energy Production   305

CHAPTER 10             BUYING ABROAD   307

Deciding what you want 310

Finding what you want 313

Buying it 314

Budget 315

Plan   315

Process  315

Buying from a developer v buying second hand   319

The role of the notary  321

The pain in Spain   323

Raising the money  327

Tax  328

France - sale and leaseback  330

Timeshare and fractional ownership   331

Co-ownership and running costs  333

Spain   335

France  338

Portugal 341

Italy  343

Switzerland   345

(Southern) Cyprus  347

Florida  349

Dubai 351

South Africa  353

AFTERWORD   355

 

APPENDIX 1: Property in Scotland and Northern Ireland   357

Property in Scotland   357

Buying and selling  357

Renting  358

Property in Northern Ireland   359

APPENDIX 2: Useful websites  361

Finding a tenancy  361

Property search websites  361

First time buyer websites  361

Nationwide firms of agents  361

National and London newspapers websites  362

Auction sale sites  362

‘Nosy neighbour’ websites  362

Affordable Housing  362

UK Holiday letting  363

Letting property abroad   363

Overseas property search   363

UK solicitors specialising in overseas purchases  363

Guidance on green issues  364

Index     365

Imprint
Spiramus Press
Publisher
Spiramus Press
Language
English
Product Format
Paperback
Dimensions
229 x 162
Publication Date
15 Jul 2010
Number of Pages
384
ISBN
9781907444012
Edition
1
Product Format
PDF
Publication Date
5 Jul 2010
Number of Pages
384
ISBN
9781907444197