There is a multitude of benefits to buying a New Build home. Buying into such developments can be opting into a lifestyle rather than just purchasing a home, with fitness suites, shopping amenities and communal spaces becoming common features of new build developments. The developers will do solid research on an area and look at proximity to local schools and transport links.

When buying a New Build home, ensure you research the developer that you are purchasing from and ask to see the developer’s portfolio of work. Whether it is a well-known developer or a private developer, it is essential that they have a proven track record and you can see their work stands the test of time. New Build properties are generally built to the highest specifications using high-quality, new materials, which mean that they are more energy efficient, cheaper to maintain and have the latest safety and security measures in place. A 10-year National House Building Council Warranty (NHBC) comes with most new homes and acts as a guarantee.

Construction of the property you plan to purchase may not have started and you may commit to the purchase based on the viewing of a show home. This is what’s known as buying ‘off-plan’. Buying off-plan also gives buyers the opportunity to choose finishes throughout the property so that it is bespoke to the buyer’s personal taste – from flooring to tiles, to worktops and wardrobes. Investors often buy New Build homes off plan as this allows them to focus on generating capital growth without concerning themselves with maintenance costs. New Build homes are often a preferred choice for tenants who are looking for ease, convenience and the great locations that New Build homes typically offer.

There are Help to Buy schemes offered by the government, all aimed at helping buyers with the cost of securing and maintaining a New Build home. Naturally, New Build homes are an attractive option for first-time buyers because of the government Help to Buy schemes available and the convenience of moving into a brand-new property which requires no renovation – something which can be very costly.

Things initially move quickly in the world of New Build conveyancing. When you decide that you are ready to make an offer on a prospective property, the developer will require a reservation fee before accepting. Often, this is non-returnable. You should also make sure you have an agreement in principle from the mortgage company before committing to paying the reservation fee. Once this fee has been paid you will have a limited amount of time to exchange contracts – usually around 4 weeks. You should, therefore, have researched experienced New Build conveyancers and be prepared to instruct them as soon as the reservation fee has been paid. Developers can be strict when it comes to deadlines for the exchange of contracts, particularly if there is a lot of interest in the property. If these aren’t met, then you are at risk of losing your would-be home and your reservation deposit. The developers’ conveyancers will give your conveyancing lawyers notice of when the property is ready. Completion must then happen within a specified period.

Due to the strict deadlines and complexities of New Build conveyancing, it’s important that you choose a solicitor who has considerable experience in this field. Our team of expert conveyancing solicitors have decades of collective experience in this specialist area and are committed to delivering a smooth and stress-free service.


If you would like to discuss New Build conveyancing in further detail, call us on 0121 778 2371 to speak with a member of the team. Further, advice can also be found on our dedicated new build conveyancing team page.

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What is a declaration of trust?

A declaration of trust is a document that confirms the proportions in which two or more individuals own a property.

If two or more people are purchasing a property together they may want to purchase as tenants in common. This declaration of trust for tenants in common records each person’s contribution and therefore the proportions of the property they own.

Unlike joint tenancy, tenants in common can specify their distinct share in the property. This document sets out the respective beneficial interest of each tenant in common based on their contributions to the deposit, mortgage and ongoing maintenance.

Creating this declaration of trust when purchasing is important when the property is sold as it ensures that each homeowner gets a fair portion of what they put into the property.

Why do I need a declaration of trust?

You need a declaration of trust when you are buying property as tenants in common with one or more people and you want to carve out distinct shares. Upon the sale of the property, you will receive back the same percentage of the proceeds as you put in of the distinct share. It is also possible to leave your distinct share to someone in your will, which is not possible to do if you are joint tenants.

When to use

Use this declaration of trust

  • If you are buying a property as tenants in common with one or more people and all parties wish to confirm how their contributions to the following are to be made:
  • purchase price;
  • mortgage payments; and
  • maintenance of the property

What it covers

This declaration of trust enables homeowners

  • To have a legal document which confirms the actual proportions in which owners own their homes
  • To confirm the actual amounts originally spent by each party in terms of a percentage amount
  • To confirm the proportions to be repaid to each homeowner when the property is sold
  • To specify the parties’ contributions for the payment of the mortgage and maintenance obligations
  • To prevent arguments as to who gave what at the beginning and who should get what when a property comes to be sold

The declaration of trust is a purely personal agreement and the obligations you have to your lender mortgage company will always remain joint and several, whatever you state in this deed. It will always remain a fact that if one of you fails to pay the mortgage, the other is/others are wholly responsible.

How many parties can enter into declaration of trust?

Any number of parties can enter into a declaration of trust.

What steps do you need to take before entering into this agreement?

Work out very carefully the proportions in which you and the other trustees will own the property and remember to include the costs of the purchase in your calculations, because they will reflect the proportions that will be used to distribute the sale proceeds when the property is sold.

How can you terminate this declaration of trust?

You can terminate this agreement by giving four months written notice to each of the other owners.

Further advice

Ask a lawyer

  • If you are joint tenants (which means when you die, your co-owner(s) automatically inherit your property and you cannot leave it by your will). It is possible to sever the tenancy and then complete a declaration of trust. If you are doing this and your shares are not equal, you will need advice from a lawyer
  • For further advice, if you are buying a house unequally and you have children between you.

If you would like to discuss the above further, please contact The Law Practice UK Ltd today.

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