New Builds – make sure your interests are properly protected.

Did you know that you don’t have to use a solicitor nominated by the builder of your new home?

Many home-buyers aren’t aware that they are free to choose.

Sadly, it’s becoming increasingly common for some house builders to put pressure on buyers to use their preferred firm of solicitors to carry out conveyancing.

But, if you think about it, it’s probably not a wise move to use a firm that the builder recommends. If there’s a problem, a solicitor who is recommended may have a conflict of interest if they are linked to the Builder and your best interests may not be protected.

There are a number of common problems which may arise as a result of using a solicitor who is not truly independent, including:

Boundary disputes It is not uncommon for house builders to make errors in boundary positions, rights of way, land ownership or parking spaces during land registration.

  • Back in 2006, an unsuspecting home buyer bought a new build from a well-known housing developer. She is now stuck with a home she cannot sell as she has since discovered that half her bedroom is on her neighbour’s land!

Escalating ground rents  In recent years, a growing scandal has emerged, particularly involving new-build properties.

Some have leases with terms that have meant ground rents have been spiralling out of control, or clauses in the lease have left home owners unable to make improvements to their property without being penalised. Recent cases have included:

  • A homeowner being charged £1,500 by a leaseholder, to allow them to make a small alteration to their home
  • A family house that is now unsaleable because the ground rent is expected to hit £10,000 a year by 2060
  • A homeowner who was told buying the lease would cost £2,000 but the final bill came to £40,000

House builders’ covenants

Many housebuilders include restrictions on any future extensions you may wish to carry out. Some are reasonable, but others less so. For example, would you be happy if you found out that you could not:

  • Add a conservatory
  • Park your commercial vehicle, caravan or boat on your drive
  • Repaint your own front door in your choice of colour

When you buy a new home, you need peace of mind that the solicitor you instruct to carry out your conveyancing is acting in YOUR best interests and not in the interests of anyone else.

It is important that you do not feel coerced into signing up with a solicitor recommended by your house builder. In fact, it is illegal for them to force you to use a particular solicitor.

You can be assured that Mander Hadley’s friendly, experienced, independent conveyancing team will always put your needs first in everything we do.

We will support you throughout the house buying process and ensure that there are no nasty hidden clauses or land registry problems which could come back to bite you.

We won’t bamboozle you with legal jargon and we’ll explain in plain English what’s involved.

Contact us now and we will take care of your new build conveyancing needs.