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  • Your solicitor will pay any stamp duty payable on the purchase and attend to the registration of the title into your name, forwarding details to you and any lender, once registered. If the solicitor is dealing with your sale, arrangements will be made to discharge any existing mortgage, if there is one.

  • Once you have exchanged contracts and the completion date is agreed in the contract, you will be legally bound to complete on that date by paying the purchase price in exchange for the keys. Therefore, if for any reason the lender decides to decline the mortgage or delay the issue of the offer, you would be liable for damages. So, the solicitor will advise you not to exchange contracts until you have received a written offer and the lender’s conditions can be complied with.

  • We will always provide you with a fixed priced conveyancing quote, by email, online or telephone. The price will not alter unless the transaction is different to that which has been quoted. An example might be where the quote is for a property with registered title, but the property actually has unregistered title. We will provide a clear explanation of why there is any alteration to the price.

  • The average time is six to eight weeks for a sale and eight to 12 weeks for a purchase, but this can vary, depending on the length of the chain involved. The shortest time could be only a few days, if a buyer was purchasing an empty property and had the purchase monies available without needing a mortgage. However, it could take longer than average if there is a long chain and the person at the end is waiting for a buyer to be able to proceed. Your solicitor will keep you fully informed of progress developments.

  • The seller’s contract provides for 10% of the purchase price to be paid on exchange of contracts prior to the completion of the purchase a few weeks later, but this deposit amount is more often than not varied by agreement. This depends upon the amount of money being borrowed. If you are buying and selling, the deposit obtained on the sale can usually be used as a deposit on the purchase.

  • The cost varies, dependent upon the particular area where the property is being purchased. The total cost of the search pack we provide is £195.00 and the solicitor will request an initial payment to cover the cost of these at the outset, when they are submitted. A seller is no longer required to provide searches.

  • Your solicitor will fully protect your interests and that of any lender on a purchase, to ensure that no adverse entries arise which could affect the property generally. Such matters would be revealed on the searches and the transaction would not proceed until any issues are resolved.

  • When contracts are exchanged, the completion date goes in the contract and is a fixed date for completion. At that time, the removal arrangements can be confirmed to the company. A suggested date given before exchange of contracts may be altered and the removal company may charge a fee for changing the date.

  • If there is an estate agent involved, the seller’s solicitor will telephone to arrange for the keys to be released, once all the purchase monies have been received. Your solicitor will arrange for the transfer of monies as early as possible on the day of completion, but if there is a long chain and monies are awaited, this may delay the time the keys are released.

  • If you are obtaining a mortgage, the lender will normally insure the property or allow you to do so, provided your own insurance arrangements are satisfactory to the lender and the property is fully covered.

  • The general principle is that it is the buyer’s responsibility to be satisfied as to the general condition of a property purchased. Provided a buyer is not misled by the seller, he cannot complain after exchange of contracts and completion as to its condition. If a mortgage is being obtained, a valuer on behalf of the lender will inspect the property, but only usually to ensure that the value of the property is more than the amount borrowed. In practice, the same valuer, on payment of a fee, will carry out a more detailed report, which can be relied upon if you, as buyer, later discover a problem with the property.

  • No. However withholding 20% of salary would amount to a breach of contract and unlawful deductions of wages unless the employee gives their consent. It is expected that the majority of employees will consent since furlough leave is a much better alternative than unpaid leave, lay off or redundancy.
  • An employee can request this but the employer does not have to agree. It is the employer’s decision which employees to place on furlough leave. It is unclear whether refusing to place employees on furlough leave and making them redundant instead could amount to unfair dismissal.
  • Yes, it is possible to approach your employer on a “without prejudice” (off the record) basis to investigate whether they would be willing to negotiate the terms of your exit from the business. This may be an appropriate course of action if you:

    • are unhappy at work;
    • have received an unsatisfactory outcome to a grievance and feel unable to continue in the work environment;
    • face disciplinary action or performance management;
    • believe you may have grounds to bring a claim against your employer in the Employment Tribunal.
  • There is nothing in the current guidance which suggests that the employer will only be able to access the reimbursement if it makes it a condition of furlough leave that the employee does not work elsewhere. Therefore, in theory an employee could work for another employer. It is however clear that the employee cannot do work for the employer seeking the reimbursement during furlough leave.
  • Some employers will not be able to continue to pay 80% of salaries until the HMRC portal is up and running and reimbursement is received. They therefore have the option of :

    • Making the employees redundant although this will have its own associated costs
    • Putting the employees on unpaid leave until the scheme is up and running
    • Reaching an agreement with the affected employees that they will be furloughed now but that payment of their salaries will be deferred until reimbursement is received from HMRC
  • The scheme states that employees must be furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks. What is not clear is how long the employee may return to work after a period of furlough leave before being placed on furlough leave again.
  • Unfortunately, the interaction between annual leave and furlough leave is not currently clear and there are several potential issues with allowing or requiring workers to take annual leave during furlough. Employers may be concerned with the effect of employees taking annual leave on their ability to obtain reimbursement from HMRC. Furlough leave needs to be taken in blocks of 3 weeks so arguably cannot be interrupted by annual leave. However , under the Working Time Regulations , an employer can require an employee to take annual leave by giving notice of twice the length of leave to be taken . So an employer could in theory require that every third week of furlough leave is to be taken as annual leave !