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Buying a Freehold House Part V – What your Solicitor does after completion

You might think that your Conveyancing Solicitor’s work has finished apart from a final letter or two, but I can assure you that this is not the case! 

There is still a lot of work for your Conveyancing Solicitor to do before his or her job is finished. In some ways this part of the work is the most important part of the whole process, because the legal transfer of title is not complete until the transfer has been finally registered. Your Solicitor will now have to make sure that everything is done so that your title is properly registered at the land registry.

These are the steps that your Conveyancing Solicitor will now be carrying out:

  • Wait for sellers’ Solicitors to send the Transfer deed signed by the sellers, together with any other deeds and documents they have agreed to hand over. Check that all documents are properly signed.
  • Complete and file the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) return form to HM Revenue & Customs, and pay the duty. You will probably have already been asked to sign a paper form beforehand, although it is now common for the form to be filed online.
  • Send payment of any indemnity insurance premium to the insurers, and await issue of policy
  • If the Seller had any mortgages or other charges registered, check that arrangements have been made for them to be removed. In some cases lenders contact the land registry direct, in other cases documents will be required from the lenders authorising the land registry to remove relevant entries on the title register. It may be necessary to contact the sellers’ Solicitors if any such documents have not been received.
  • Once HMRC have issued a certificate that the stamp duty has been paid, and any necessary consent/licence has been received from the landlords, complete and send the application to the correct office of the land registry requesting registration of the transfer to the buyer, together with any new mortgage, and pay the land registry fees. This application must be submitted within the priority period created by the land registry search made before completion.
  • Reply to any requisitions raised by the land registry. This may require further correspondence with the sellers’ Solicitors, e.g. if the registry requires a copy document to be certified.
  • When the land registry has completed registration of the transfer and your mortgage (if any) it will send your Solicitor a title information document showing the new title entries. Your Solicitor will check that this shows you as the registered owner with your names correctly spelt. Also check that any mortgage has been properly registered, and any previous mortgages have been removed from the register.
  • Send you a copy of the new title and any documents which the mortgage lender does not require
  • Send a copy of the new title to any mortgage lender, with any documents they require
  • Check with accounts department that there is nothing left on the clients account, or return any balance to you
  • Check and close file

As mortgage lenders do not normally now store title deeds and documents, you may receive a bundle of documents relating to the property. You should not assume that these are unimportant, and it is best to keep them safe in case you need to refer to them. They can also be useful when you come to sell the house, and it can save time and your money if you hand these documents to your Solicitor when you sell. Some Solicitors will be able to store documents for you but will usually make a yearly charge for doing this.

If you have already instructed a Conveyancing Solicitor

I hope that everything has gone smoothly for you and you are happy with your new home. But do let your Conveyancing Solicitor know if you find any problems, or if you are not happy with the service you have received. Solicitors firms should have proper complaints procedures in place, and it is best to put any complaint in writing. If a complaint cannot be resolved, then complaints should now be referred to the Legal Services Ombudsman. Further information can be obtained from their website or contact:

Office of the Legal Services Ombudsman
PO Box 16079
B30 9EF

If you home sale or purchase is just getting underway, and you are looking to instruct a Solicitor, get a Conveyancing Solicitor Quote from Fridaysmove now.

For no-obligation about advice about our Conveyancing Quotes, call our specialists on 0800 038 6446.

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