Buying a new build – Have You Got your House in order?
There are a lot of regulations in place to ensure that all new build houses are safe, legal and won’t cause the owners any problems in the future.
When buying a new home, it’s important to speak to a firm to ensure that everything is in order before you buy that house. Here is a checklist of things you need to keep in mind when buying a new build property, especially those that haven’t been built by large companies.
Your properly lawyer should check that planning permission has been granted and that the planning conditions have been met. If they haven’t and you buy the house, you will be liable in the future.
Building regulation consent
These regulations simply control how the house is built and out of which materials. Your council should have granted permission for those materials to be used in that house build. If there is no building regulation consent then you should be aware that this could mean the building has not been constructed to proper standards.
You should get some form of structural guarantee from whoever is building your house. Without this, you won’t be able to get a mortgage. Also, if structural defects do develop, the guarantee means they will have to be fixed free of charge, you may also be entitled to some compensation from the builder. There are plenty of third party companies that will provide a structural guarantee on your property.
If your new home has been built on a new estate then all the roads will be new too. New roads aren’t automatically adopted by the local authority but they should be in the future. Check that there is an agreement stating the roads will be adopted by the local authority once the estate is complete. If there isn’t an agreement in place then you may be liable for any work that needs to be done to your road, or you may be charged for maintaining it.
Drains and sewers
The same goes for drains and sewers. Check that the water authority has assumed responsibility for the drains and sewers, or that there’s a legal agreement in place for them to assume responsibility in the future (when the houses are finished, for example).
While the sewers, drains, pipes, cables and roads are still privately owned, you need to make sure that you have the right to use them as the owner of the house. Do check your documentation to see if this is all in place. On top of this, the legal contract should give you the rights to go onto an adjoining property to fix pipes, sewers, walls etc.
Covenants refer to things like boundaries, whose responsibility the fences are and so on. Your property lawyer should check that these covenants aren’t too over the top and won’t affect your enjoyment of the property.