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Conveyancing

SDLT – Wales

In his November 2017 Budget, the Chancellor abolished SDLT for first-time buyers on purchases up to £300,000 (and also introduced a tax saving of up to £5,000 for £300,000-£500,000 first-time buyers).

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Land Registry – prioritise applications

The LR has amended PG 19 to clarify the need to prioritise the order of applications when registering a restriction.

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CHAPS – standard conditions

A reminder that CHAPS is no longer provided by the CHAPS Clearing Company Limited. Instead, it is now operated by the Bank of England (from 13 November 2017).

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Charge – discharged in error?

What happens when a bank discharges its charge in error? In practical terms, there are unlikely to be problems in getting the register altered so as to reinstate the mortgage. But, will this be a rectification of the register, or a mere alteration of the register?

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Japanese knotweed – ‘new build’ risk

There has been much publicity about Japanese knotweed this year, largely as a result of an important county court decision which held Network Rail liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced houses. The owners of those properties had been ‘trapped’ by knowledge of knotweed, and could not sell because banks and mortgagees would not grant mortgages on the affected properties. It was held that Network Rail was liable in private nuisance and had to pay damages (including diminution in value of the homes). See our April 2017 issue, p19.

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Grenfell Tower – CPSEs

Do the Commercial Property Standard Enquiries need to be amended, or added to, as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire?

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Electronic search fees – VAT!

In an important decision, the FTT has held that the cost of electronic searches on conveyancing transactions is not a disbursement for VAT purposes. Instead, the cost is part of the overall provision of legal services to the client and is thus subject to VAT (on the same basis as any other payment for legal services).

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Notices – death

What happens if a notice is served on someone who is dead? The answer depends on whether or not the person serving the notice knows that the intended recipient has died.  

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Fraud – mandatory guide!

The Law Society and LR have issued a joint note on property and title fraud.  

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First registration – rejection

The LR is tightening its criteria for rejecting applications for first registration (whether freehold or leasehold).

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