The Practical Lawyer


EPC – failure to provide?

What if no EPC is provided by the seller, but the buyer goes ahead and subsequently discovers that the property is unlettable (because of the poor energy rating). Can the buyer take action against the seller?
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Land Registry – name variations

The LR has published new guidance on what to do when there are discrepancies or variations in the names on deeds sent for registration.

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NHBC – ‘unregistered vendor’

On a first sale, when an NHBC certificate is being offered, the conveyancer should check the names (i) in the contract and (ii) in the NHBC documentation.

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Notice to complete – vacant possession?

Can a seller serve a notice to complete if they have already obtained vacant possession of the property?

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Legal title – registration gap

The ‘registration gap’ is the time between (i) completion and (ii) registration at the LR. Since it is not (yet) possible to have an instantaneous completion and registration, there will always be a period of time when the new ’owner’ is not registered.

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Deposit – non-refundable?

A buyer (or seller) will often ask if there is some way of tying in the other side, before formal exchange of contract.

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NHBC – Buildmark

A new-build ‘warranty scheme’, such as the NHBC, is needed because there will usually be no privity of contract between the building contractor and the buyer.

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Off-plan purchase – CGT

If a client buys off-plan, then what is the relevant date for capital gains tax purposes? In particular, how does this impact on the availability of principal private residence relief?

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Leases – prescribed clauses

The LR will no longer reject an application to register a lease if the following prescribed clauses have not been completed: title number; full names and addresses of the parties to the lease; and details of the terms of the lease.

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Cheshire – salt/brine searches

If you are acting on behalf of someone buying in Cheshire then it will usually be negligent not to obtain a salt search.

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RICS – service charges
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We noted the RICS Code of Practice on service charges in our October 2018 issue, p19; the ‘Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)’ comes into force on 1 April 2019. Read more...
Notice of severance – rectification?
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A recent case reminds practitioners of the importance of ensuring that a notice of severance accurately records all of the titles intended to be severed. Read more...
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Incompetence – not discrimination
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The CA has held that an incompetent process does not amount to discrimination. Read more...
Sentencing – contempt of court
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The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in relation to a claimant remanded to prison overnight for discussing evidence in a civil case.  Read more...


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