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Conveyancing

Properties – raffle prizes

One way of selling a property during a recession is to make it the prize in a raffle draw. But, such house competitions run the risk of falling foul of Gambling Act 2005. As we noted in our February 2009 issue (p4) a lottery will be illegal if winning depends on ‘chance’. Accordingly, there must be some question posed of entrants that requires some skill to answer.

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Estate agent – not ‘effective cause’

The normal rule is that an estate agent usually has to be the ‘effective cause’ of a sale or purchase to be entitled to any commission. But, it is important to realise that all will depend upon the precise wording of the agency contract.

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Councils – consent needed?

In April 2009 district councils in Cornwall, Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire (and county councils in Cheshire) will be wound up and dissolved, with their functions being transferred to new unitary councils.

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Insolvency – validity of appointment

The number of insolvency-related sales is likely to increase. When dealing with a purchase from an insolvency practitioner the buyer will usually have to accept a lower level of legal protection.

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Coal searches – fees

A reminder that the Coal Authority CON 29M fees increased on 1 April: online is £21.15, post and phone are £26.50, and non-residential is £50 (all inclusive of VAT).

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Estate agent – not ‘effective cause’

We now have yet another important CA decision on whether an estate agent is the ‘effective cause’ of a property sale (and thus entitled to commission on the sale).

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Particulars – misleading

A summary of the main remedies available to a buyer who has relied on misleading estate agent particulars:

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SDLT – mixed use

If a transaction includes residential and commercial properties, what Code should be inserted in Box 1 (type of property) of SDLT1? Also, what Code should be inserted in SDLT3 and SDLT4?

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SDLT – six or more properties

A reminder of the rules on notifying HMRC of a transaction comprising six or more properties (ie same purchaser, vendor, and effective date):

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Land Registry – Harrow, York

The Harrow and York LR offices are being closed down (indeed, it has not been possible to lodge applications at either since April).

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