The Practical Lawyer


Lock-out agreement – effect?

A prospective buyer and seller can agree that, for a fixed period of time, the seller will not negotiate with anyone else, and the parties will proceed in good faith.

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Completion – late payment

Time only becomes of the essence when a notice to complete has been served. Thereafter, any delay can be fatal to the buyer (who may then lose his deposit).

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Land Registry – new forms

Do not forget that from 10 November, all LR forms will change. The new versions of AP1, FR1 and DS2 are mandatory for all applications received on or after 10 November.

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CML – incentives

A reminder that the Council of Mortgage Lenders altered its standard industry conveyancing instructions in September, so you must obtain a ‘disclosure of incentives form’ from the developer’s conveyancer.

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Failure to complete – seller’s position

If a buyer is in default, with the seller having served a notice to complete (making time of the essence), then the seller has two choices, either:

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Law Society – banking collapse

All conveyancers will be familiar with the Law Society guidance published during October’s banking crisis. The key statements were ‘if you have made any express undertakings to pay money, you must honour this even if the bank has collapsed’.

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Insurance – noting an interest

Noting the interest of a third party (eg a T or mortgagee) means that the insurance company will then have to notify that person of any claim under the policy (or an event likely to invalidate the policy – for instance, non-payment of the premium).

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Land Registry – amending deeds

It is important to remember that there are prescribed procedures that apply for correcting mistakes if a document is to be registered at LR. This contrasts with unregistered conveyancing, where a deed of rectification or a deed of variation will be used. As far as LR procedures are concerned, much will depend upon the timing:

before the original document has been lodged for registration: in that situation the original document should be amended, with each party counter-signing the amendments. The documents can then be submitted to the LR in the usual way;

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Local search – permitted development

The General Permitted Development Order sets out certain types of ‘permitted development’ for which it is not necessary to have planning permission. Important changes came into force on 1 October (especially in relation to lofts and roof extensions – see last month’s issue, p29).

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Land Registry – seven+ year leases

The number of leases reported to HMRC for SDLT purposes is considerably higher than the number reported to the LR for registration. This seems to suggest that there are a number of leases for more than seven years which are not being registered, when they should be. It will be recalled, of course, that registration of leases of more than seven years has been compulsory since October 2003 (prior to that date, it was only leases of more than 21 years).

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