5 May 2011 by

Ensure to Insure from exchange

The new Standard Conditions of Sale (Fifth Edition) are in the process of being incorporated into all new residential property contracts. One major amendment to the new conditions is that the risk in the property from the date of exchange until completion is now with buyer (under the previous conditions the risk would remain with the seller until completion). What this means to the buyer of the property is that is now of extreme importance that they have adequate buildings insurance in place from the date of exchange.

Even though the buyer will not be in occupation until completion, with the introduction of this amended condition, if the property is damaged or destroyed between exchange and completion, the buyer will not be able to rescind the contract and will have to complete the purchase. Therefore the buyer will need to make sure they have the insurance proceeds available to repair any damage.

Under the amended conditions the seller is under no obligation to insure between exchange and completion. Where a seller has a mortgage, however, they will still be required to insure the property until the date of completion under the terms of the mortgage.

With leasehold property, it is usually the case that the landlord insures the building and the new conditions will not affect this.

Although in practice the likelihood is that the seller will still maintain their insurance until completion, it is risky for the buyer to rely on the seller’s insurance policy. The seller may be insured with a company that does not deal with claims quickly or even worse the seller may have had their policy cancelled as a result of failing to pay the premium or not observing conditions of the policy.

13 April 2011 by

Avoid the new HMRC late filing and late payment penalties

With effect from 6 April 2011, HM Revenue & Customs has introduced significant new penalties for the late filing of tax returns and the late payment of tax due.

14 April 2011 by

Divorce lawyer’s charges

With the proposed changes to the scope and availability of Legal Aid, combined with the recent recession and ever increasing cost of living, it seems inevitable that more and more people are going to have to fund their divorce cases themselves, but with less money to do it with.

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