HAPPY NEW YEAR! – RESIDENTIAL RESOLUTIONS
As we start a new year and decade, it is a pertinent time to reflect on the year gone by and the one ahead. It is a common time to make resolutions, many of which relate to giving up bad habits. But how about making some positive resolutions instead – to protect yourself, improve your financial position and enhance your life generally?
Whether or not you are thinking of buying or selling residential property this year, the head of our residential real estate team, Melanie Carroll, explains several things all homeowners should be doing to literally ‘get your house in order’ for 2020.
PROTECT AGAINST FRAUD
You can sign up for the Land Registry’s award winning, and free, property monitoring service. Once you have signed up, you will receive email alerts when certain activity occurs on your monitored properties, giving you time to consider your position and take action if necessary. You can monitor up to 10 properties at any one time and add or delete properties as is necessary.
You should also consider adding more ‘addresses for service’ at the Land Registry for properties you own. You can have up to 3 addresses and, whilst 1 must be a postal address, you can add email addresses too. The more addresses the Land Registry has, the greater chance of contacting you should there be an issue with your title.
REGISTER WHAT’S YOURS
The majority of properties in England and Wales are registered with the Land Registry but latest estimates are that approximately 15% remain unregistered. If title to your property is unregistered, now is a good time to register the title at the Land Registry, particularly as the fees for doing so are reduced. A registered title is ‘state guaranteed’, provides clear proof of ownership, helps protect you from fraud and makes it easier to deal with the property in the future.
In Islington and the surrounding areas, there are also large numbers of vaults which are not included within registered titles. This can cause problems when you come to deal with your property and so we would also advise that you register these now – our specialist offering will help you do this.
CHECK YOUR RATE
If you own a property which has a mortgage secured on it, then check when the rate expires. You may be able to obtain a more competitive offering. If you need assistance with the re-mortgage transaction, then we can help with this too.
If you are considering entering into an equity release mortgage, then you will need a specialist real estate solicitor to advise you and we can help with this. As members of the Equity Release Council, we are experts in these types of products and can offer a comprehensive written report and face-to-face meeting, so that you can be sure that this is the right avenue for you.
Finally, if you own a property jointly with someone else, then it is important that you know what ‘type’ of joint ownership you currently have and whether it suits your current or future circumstances. So if you don’t know whether you hold you property as “Joint Tenants” or as “Tenants in Common”, now is a good time to find out and take some advice.
For further information on any of Melanie’s suggested resolutions, please contact her on +4420 7288 4798 or one of our other residential real estate experts for advice and assistance.