FAQs

Below is a series of Frequently Asked Question, if you have a question which is not answered in the list below please contact 028 2502 2126 or info@propertylawyerni.com.

Why use Property Lawyer NI?

Property Lawyer NI has carefully selected a panel of Northern Ireland based property lawyers who are committed to offering a speedy and efficient conveyancing service. They are all locally based and offer fixed fees and evening and weekend appointments (home visits can also be accommodated). Property Lawyer NI believes that it is the lawyer’s obligation to push all parties involved in the process and you will be regularly updated as the transaction progresses. All of our lawyers are approved and regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland and hold £3 million professional indemnity insurance as a minimum.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

How long will it take to complete my transaction?

In an ideal world the property you are buying or selling would be empty and there you would not need a mortgage.  Under these unlikely circumstances the conveyancing process could be wrapped up in days. In all probability some if not all of these factors will exist in a transaction and as a result a typical conveyancing will between 6 and 8 weeks to get to the point of completion.

Instructing one of our lawyers gives you the very best chance of successfully completing your sale or purchase within the minimum possible time.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

What happens on Completion Day – When will I get the keys?

The purchaser’s lawyer will transfer the purchase money to the vendors lawyer’s bank account. Once this has been done the vendors lawyer will then authorise the vendor to release the keys to the purchaser. This will usually happen at about 12.00pm.

Will I have to pay Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is generally payable on the purchase or transfer of property or land in Northern Ireland where the amount paid is above a certain threshold. In addition most Northern Ireland land and property transactions must be notified to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on a Stamp Duty Land Tax return within a certain time limit – even if no tax is due. Your lawyer will take care of all of the returns to be made to HMRC in respect of Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Residential land or property SDLT rates and thresholds

Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate (% of purchase price)
Up to £125,000 Zero
Over £125,000 to £250,000 1%
Over £250,000 to £500,000 3%
Over £500,000 to £1 million 4%
Over £1 million to £2 million 5%

There are also some types of transactions that are exempt from SDLT, or where reliefs can reduce the amount payable. For residential property for which the purchase price is greater than £150,000.00 no exemption is available and stamp duty is payable.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rates the energy performance of a building. If you are selling or letting property in Northern Ireland then you must provide the purchaser/tenant with a a valid EPC. They will usually cost in the region of £70.00.

An EPC gives the building a standard energy and carbon (C02) emission efficiency grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’, where A is very efficient and G and is very inefficient. The higher the rating the more energy efficient the building is and therefore the fuel bills will be lower.

As well as rating the property, part of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a recommendation report which lists the potential rating the building could achieve. Recommendations are given on how to improve the rating of the property and estimation on how much money these improvements could save you.

What is Land Registry?

Land Registry was established in 1892 and maintains a record of map based land registrations in Northern Ireland. The Registry does not merely provide a mechanical registration system; it actually guarantees the validity of the legal title.

Each title has its own unique number known as the Folio Number.

The Folio Number:

  • describes the property
  • records who owns the property
  • gives details of encumbrances such as mortgages or rights that may affect the property adversely

The Land Registry also produces a title plan, showing the location and extent of the land or property’s legal boundary.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

What are “Searches” and “Property Certificates”?

Searches

The making of Searches is a vital part of the legal investigations into whether there is clear title (ownership) of the property you wish to buy. These are done by the Vendor’s solicitor and paid for by the Vendor. They include:

Statutory Charges Register

This is a central register for a number of different government matters affecting land, known as Statutory Charges. These include charges in favour of local authorities under the Public Health Acts, notices under the Road Acts, listed buildings and many other things. A Statutory Charge registered before a buyer is registered as owner takes priority over the legal transfer to the buyer.

Judgments Office

This Search will show if there are any court cases pending which may affect the property, crown judgments or judgments for rates.

Companies Office

When buying from a company, the Register of Charges must always be searched to ensure that the Company can give good title to the buyer.

Bankruptcy Office

When a person is adjudged bankrupt he has no power to transfer land to a buyer, so a search must be made to make sure the seller is not bankrupt.

Registry of Deeds and Land Registry Searches

These searches are carried out in the government title registries to show any matters which have been registered against the title during the seller’s ownership of the property. They will reveal, for example, if the seller has taken a second mortgage.

Property Certificates

The Vendor’s solicitor has to provide property certificates to the buyers solicitor. These certificates provide up to date information about the property.

The Department of the Environment Property Certificates confirms such matters, as whether there are any proposals for road works which may affect the property, whether there are public sewers and water mains available to serve the property, and whether the property has been the subject of a planning application.

The local council Property Certificates reveals whether there have been any notices affecting the property in relation to Building Control Approval or enforcement, if there are any orders or notices against the property under Environmental Health legislation and whether the property is affected by any legal proceedings taken by the local council.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

What does Property Lawyer NI’s fee cover?

Each transaction is different – the fee quoted covers the fee payable to the lawyer and all outlays and expenses involved in the proposed transaction.

This will involve an investigation of title deeds for the property and advising you generally. It will also cover the conclusion of all legal formalities such as a filing the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and carrying out all registration in Land Registry/Registry of Deeds.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

When do I have to pay the lawyer?

The lawyers fee must be paid no later than 5 days prior to completion together with any additional charges and outlays such as Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax etc. Your lawyer will provide you with a completion statement 7 days before completion setting out all fees and outlays to be paid.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

Can I do the legal work myself?

Conveyancing is complex legal work and there is generally a lot of money involved. A qualified lawyer will have the legal knowledge and experience necessary to handle your transaction, ensuring that all issues and concerns are dealt with. Leasehold transactions, for example, are more complex and the lease should be carefully reviewed by a lawyer that is familiar with these types of agreements and what to look out for.

A home purchase or sale will usually be the largest financial transaction that you will be involved in and it is not worth taking any risks that can adversely affect you in the future.

For more information about the conveyancing service offered by Property Lawyer NI or to instruct a lawyer for your sale or purchase, contact us on 028 2502 2126

Need Advice?

Phone us now on 028 8283 9219 or
e-mail us on info@propertylawyerni.com

Web Design by LD2.digital