Buying a home is a necessarily engrossing activity, which requires all of your attention from viewing properties to the eventual exchange of contracts. Even after that, there are months of renovation and decoration to look forward to. With well over 360,000 expected to buy their first home each year, this is a well-heeled process that is always underway somewhere. But even with all hands on deck, it is possible for something to slip through the cracks. What are some problems that you might face as a budding homeowner?
There is a great deal of tangible ways in which negligence can present through the purchasing of a home, but first it is important to address the administrative side of the equation – and the unique ways in which legal and administrative failures can cost dearly. Conveyancers are an essential part of the home-buying process, even for savvy and experienced buyers; they conduct all legal checks and arrange property surveys, as well as liaise with other parties and lenders to organise the safe and legal purchase of a property.
However, there are cases in which a solicitor can fail in their duty. They might miss a crucial covenant tacked on to the title deed of the property, that results in you incurring an unexpected legal cost or even falling foul of the law. Where rural properties are concerned, specific changes to septic tank regulations have seen some solicitors give negligent advice – leading to the potential for significant fines.
Incomplete or Delayed Development
New build homes have become a majority presence in many regional property markets, as construction companies race to complete new contracts. New builds can be affordable and accessible entry points to the property ladder, but they can also be fonts for difficulty and even negligence.
Many new builds are sold under relatively unique contracts, wherein they are sole ‘off-plan’; this means the property is sold in principle, prior to being built. This introduces some interesting challenges, particularly where unclear contracts are concerned. Off-plan contracts cannot include a formal completion date, but this doesn’t mean that project delays can’t negatively impact you. There might also be confusion as to what exactly you’re meant to receive, which could cost you your reservation fee if not careful.
Structural Issues and Poor Workmanship
Finally, an issue which straddles both the administrative and the tangible: the discovery of structural issues or poor workmanship in a given property. For older-build homes, this can impact you where a survey has failed to discover a given issue with a home – the result being the all-too-late discovery of costly damage.
For new builds, this can occur where construction firms have cut corners during construction. This can impact those with off-plan contracts, who are not allowed to inspect the property until it is complete. Structural problems are rare but extremely dangerous, whereas poor workmanship and shoddy renovations can make the house unpleasant to move into.