Legal advice from conveyancing solicitors with local knowledge and experience can be critically important in safeguarding the interests of a buy-to-let property purchaser. The tenancy agreement will need to be assessed to make sure that the terms are acceptable, and that no unwelcome surprises will impact the buyer over the duration of the lease. Legal paperwork will need to be examined, and searches and enquiries carried out, to check whether, for example, any service charges are due on the property, or whether any restrictive covenants or other obstacles exist limiting the buyer’s intended use of property.
Apart from examining and advising on the lease terms and related legal documents, a conveyancing solicitor will also be able to advise landlords on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) issues. Since April 2016, individuals, companies and trusts are obliged to pay a higher rate (currently 3% extra) on the purchase of additional residential properties. However, there are certain exemptions and methods of reducing a landlord’s exposure to SDLT. The purchaser will also need to decide on whether to buy a property as an individual or through a company or trust, which can have important consequences for their annual tax liability.
Further issues arise when a landlord buys a tenanted property and takes on the existing tenancy agreement. The legal validity of the agreement will need to be confirmed, safety checks carried out to make sure the property is suitable for renting, and documents examined to ensure compliance with regulations on landlords and identify possible debts on the property, such as financial liability for past breaches of covenants. The deposit will also need to be transferred to the new landlord and protected in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme, and H.M Landlord Registry’s register updated with the appropriate registrations of interest.
Our firm has decades of experience of buying and selling residential properties in the city of Liverpool and across Merseyside. We offer competitive fixed fees, no obligation free quotations and no hidden costs. Get in touch with our conveyancing team for legal advice on buy-to-let property transactions that you can trust: