If you’re happy with all the terms of your offer notice and would like to proceed with your purchase, you will need to confirm this with your landlord in writing. Your landlord, solicitor and mortgage lender (if you have one) will manage your purchase from here, and there will be various documents for you to check and sign at different stages.
Timescales from here can vary, and can depend on whether you’ve already got your mortgage and solicitor in place. If you’re not sure, or think things are taking longer than you expected, phone or email to find out what’s happening, whether it’s your landlord, your solicitor or your mortgage lender.
Arranging a mortgage and survey
If you haven’t already organised your mortgage, you’ll need to now. If you’ve had trouble arranging your mortgage you may find this advice helpful. You can also talk to a Right to Buy adviser who can provide information on taking those next steps. You should also get an independent survey from a qualified surveyor if you’ve not done so already. When you apply for a mortgage, the bank or building society will have a survey done, but this is only to value your home. It may not uncover any structural problems that may exist. To find a surveyor in your area visit the RICS website.
Appointing a solicitor
You will need to appoint a solicitor (or conveyancer) to deal with the legal aspects of your purchase. You should always ask how much it will cost before you appoint someone.
You may want to look at the Law Society’s website which has information on how to find a solicitor, what the solicitor will do on your behalf and the type of documents you will expect to see and sign throughout the buying process.
Confirmed you want to proceed
Once you have confirmed with your landlord that you are happy with your offer letter they will prepare the legal documents and send them to your solicitor.
Your solicitor will check the reports (the contract, land registry etc). When all matters of the conveyance or lease are confirmed and agreed, and the mortgage offer is confirmed, the sale can proceed.
You’re not committed to buying at this stage – you can still change your mind, but be aware that once you’ve started this stage of the process you will start incurring costs – solicitor’s fees and mortgage valuation for example.
Contracts, payments and completion
Once you’re happy with all the terms, the sale will be finalised (completed) on a date agreed between you and your landlord. If you are paying a deposit, the money needs to be with your solicitor before the date agreed for completing your purchase.
Your solicitor will then take the mortgage money from your mortgage lender and any additional money required to be paid on completion date. This will include costs, VAT, Land Registry fees and stamp duty land tax (if any). Your solicitor will make these payments on your behalf.
On the completion date the sale price and any outstanding rent must have been paid to the landlord. If your rent account is in arrears on the purchase day the sale will not complete. Upon completion, your landlord will end your rent account. You are now the legal owner of your property!