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What should a Tenant’s Solicitor Do?
At the outset of each instruction we will require:
- documentation to verify your identity
- evidence of the origin of funds to be used in the transaction
- heads of terms setting out the agreed terms of the transaction
CONTACTING THE LANDLORD’S SOLICITORS
We will write to the landlord’s solicitors to:
- confirm instructions in relation to the proposed transaction
- verify the heads of terms
- request the sale pack and draft documentation
Our role is to investigate the property and this is known as due diligence. We will undertake a review of the sale pack
We recommend the following searches on the property:
- Local Authority search
- Water & drainage search
- Chancelcheck search
- Environmental search
PRE CONTRACT ENQUIRIES
A review of the sale pack will initiate a set of enquiries about the property which we will raise with the landlord’s solicitors. The landlord’s solicitor will obtain the replies and return these to us. We will consult with you at this stage with regards any issues.
REVIEW OF THE DRAFT DOCUMENTATION
Our role is to review the lease in its draft form, make amendments to the wording of the terms in order to reduce / limit the tenant’s liability where possible and reach a compromise with the landlord’s solicitors.
Depending on the arrangements with the landlord, we will similarly negotiate the terms of the rent deposit deed
We will consult with you for instructions on any issues in dispute.
REPORTING TO YOU
Once we have completed our due diligence of the property and the negotiations of the documents, we will provide a written report on our investigations into the property. The report will detail any risks that you should be aware of and give you an opportunity to make an informed decision as to how to proceed with the transaction.
If you and the landlord agree to proceed with the lease, the landlord’s solicitor will prepare the final document(s) and send the same to us. You will be required to sign the documents(s) in the presence of a witness.
Depending on the negotiations at the outset, you may also be required to sign a statutory declaration to confirm that the lease is outside of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The declaration will have to be signed in the presence of an independent solicitor.
In advance of completion, we will provide a financial statement which will set out any monies which you have to transfer to us, including:
- our professional fees
- deposit amount (if applicable)
- rent / insurance rent due to the landlord
- service charge (if applicable)
- stamp duty land tax and land registration fee (if applicable)
COMPLETION OF THE LEASE
We will confirm that we are holding the documentation signed by you and request a similar confirmation from the landlord’s solicitor. The completion of the lease (and any ancillary documents) takes place by both solicitors completing the dates on the documents over the telephone. Once the documents are completed, we will advise you accordingly and the keys will be released to you.
POST COMPLETION MATTERS
Following completion, we will:
- Send your signed document(s) to the landlord’s solicitors
- Await receipt of the landlord’s signed document(s)
- Submit a return for stamp duty land tax
- Register the lease at the Land Registry (if applicable)
- Send the original document(s) to you for safe keeping