If you’ve thought about selling your home or even something more basic, like applying for a loan, you might want to know if there’s a charge on your property. What is a property charge, and how does it work? We’ve got the answers with this guide featuring everything you need to know about finding out if there’s a charge on your property.
What is a property charge?
A property charge isn’t just legal jargon. It’s a financial claim against your property, often due to unpaid debts or other commitments. These can take various forms, like mortgage charges or charging orders. Now, why should you care?
Well, a property charge can throw a wrench in your plans to sell or even apply for something more straightforward, like applying for a loan. It acts as a safety net for creditors, giving them a slice of your property’s value if debts go unpaid. And it’s really helpful to be in the know about any charges on your property. They can affect your selling prospects and even become legal disputes. It’s important to stay informed.
Why you might need to check for a property charge
So, the question centres around why you might need to check for a property charge. If you’re planning to sell your home, you’ll want to know about any charges. They can affect both the sale process and your property’s value.
Thinking of applying for a mortgage or loan? Lenders will dig deep into any charges on your property to gauge their risk. This could make or break your financing options and the terms you’re offered.
Caught in a legal tangle over your property? Knowing about existing charges is crucial. They could tip the scales in legal proceedings or negotiations. If, for example, you’re in a legal dispute over a shared driveway, knowing about an existing property charge could impact the case’s outcome.
In short, staying clued in on property charges means you can make savvy decisions and smoothly navigate any financial or legal mazes linked to your property. So, make it a habit to check for charges and sidestep those unexpected roadblocks.
How to find out if there’s a charge on your property
Discovering if there’s a charge on your property can help with a number of scenarios, but how can you find out? Let’s look at the steps available for finding out if there’s a charge on your property.
HM Land Registry
The HM Land Registry is a non-ministerial department of the UK government responsible for registering land and property ownership in England and Wales. It’s a reliable source for finding out if there’s a charge on your property.
To check for a property charge, you’ll need to visit the GOV.UK website and conduct a title deeds search. This will provide you with a title register, title plan and title summary, among other details, which can reveal any existing charges on the property.
The fees for this service range from £3 for a title summary. Payment can be made online via credit or debit card.
Local authority search
You can dig deep into the nuts and bolts of a property with a local authority search. It’s a treasure trove of info and offers local records, scanning for planning history, building control and other in-depth details that could impact your property.
You could discover planning permissions or restrictions that might slap a charge on your property. Plus, you’ll get the inside scoop on local plans that could have an impact on your property’s short and long-term value.
There’s always the option of going pro with a solicitor. Hiring a solicitor means access to someone who can take a deep dive into databases and comb through the all-important details to make sure you’re in the know about your property.
There is, of course, a cost involved. Prices for a solicitor can vary depending on the nature of the information. Your best bet is to get a quote upfront to gauge how much it will cost to hire a solicitor to check if there’s a charge on your property.
It’s essential to be proactive in checking for any charges on your property. Whether you choose to go through the HM Land Registry, conduct a local authority search, or hire a solicitor, each method has its own set of procedures and costs involved.
Helpful online tools and services
There is an array of online platforms promising quick and convenient checks for property charges. While these tools provide a level of expediency, their reliability can sometimes fall short of the mark.
Online services, although user-friendly, often lack the rigorous verification processes found in established channels like HM Land Registry or comprehensive local authority searches. These traditional avenues offer a depth of information that serves as the bedrock for any serious investigation into property charges.
Therefore, while online platforms can serve as an initial step in the investigative process, they shouldn’t be considered a substitute for more authoritative sources. In matters involving significant financial and legal decisions, the need for accurate and comprehensive information is of high importance.
Can I sell a property with a charge on it?
Selling a property with a charge on it is indeed possible, but it comes with its own set of complexities and considerations. A property charge, often stemming from unpaid debts or other financial obligations, can act as a legal encumbrance on the property.
However, this doesn’t make the property unsellable. What it does mean is that the charge will need to be settled at the point of sale, either from the proceeds of the sale or through other means. The presence of a charge will be disclosed during the conveyancing process, and you need to be upfront about it to prospective buyers or property-buying services.
At Property Rescue, we can expedite the sale process even with existing charges, offering a quick and guaranteed cash offer. We can also fully navigate and fund the legal process involved in selling a property with a charge, to get your house sold quickly.
While selling a property with a charge is more complicated, it’s far from impossible. Expert legal advice and specialised services can help facilitate a smooth transaction.
Knowing whether there is a charge on your property is essential for making informed decisions related to your home. While there are costs involved in checking, the peace of mind and legal clarity make it a necessary step.