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New Build Conveyancing


New Build Conveyancing Solicitors, Glasgow South Side

New build properties are a popular choice for many because of the numerous benefits they offer. Buyers can often customise or upgrade different aspects of the property to suit their preferences or needs. New build homes are also compliant with current building regulations on, for example, health and safety, energy efficiency and accessibility. Another big selling point is that they typically require significantly less improvement and maintenance work than older properties.

If you are buying a new build property, you should be aware that the conveyancing process can be more complicated than for second-hand homes. However, a Conveyancing Solicitor who specialises in new builds will carry out the legal process proficiently, act in your best interests and ensure everything is as simple and easy for you as possible.

At Claphams Solicitors, we have helped many clients buy new build properties. We are very familiar with the particular considerations required for this type of conveyancing and are here to advise and support you during this process. To discuss your needs with our experienced and respected team, please get in touch.

What is a new build property?

You may notice that mortgage providers define the term ‘new build’ in different ways. Generally speaking, it relates to houses and flats that have recently been constructed (or are still in the process of being built) and have not yet been sold. Properties that have been occupied or rented but are still owned by the developer may also come under the new build category.

Is conveyancing different for new build homes?

Yes, the conveyancing process is different when buying a new build property, especially if you are buying off-plan, i.e. before construction has started. For example, there are several important additional checks that your solicitor must carry out to identify and address potential issues. These include:

  • Completion certificate and warranty – these confirm the building meets safe construction standards. Some mortgage providers will refuse to lend money unless the property has a warranty.
  • Planning permission – your solicitor will seek to verify that the developer has complied with planning regulations, and that roads, sewers and utilities are correctly established.
  • Restrictions on your use of the property – these may include a prohibition on making alterations to the building or restrictions on your access to the property.
  • Deposit – your lawyer will ensure your deposit is protected in case, for example, the developer goes out of business or there are unreasonable delays in the construction process.
  • Maintenance of common areas of the development – it is important to look at the plans for maintenance to determine who has the responsibility and if any management fees apply.
  • Completion date – if you are buying off-plan, your solicitor will ensure there are two dates provided for completion: an estimated date and a final date that the developer must be finished by.

Do you need a solicitor for a new build?

When buying any property, it is recommended you get help from a lawyer. However, due to the additional work involved and the higher risk of problems occurring, it is especially important to instruct a Conveyancing Solicitor when buying a new build.

Your solicitor will thoroughly check all aspects of the sale to ensure you are fully informed and that any issues are raised and resolved before completion. They will make sure your interests are looked after in the contract and will only finalise the deal once everything is satisfactory.

How long does conveyancing take on a new build?

The time it takes to complete the conveyancing process depends on the circumstances. Unfortunately, delays do happen but, at Claphams, our focus is on avoiding unnecessary hold-ups and addressing issues promptly to prevent them from slowing your transaction down. We also maintain regular contact with you and all other parties involved, as this helps to keep things moving. 

What happens when you exchange contracts on a new build? 

Once the contract is finalised, you and the builder are legally committed to the sale. Your deposit for the property will then be transferred to the developer’s solicitor. If you decide to back out after this point, you will lose your deposit.

Spotting a defect - warranties and insurance for new build homes

If you purchase a new build property, it will be covered by a guarantee from either the National House-Building Council (NHBC) or equivalent. The NHBC is the most common warranty and insurance provider for new and newly constructed homes, however, there are other providers.

What is a building warranty?

A building warranty is essentially an insurance policy for new build homes. The warranty is taken out by the builder or developer but is in place to protect you, the buyer.

Normally, building warranties will last for ten years; therefore, any structural problems within this time will also be covered by the guarantee.

Snagging v structural defects

Typically, defects will fall under two categories – ‘snagging’ or structural defects. ‘Snagging’ tends to refer to more minor issues that can be easily spotted, whereas ‘defects’ is generally used to describe underlying structural problems, which might not be initially apparent and more difficult to spot.

When you move into your new home, you should take note of any defects or potential defects and make the builder aware of these. The NHBC guarantee will cover any repairs that arise within the first two years; however, this will not include things such as cracks in the paint indoors. The builder should handle external cracks.

Contact our New Build Conveyancing Lawyers for Glasgow's Southside: Clarkston, Newton Mearns, Giffnock, Netherlee, Eaglesham, Carmunnock, Stewarton & Southside Glasgow

To discuss your new build purchase with our experienced legal team, contact us today on 0141 620 0800 or fill out our online enquiry form.

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If you are an existing client, please click here to email us
(your query will not be answered by our new client advice team if you are already a client of the firm)
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Please note we are a firm of Scottish Solicitors helping clients across Scotland and cannot help you if you are based in England.