Oscar Knight
Oscar Knight

020 3909 0888

property@oscarknight.co.uk

Buying Process

Perhaps you are looking to buy for the first time, relocating, upsizing, downsizing or investing in property with us we can help you find the property that makes you feel at home, and support the entire home buying process. Our basic guide below should help you develop an understanding of what is required along the journey of buying property.

Know what you can afford

One of the most important parts of the process when buying property is knowing what you can afford. Make sure you know what your budget is and then make decisions based on this budget as opposed to house-hunting first, falling in love with a home and then being left disappointed when you cannot afford it.

You’ll also find that it makes sense to save as much money as you can when buying property, as the larger the deposit you can offer the better mortgage you will receive, so review your finances and start putting money away.

Find the right location

Once you have your budget set, you can narrow down your search and the next important issue is location. You may be looking for a home in a particular area (perhaps to be close to work or family members) or you may have some flexibility.

It is important to know what is important to you. For some households, schools are the most vital component in choosing an area while other people may be more interested in transport links. Detail the location features that are most important to you and then focus on these matters.

Know what you need from a property

With your budget and location set, it is time to focus on the right home. Again, create a list of features that you must have and what features are nice to have. You may need to have a set amount of bedrooms, you may need a garden or there could be any style of room or appliance that matters to you.

The right home for you is often a matter of personal taste and requirements so make sure you know what you need and then use this as the basis for your choice.

Make an offer

When you find a home that ticks all or as many of your boxes as possible, it is time to make an offer. You will know what your budget is, and you can always call on Oscar Knight for help in determining what a suitable offer is. Knowing average prices and having local market knowledge will give you a good guide on what to offer but only you know what represents value to you.

Conveyancing

After your offer has been accepted, it is important to enlist a conveyancer or solicitor to undertake the legal work involved with transferring ownership of the property. The right professional will have your interests at heart, will work to get you the best deal and will be focused on concluding the deal as quickly as possible.

Survey

There are three main types of survey; a Mortgage Valuation, a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey.

If you are buying your new home with a mortgage then your bank/building society will normally insist on a Mortgage Valuation to establish that the property is good security for the loan. The buyer will normally pay for the mortgage valuation but very rarely gets a copy of the report and as such it is always recommended that you arrange your own survey as well. A Homebuyer report is ideal for more conventional residential property built that has been within the past 75 to 100 years, the report will include a detailed visual inspection of all aspects of the property that are available for inspection.

A Building Survey (also referred to as a full or structural survey) is suited to older properties, or properties which may have different forms of construction or undergone major changes. A detailed inspection of all visible areas of the property is undertaken.

Finalise Mortgage & Insurance Requirements

Once a mortgage valuation has been completed you will receive a formal mortgage offer from your lender in which the final details of the loan are confirmed. You and your solicitor/conveyancer should check this carefully. You may also be required to arrange life assurance to cover the loan and building insurance as you exchange contracts

Exchange contracts

When contracts are exchanged, there is a legal obligation for the property deal to be concluded, creating a legally binding deal. This is when you hand over a deposit, the normal sum or liability is 10% of the purchase price and this will need to be logged with your solicitor ahead of exchanging the contracts. Contracts are exchanged when you and the seller and your respective solicitors/conveyancers are satisfied that everything is in order. At this point the date of completion is formalised so you can then finalise your move date and book your removal company. After this stage, it is rare for either party to pull out.

Completion

This is the final day of the process and the balance of the monies is transferred via the banking system, deeds are exchanged between legal representative and as a buyer, you can pick up the keys to your new home.

Moving

Once you have keys to your new home, you can begin the moving process. You may hire professionals to assist you or enlist friends and/or family members to help, but the moving process is important. Once this has been concluded, you can begin the process of settling in to your new home.

This is intended to help as a guide to help you through the basic process. Buying a home is a huge activity and can be a stressful and daunting time so it makes sense for buyers to get as much help as possible. At Oscar Knight, we are on hand to provide you with as much support as possible, so get in touch should you need help.

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Tenancy Information

 

New Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) signed on or after 1 June 2019
 
Property Reservation payment (per tenancy) — One week’s rent
This is to reserve a property. Please Note: This will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s)) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Security Deposit (per tenancy. Rent under £50,000 per year) — Five weeks’ rent
This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.
 
Security Deposit (per tenancy. Rent of £50,000 or over per year) — Six weeks’ rent
This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.
 
Unpaid Rent
Interest at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from Rent Due Date until paid in order to pursue non-payment of rent. Please Note: This will not be levied until the rent is more than 14 days in arrears.
 
Lost Key(s) or other Security Device(s)
Tenants are liable to the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s). If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant. If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge of £15.00 per hour (inc. VAT) for the time taken replacing lost key(s) or other security device(s).
 
Existing Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) And All Assured Tenancies

During Your Tenancy

Renewal Fees (Tenant’s Share): £0.00 (inc. VAT) per tenancy
Contract negotiation, amending and updating terms and arranging for the signing of a further tenancy agreement.
 
Variation of Contract Fees: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per request.
To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.
 
Change of Sharer Fee: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per replacement tenant.
To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions, new tenant referencing and Right-to-Rent checks, deposit registration as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.
 
Ending Your Tenancy
 
Early Termination: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per tenancy plus all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early, they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property. These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.

Management of the property
At the start of the tenancy we will advise you who is responsible for managing the property. This is not always Oscar Knight. Where we are not managing the property we cannot authorise any repairs or maintenance, or guarantee the speed at which repairs will be carried out. Where we are managing the property, we may have to obtain the landlord's consent before proceeding with a repair.
 
Where we manage a property and hold keys, we can usually provide access to Oscar Knight’s contractors (with your permission). However, where we do not hold keys or the contractor is not willing to collect keys, it is your responsibility to provide access.
 
Insurance
It is your responsibility to insure your own belongings throughout the tenancy. Oscar Knight highly recommend that all tenants take out some form of contents insurance to protect their belongings - TVs and gadgets, food in the freezer and the clothes in your wardrobe. When applying for a Tenancy tenants may be contacted by one of our Insurance partners for a free, no obligation quote. 

Utilities
You will be responsible for the payment of telephone, gas, water and electricity accounts at the property during your tenancy, as well as the council tax. It is your responsibility to notify the relevant companies and the local authority that you are moving into/out of the property. You are also responsible for ensuring that a valid television licence remains in place for the duration of the tenancy. Utility companies will also always require the occupant to provide access for any visit.

Taxation
If you pay rent directly to your landlord's bank account and your landlord is resident overseas, you will be responsible for applying the provisions of the HM Revenue and Customs Non-Resident Landlords scheme for taxing UK rental income and should ask us for advice on this. These provisions do not apply where you are paying your rent to Oscar Knight.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
Oscar Knight is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. As a result we will need to ask you for suitable identification, and will be unable to proceed with any work on your behalf if we are unable to obtain this from you.
 
VAT
All charges levied by Oscar Knight are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate of 20%.

Complaints procedure
If you are dissatisfied with Oscar Knight’s service or handling of a transaction, and you are unable to resolve this with the member of staff involved, you should put your concerns in writing to the Branch Manager of the branch you deal with:

Southfields – 258 Wimbledon Park Road, Southfields SW19 6NL
Wandsworth – 138 Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 4JJ

(a) The grievance will be acknowledged within three working days and then investigated and replied to within fifteen days. If we require longer than this timescale we will advise you in writing and confirm our revised response date.
(b) If you remain dissatisfied with the result of the internal investigation, please email clientcare@oscarknight.co.uk 
(c) You will be sent an acknowledgement letter; your complaint will then be reviewed.
(d) A full investigation will take place and a letter will be sent confirming our final view point within twenty-one days of the acknowledgement letter.
(e) In the unlikely event that you remain dissatisfied with the final view point of your complaint, you can refer the matter to The Property Ombudsman within six months from the date of our final letter, they will review your complaint and advise of their decision. (They can be contacted at www.tpos.co.uk) For the avoidance of doubt, TPO will only review complaints made by consumers.

Amendments
Oscar Knight reserves the right to change the schedule of fees and these terms of business upon providing reasonable notice in writing.