What documents should I get when buying a house?

Posted: 21/03/2023
happy couple holding keys

We know that buying your first home is one of the most important decisions you can make. And while it can be an exciting time, the often complicated process can make knowing what to expect along the way confusing. Your solicitor should be there to guide you through the process of obtaining the necessary documents you need to ensure the property is legally yours but it’s vital that you are aware of what you should receive.

With that in mind, our experts at Shortland Horne have created this easy guide to help you know what paperwork and documents you should expect to receive after completing the purchase of your home. 

Transfer Deed 

The most important document you’ll receive after buying any property in the UK is the transfer deed – a legal document, signed by both parties that officially transfers the ownership of the property from the seller to yourself. This will be registered with the Land Registry to prove the property is yours and will contain any conditions for sale or restrictions which apply to the property, for example, any approved planning permission for future development.  

Mortgage Deed

If you have taken out a mortgage to buy the property, you’ll also receive a mortgage deed. It’s essential to read through this document carefully before signing it, as it will contain your interest rates on the amount you’ve borrowed and a repayment schedule, which will be binding for the length of the mortgage. If you fail to keep up repayments as planned, the lender’s legal interest allows them the option to repossess the property. 

Leasehold Property Documents

If you buy a leasehold property, your landlord or freeholder will prepare additional documents for you. These often include a lease, which tells you the terms of your tenancy, and a service charge schedule explaining any charges you will need to pay for the maintenance of the property. They can also include any additional charges you might have to pay if you want to make renovations. It’s important to understand these documents as they’ll be binding for the duration of the lease.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 

By law, you must receive an EPC when you buy a property. The EPC shows you how efficient your home is and gives you an idea of how much it should cost to both power and heat the property. 

Stamp Duty Receipt

Put simply, stamp duty is the tax payable on the transfer of ownership of a property. The amount you pay will depend on both the value of the property and the tax band it falls into. Within 30 days of the completion of the purchase, your solicitors should provide you with a stamp duty receipt which proves you have paid any stamp duty owed. 

It’s essential you receive this document, as HMRC will check the stamp duty receipt when registering the transfer of ownership. 

Property Information Form (TA6)

A TA6 is a questionnaire completed by the seller which provides you with detailed, practical information about the property you’ve purchased such as boundaries, disputes, which fences you are responsible for and utilities. 

Other documents

Whilst you’ll receive the above documents from your solicitor, vendor or leaseholder, there are also some documents you’ll need to prepare yourself:

  • Surveyor Report: When a surveyor visits your home, they’ll be able to provide you with insight on what work needs doing to your home now, or in the near future. It’s recommended to keep a copy of this so you know what issues you need to fix now and what work will need to be done soon.
  • Insurance documentation: If you’ve applied for a mortgage, building insurance will most likely be required by your lender. You can check what this covers, and if you want to you can add a contents insurance policy to provide further protection. 

Are you looking to buy, sell or rent a property in the Midlands? Contact your local property experts

It’s important for you to read all of the documents you receive throughout the process of purchasing your house carefully and make sure you understand your legal rights and obligations regarding your new home. Should you have any questions, talk to your solicitor who will be able to advise you on what to do next. 

Here at Shortland Horne, we know that buying a new home is a big investment, which is why our friendly, reliable and professional team is here to support you every step of the way to make the process as stress-free as possible. Contact us today.