Getting a quick sale

Get Your House in Order


Get your house in order

Don’t let problems delay – or even derail – your sale. Get rid of the problems in advance. This is mainly about paperwork. But sales are mainly about paperwork.

Title deeds

Where are your title deeds – particularly your lease? These are the usual places.

  • Lenders. They could be with your lenders if you still have a mortgage.
  • You. Many lenders no longer hold title deeds, so perhaps they were sent to you by your solicitors when you bought. Or they could have been sent to you by your lenders if you paid off your mortgage.
  • Your former solicitors. Perhaps they are still holding them.
  • Your bank. Did you send them to your bank for safe-keeping?

Consent for alterations

Has the flat ever been altered? Have you done any alterations? Did a previous owner alter anything? In all these cases, you need to have the necessary consents.

These are the types of consent which may be needed.

  • Landlord’s consent for alterations. This means consent in writing from the Barbican Estate Office. Nearly any change to a flat, other than redecorating or repairing, requires their consent.
  • Garchey removal. You need a letter from the Barbican Estate Office confirming it was done to their satisfaction, because it can affect the whole system if done wrongly.
  • Building Regulation completion certificate. If any of the alterations involved making connections to the building’s ventilation, water or drainage systems, then Building Regulation approval was needed. For example, changing a sink and making a new connection inside the flat, doesn’t require it. But if you put in a new shower and the plumber has to connect to the drain in the central core, that does require it.
  • Certificate for electrical work. If you have had any electrical work done, since 1st January 2005, a certificate by an authorised electrician is required. (This is a form of building regulation consent.)
  • Listed building consent. The Barbican Estate became a listed building on 5th September 2001. Listed building consent should have been obtained for certain types of alterations carried out after listing came into effect. It’s a bit complicated. Changing the tiles in the bathroom doesn’t need listed building consent; but changing the skirting board does. Even changing the window boxes does! The Listed Building Guide for Barbican Residents is on the City’s website.

If you haven’t got any of these consents, there are solutions. You can apply to the Barbican Estate Office for retrospective approval of alterations, and you can apply to the City for retrospective listed building consent or building regulation consent. (I had to do all three for my flat!)

Alternatively, you can negotiate with your buyer to accept an indemnity policy. So don’t despair, even if your paperwork isn’t 100% in order!



Make your Flat More Saleable



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