If you are planning to sell your property, it is useful to know which documents you’ll need, so that when you are asked to provide them, you can do so quickly. The key to selling quickly is to be prepared, and part of this is to have the documentation ready.
In this article, we have put together a list of documents that you will need when you are in the process of selling your home.
Proof of your identity
There are a number of UK laws that are designed to prevent the proceeds of crime from being laundered through property transactions. These include the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Criminal Finances Act 2017, the Terrorism Act 2006 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.
Anyone acting for you with respect to your property sale, including your conveyancer and your estate agent, is required to verify independently the identity and address of any actual owner or anyone else with a beneficial interest (a right to the proceeds) in the property. These checks are known as “Know Your Client” or “KYC”.
Of course, most people buying or selling a house are not doing so as part of a complex money laundering operation, yet this check is an effective way of fighting organised crime and the financing of terrorism.
Most often, your passport and proof of address (such as a driving licence, a recent utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill) suffice.
The title deeds prove your legal ownership of the property, and thus your authority to sell it.
You may or may not keep the title deeds of your property. You don’t need to worry if you don’t have them.
If your property is registered at the Land Registry then they can be obtained by providing the title number of the property to the Registry. The title number can be obtained by searching for your address at the Registry.
If your property is not registered then the process of acquiring the title deeds is slightly more complex, but not too difficult.
Energy Performance Certificate
The law requires you to include an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you are selling any residential property. An EPC provides potential buyers with information on the property’s energy use and cost. It also makes recommendations about how new owners might make alterations and increase efficiency.
Once an EPC is produced, it remains valid for 10 years (although you will want to update it if you increase the efficiency of the property). If you do not provide it at the time of sale then you may be fined £200.
Fittings and Contents Form
You are required to complete this form by law. Effectively, it is a list of what will be left when you vacate the property. It clarifies what is included in the purchase price and what is not.
You are legally bound to leave behind whatever is written in the form.
Property Information Form
This form requires you to provide comprehensive information about the property so that a prospective buyer can make an informed decision about the purchase. The form covers details about boundaries, neighbour disputes, planning applications, planning permission, any electrical and gas work carried out on the property, dates on when you would like to complete the sale etc.
Leasehold /Shared freehold documents
If you are selling a leasehold property, then you must provide the copy of lease.
If you are still paying mortgage on your property, then the bank or mortgage provider still owns part of your home. In that case, you must provide a Share Certificate.
These are some of the documents that are essential to the conveyancing process. It is also useful to provide copies of documentation that support claims you are making.
For example, if you have had the boiler changed while you lived at the property, you should provide the receipts to show that you replaced it. As a side note, it is a legal requirement to show whether you have serviced your boiler, so you will need receipts for this as well.
Photographs of other work that you’ve carried out is also useful to a prospective buyer, particularly if the area where the work took place is inaccessible (such as under the floorboards or the roof) or one of high risk (such as a damp-proof course).