1 July 2022

What paperwork do I need to sell my house in the UK?

What paperwork do I need to sell my house in the UK?

Once you’ve decided to sell your house, the first thing you’ll need to do is get your paperwork in order. However, if this is your first time selling a property, understanding what’s required can be a little daunting.

Luckily, UPSTIX is here to help. In this guide we’ve broken down all the documents required to get your home on the market and into the hands of someone new. The breakdown will include…

  • How to prove your identity
  • Which forms are needed in relation to your house
  • Safety certificates required
  • Planning documents
  • Leasehold paperwork
  • Guarantees and other warranties

Plus, how you can package these documents up and sell your property fast! And don’t forget, if you have any questions relating to selling your house, our team is always on hand to help.

Proof of your identity 

Before you begin, your estate agent, mortgage lender, and legal representatives will need to be able to prove you are who you say you are. This is to protect against money laundering and is a common step for most financial transactions, such as setting up a new bank account or taking out a loan.

You’ll likely need to provide your team with one or more of the following…

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Recent bank statement
  • Recent utility bill

Your property title deeds

When you purchased your home, your solicitor should have sent across the title deeds, which prove you are the rightful owner of the property.

In order to sell a house, you’ll need to submit these title deeds. However, don’t panic if you don’t have them to hand. You can always reach out to your mortgage company to see if they’re retaining them. Otherwise, your previous legal representative might still have them in their possession.

Still no luck? Then you’ll need to reach out to HM Land Registry. They should have a digital record of your sale and you can request these title deeds for a small fee (usually around £3).

HM Land Registry has no record of the sale! 

Around 15% of property and land in the UK has not been registered with the land registry. If this applies to you, then your best bet will be to hire a conveyancing solicitor. They’ll help you make the right legal steps for correcting the issue by applying for ‘first registration’. Although strap in, because this might take some time to complete.

Flats commonly come with leaseholds and this will require more paperwork. See below.

Leasehold documents

If you live in a leasehold property (meaning you don’t own a share of the freehold), then you’ll need to provide a copy of the lease to both your estate agent and solicitor before selling your home. 

While showing your property off to potential buyers, your estate agent will need to be able to provide details on the lease situation, such as…

  • How long is left on the lease
  • Service charge fees
  • Ground rent
  • Share certificate
  • Building insurance
  • Memorandum and articles 
  • The managing agent

Plus any other restrictions set out in the document.

It’s worth bearing in mind, if you have less than 80 years left on your lease, this will affect the value of your home. Not only this, but potential buyers may struggle to get a mortgage on the property, so it will be a tricky sell. 
If you want to extend your lease, reach out to a solicitor to get started. Otherwise, you can see if an iBuyer might be willing to make a quick sale, before the lease issue gets any worse. 

Energy performance certificate (EPC)

A lot of the required paperwork can seem obvious. Where many homeowners get caught out is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). 

You’re legally required to provide an EPC that’s been dated within the last 10 years.

This certificate will detail the energy use of your home, including its CO2 impact. If you don’t have an EPC, then you’ll need to get in touch with a qualified assessor – your estate agent should be able to recommend one. 

Scotland

In Scotland, the rules are a little different. Instead of an EPC, you’ll need a Home Report, which should be produced within the last 10 weeks in order to be valid.

Exceptions to the rule…

  • Your home has been continuously on the market since the last report was created.
  • The property is a new build / conversion and hasn’t been lived in since construction finished.

New build warranties

Speaking of new builds, if your property is 10 years old or newer, then you’ll need evidence of the new home policies and warranties in place. 

Warranties tend to come from one of three providers, who are…

  • National House-Building Council (NHBC)
  • Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC)
  • Premier Guarantee

If you’re not sure which company to approach for help, try NHBC. They are responsible for around 70-80% of warranties for new builds.

Fittings and content form (TA10)

This form, formally known as the TA10, sets out clearly what is included in the sale. For instance, will you leave the buyer your white goods? How about the light fixtures? 

Your form will go through the house on a room-by-room basis and disclose all the items you plan on leaving to the buyer, including any fittings you might have installed in your garden.

Sheds and other garden structures are included in TA10 forms.

Planning permission or lawful development certificate

If you’ve extended your property, created a new outbuilding, or altered the facade, a buyer will want to make sure these changes were legal. This means you’ll need to provide proof your local authority granted either…

  • Planning permission
  • A lawful development certificate 

Under a homeowner’s permitted development rights, there are certain projects that can be carried out without planning permission, but the homeowner should make sure the works meet the design guidelines.

If you’ve been smart, you should have  obtained a lawful development certificate, which demonstrates the work was legal at the point of construction. Without this, you may need to make a retrospective application and get your project verified by the council. Otherwise buyers may be put off, as they could be fined for the work or asked to demolish anything the council deems illegal. 

Party wall matters

If your project affected a party wall, aka a wall or boundary shared between you and another household, then you should have resolved any related party wall matters. This means you should either have written consent or you put together a party wall award. All these details should be available for potential buyers to scrutinise. 

FENSA certificates for windows and doors

If you’ve replaced either your doors or windows since 2002, chances are you’ll have a FENSA certificate. 

It stands for Fenestration Self Assessment Scheme and was introduced as part of new building regulations in April 2002, as a way to document whether your doors and windows meet thermal performance standards. 

Should this renovation work concern the buyer, you may find them asking you to share this certificate. If the work was carried out before you moved in, then check your records. The previous homeowner should have included it in their paperwork when the property was sold. 

If you’ve carried out electrical work on your home, then you’ll need to prove building regulations have been met.

Electrical work

As with most intensive renovations and repairs, if you’ve altered the wiring in your home, you’ll need to prove it meets building regulations.

By law, if work of this nature has been carried out since January 2005, you’ll need to provide a ‘Part P Building Regulations Certificate’. If you don’t already have one, then you should reach out to the electrician who carried out the project and ask them to put one together.
 
Remember: you only need to provide electrical work documentation if you carried out alterations in 2005 or after. Otherwise, it is up to the buyer to commission a Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Management information pack

If you want to sell your home fast, then you should make sure you get a management information pack together early on. 

Any buyer will want to see this pack before they buy as it’ll contain vital housing information that will influence whether or not they go through with purchase.

Because it’s so vital to the sale and because it also takes some time to put together, you want to get moving on this as soon as you decide you want to sell. 

All packs should contain…

  • The draft contract
  • Title deeds
  • Property information form
  • Fixtures and fittings form

If you’re a leaseholder, you’ll also need to include details on…

  • Service charge 
  • Ground rent
  • Any planned major works

For leaseholder specific documents, you’ll need to apply to the freeholder or managing agents. It can take weeks to arrive so make sure you order them promptly. 

 

 

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Value and associated costs used for illustrative purposes