Selling LandThe process of buying of land starts with finding the plot as per your requirement. One can contact a real estate agent who would have complete knowledge in lands available for sale in the market.
One can also contact the utility companies like water, electricity and even the local councils since they also sometimes have land available for the purpose of sale. Research at this point of time is very crucial before finalising on the piece to be bought. One can also go through VOA (Valuation office agency) property market reports which are available twice a year. These reports give good information about four sections of land available in the market- Agricultural land and property, residential building land, Housing market, and Industrial Land.
At the same time, assessing a land properly during selection process becomes extremely important. Each piece of land would have some specifications. These are about their area, what can be built on them and what can not be. One can refer to the rules and regulations of National House Building Council (NHBC) on assessing a plot of land.
Also a land should have a valid outline planning permission. Sometimes it is also a good idea to buy a land on which a property already exists. This piece of plot would definitely cost more, but it will eventually save cost on making provisions for basic amenities like water, gas, electricity etc.
Another fundamental factor during sale of land is to get the land registered with the government. The Land registry department is the government's department who is responsible for registering land in the United Kingdom and Wales. All the land that is under a transaction of buying, selling or even under mortgage needs first to be registered. There is a registration fee that one needs to pay for the procedure. This fee depends on the value of the land itself but if one opts to get the land registered willingly for the first time, he usually gets a discount up to 25% on the registration fees.
However it is not mandatory by the government to get the land registered but even then, it is important to get the land registered due to the following reasons:
- It is a fundamental proof of ownership
- Since your ownership rights are protected, one can avoid cases where someone else claims to possess the land
- This make things easier during sale of land since passing over ownership rights is also a structured process
- Potential buyers have a positive impression if the land is already registered
- If gives one a registered title- This is the legal evidence that the land has been registered with the government. The proof of this registry is put down on a legal document which is called as title register.
- It is also advisable to seek help from a solicitor since processes of getting a land registered is quite methodological. Even though land registry has so many benefits, current situation is that 30% of the land in England and Wales is still unregistered.
During registration processes, one needs to furnish the following details:
- Name of the person or company who owns the land
- a depiction of the land with the area and current market price
- in case if the land is under a mortgage, then the name of the mortgage lender,
- In case if any part of the land is shared with public- for example if there is a garden or a path with is also for public or neighbour's use
- any limitations or circumstances on the use of the land
For defining boundaries in a certain piece of land, it is the Ordnance Survey which comes into picture. The Ordnance Survey is the national mapping agency in the United Kingdom. The Land Registry and Ordnance Survey work hand in hand to achieve correct boundaries for a certain piece of land.
Stamp Duty Land Tax
SDLT (Stamp duty land tax): Another stage in the process of land sale is dealing with stamp duty and stamp duty land tax. Any dealings or buy or sell in land post 30th November 2003 calls for payment of stamp duty land tax for any "chargeable consideration". A chargeable consideration is any transaction which involves payment of money or money's worth. Along with payment of SDLT, the HM Revenue & Customs must be also notified about the chargeable consideration. Other transactions which do not involve transaction of money like gifts or conveyances do not need to be notified to HM Revenue or Customs.
One needs to pay for SDLT only when the price for the land is more than £175,000, otherwise there is no SDLT required. The current slabs for payment of SDLT are as per the following chart:
Rate of SDLT (percentage of the total purchase price)
£0 - £175,000
£175,001 - £250,000
£250,001 - £500,000
£500,001 or more
SDLT is not only to be paid during buying land but also during buying property.
Sale of Land
Usually the buyer of the property is responsible for paying the SDLT and completing the land transaction return. In case if the buyer has taken services from a solicitor, then he is responsible for completing all these formalities and sending it to HMRC on the buyer's behalf. However the buyer needs to carefully look into all the declarations before signing.
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