The Bridge - Selling your property (applies to properties originally purchased on or before 31 October 2016)
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IMPORTANT NOTE: The following FAQs apply to properties purchased on or before 31 October 2016. They DO NOT apply to properties purchased on or after 1 November 2016.
These notes are provided as a general guidance to owners of discounted sale units at The Bridge development Dartford, and set out details of the Council's procedures. The Council is unable to provide legal advice to individual owners. These notes do not constitute legal advice. Owners are advised to seek their own independent legal advice on any proposals to sell their property.
I want to sell my property. What do I need to do?
The procedures are set out in the Council's second charge (the Mortgage Deed) which was completed at the same time as your purchase from the developer.
If you do not have a copy of the Mortgage Deed amongst your records, then you may apply to the Land Registry for a copy. Please see "How do I contact the Land Registry?" below.
The provisions of Schedule 4 of the Mortgage Deed will apply and you will need to refer to that Schedule for the detail.
You cannot sell your property at less than its current market value, and that value must first be approved by the Council.
In summary, you must first give the Council written notice of your proposals to sell the property. You can do so by email or by letter - there is no application form to complete. You then need to obtain a valuation report of the market value of your property, and arrange for this to be sent to the Council for approval. This report should be addressed jointly to the Council. See "How do I contact the Council?" for the relevant contact details.
There are further details below about who should prepare the valuation report, who pays for this, what the report should contain and how your application will be processed.
The Council will consider the valuation report, and if the market value is approved, you will then have a period of 3 months during which the sale of the property may be completed at not less than the approved value. Please note that the 3 month period is calculated from when we receive notice of your proposal to sell the property and not from the date of the valuation report.
If you have not completed the sale of your property within that period and you still wish to sell, you will need to re-apply to the Council for the valuation to be considered afresh.
On receipt of the funds, the Council will issue a form of discharge that can be submitted to the Land Registry to remove the charge from the title to the property.
Who can I sell my property to?
The Council does not impose any restrictions on who you can sell your property to.
Who arranges and pays for the valuation report?
As the owner of the property you must arrange and pay all the costs of the valuation report. However, please, ensure that the report is addressed jointly, to the Council and to you as owner.
The Council cannot arrange the valuation report, nor can we provide any recommendations.
Who should I ask to value my property?
There are no specific requirements, but the person providing the valuation report must be suitably qualified to provide professional advice on the market value of your property. The valuation report will be submitted to the Council's valuer so that the Council can ensure that the market value referred to in the report reflects the current market value. The valuation report you obtain must be addressed jointly, to the Council and to you as owner.
Please note that the Council cannot accept a valuation prepared by a lender for the purposes of a mortgage (a mortgage valuation).
We accept valuation reports from estate agents and RICS qualified surveyors. There is no approved list of providers.The Council cannot make any recommendations as to who you should instruct.
What information should the valuation report contain?
The valuation report will need to give an assessment of the current market value of your property. The person preparing the report on your behalf should refer to the definition of "Market Value" in your Mortgage Deed.
If you do not have a copy of the Mortgage Deed amongst your records, then you may apply to the Land Registry for a copy.Please see "How do I contact the Land Registry?" below.
Please ask the person preparing the report:
- To address the report jointly to the Council, as well as to you as the owner;
- To give a brief description of the property;
- To include any evidence that they have obtained about the sale of comparable properties.
Why does the Council have to approve the market value of the property?
The payments due to the Council under the terms of the charge are directly linked to the market value of the property (or the sale price, if higher). The Council therefore needs to be satisfied that the valuation report correctly reflects the current market value of the property.
Why is the Council's approval only granted for a limited period?
When you initially apply to the Council, any approval of the value of your property will last for a period of 3 months. This is calculated from the date the Council receives notice from you that you are proposing to sell your property.
If the market value of the property has increased, the Council may not approve the sale of the property at the same price as previously and you may need to renegotiate the terms of your sale with your buyer.
What happens if my approval has expired or is about to expire?
If you still wish to sell, you will need to re-apply to the Council and may need to provide an updated valuation report.
Please allow sufficient time for the Council to consider your application. Applications will be treated strictly in order of receipt. We are unable to give additional priority to specific applications because, for example, your sale is part of a chain of property transactions or transactions are dependent on mortgage offers that are for a limited period.
If you are to committing yourself to selling your property by exchanging contracts, please ensure that the completion date you have agreed with your buyer will not fall on a date after the Council's approval has expired. If it does, then you will need to re-apply to the Council for the market value to be approved before exchanging contracts.
If the market value of the property has increased, we may not approve the sale of the property at the same value as previously and you may need to renegotiate the terms of your sale with your buyer.
What if there is a dispute as to the market value of the property?
If we cannot agree the market value of the property with you, then the Mortgage Deed sets out a dispute process. The market value of the property will be assessed by an independent valuer who will be appointed jointly, but at your cost.
I want to sell my property. When should I notify the Council?
The Council cannot provide advice on the timing of your application. You are advised to seek professional advice from your legal adviser and/or your agents.
Please also see "How long will it take for the Council to approve my application?"
Under the terms of the Mortgage Deed, the property must be sold at no less than the value approved by the Council. Any approval that is granted when you first apply will last for a period of 3 months from the date when the Council receives notice of your intended sale.
If you do not complete the sale of your property within that 3 month period, and still wish to sell, then you will need to re-apply to the Council for the market value to be approved.
If you are committing to sell your property by exchanging contracts, the completion date will need to fall within the period for which approval of the value has been granted. If the completion date will occur or potentially occur after this period, you will need to re-apply to the Council before you exchange contracts.
If the market value of the property has increased, we may not approve the sale of the property at the same price as previously and you may need to renegotiate the terms of your sale with your buyer.
I want to sell my property, but what should I tell my buyer about my application to the Council?
The Council cannot provide advice as to what information you should provide to your buyer about your application.
How do I contact the Council?
Correspondence can be sent by post or delivered to the post box at:
Kent DA1 1DR
and marked for the attention of Legal Services or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens if I have instructed a legal adviser?
When you apply to the Council, please let us know if you have instructed a legal adviser and let us have their contact details.
Once you have appointed a legal adviser then, to comply with professional conduct rules, we will deal with them direct. If you have any queries about your application, please speak to you legal adviser.
How long will it take for the Council to approve my application?
We cannot commit to specific timescales. Applications are dealt with strictly in order of receipt and you will be advised of the Council's decision as soon as possible.
We are unable to give additional priority to specific applications because, for example, your sale is part of a chain of property transactions or transactions are dependent on mortgage offers that are for a limited period.
You will need to consider the timing of your application with your professional advisers.
How much do I have to pay the Council if I sell my property?
You will need to pay a percentage of the agreed market value (or a percentage of the actual sale price, if that is higher).
For properties on the Persimmon Homes part of The Bridge development, the percentage starts at 20%.
For properties on the Taylor Wimpey part of The Bridge development the percentage starts at 25%.
You may have reduced the percentage by making payments to the Council. If so, you will have previously received written confirmation from the Council of the reduced percentage that will apply.
There is no administration fee to pay if you are selling the property.
How do I pay?
Your legal adviser will usually deal with the payment arrangements. If you have not instructed a legal adviser, we will discuss the methods of payment with you.
What happens after I have paid?
If you have appointed a legal adviser, they will usually deal with the arrangements.
If you have sold your property then we will issue a form of discharge once we have received payment in full. The form of discharge needs to lodged at the Land Registry to remove the Council's charge from the title entries to your property. The Council cannot give you advice on this process, but you may seek general guidance from the Land Registry. Details are set out in "How do I contact the Land Registry?"
How do I contact the Land Registry?
Contact details are available on the Land Registry's official website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry