Name: The Bridge - Paying off some or all of the discounted share (applies to properties originally purchased on or before 31 October 2016)
Description: The Bridge - Paying off some or all of the discounted share (applies to properties originally purchased on or before 31 October 2016)
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The Bridge - Paying off some or all of the discounted share (applies to properties originally purchased on or before 31 October 2016)

Please refer to our Corporate Privacy Notice and service specific privacy notice (Property & Valuation Services) for further details of how we process your personal information.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following FAQs are only relevant to those properties originally purchased on or before 31 October 2016. They DO NOT apply to those 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 redeem the Council's legal charge over their property or reduce the Council's share.

I want to redeem the Council's charge over my property or reduce the Council's share (called "staircasing"). What do I need to do?

The procedures are set out in the Council's second charge (Mortgage Deed) which was completed at the same time that you purchased your property 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 3 of the Mortgage Deed will apply and you will need to refer to that Schedule for the detail.

In summary, you must first give the Council written notice of your proposals. 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.

Further details are set out below about who should prepare the valuation report, who pays for this, what the report should contain and how your application will be dealt with.

The Council will consider the valuation report, and if the market value is approved you will then have a period of 3 months in which to make a payment to redeem the Council's charge or to reduce the Council's share. Please note that the 3 month period is calculated from when we receive notice of your proposal to redeem the charge or to reduce the Council's share and not from the date of the valuation report.

An administration fee (plus VAT) is also payable. Please check the Council's fees and charges schedule for the current fee.

On receipt of the funds, the Council will issue a form of discharge of the charge for submission to the Land Registry (if you are redeeming the charge in full) or confirmation that the Council's share has been reduced (if you are staircasing).

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 or provide 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 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. 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 that you are proposing to redeem the charge or reduce the Council's share (as appropriate).

The approval is for a limited period, as there may be fluctuations in the market value of your property.

What happens if my approval has expired or will expire before I can make the payment to the Council?

If you still wish to proceed with your proposals, you will need to re-apply to the Council for approval as to the market value and you 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.

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. They will be appointed jointly, but at your cost.

How do I contact the Council?

Correspondence can be sent by post or delivered to the post box at:

Civic Centre,
Home Gardens,
Dartford,
Kent DA1 1DR

and marked for the attention of Legal Services or sent by email to legal.services@dartford.gov.uk

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, then 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.

How much do I have to pay the Council if I want to redeem the charge?

You will need to pay a percentage of the agreed value.

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 is starts at 25%.

You may have reduced the percentage previously by making payments to the Council, as described under "I want to reduce the Council's share (called "staircasing") or redeem the Council's charge over my property. What do I need to do?"

If you are redeeming the charge, then the Council will also charge an administration fee (plus VAT). Please refer to the Council's fees and charges schedule for the current fee. This must be added to your payment.

How much do I have to pay the Council if I want to reduce the Council's share (ie. staircase)?

You will need to pay a percentage of the agreed market value of the property.

The percentage will depend on what proportion of the Council's charge you wish to pay.

The Council will also charge an administration fee (plus VAT). Please refer to the Council's fees and charges schedule for the current fee. This must be added to your payment.

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 instructed a legal adviser, the arrangements will usually be dealt with by them.

If the Council's charge has been redeemed, 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. Please see "How do I contact the Land Registry?" below.

If you have reduced the Council's share we will send you written confirmation of this. This confirmation should be kept safely with your records.

How do I contact the Land Registry?

Contact details are available on the Land Registry's official website at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry

Last Updated: 17th September 2018 Print Link

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