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Countries Information & Lifestyle
 United Kingdom United Kingdom

Country Information & Lifestyle

 For Queen and Country

For Queen and Country

The capital of England is London, the home of the Queen and the Royal family and the seat of government. There are many places of historical interest in London too numerous to mention, but Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen is where you will see the daily Changing of the Guard and maybe get a glimpse of Her Majesty, if she is in residence the flag will be flying.

England has a rich history going back hundreds of years and London is famous for its river, where on the bank of the River Thames lies the famous Tower of London, where it is said that if the ravens leave the monarchy will fall.

England was one of the world's first major powers and British explorers discovered and colonised many parts of the world including parts of North America. The Houses of Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral are just two of the many monuments around the city with a very chequered history.

London is also famous for its red double decker buses, brownstone houses, riverside restaurants, markets, theatres and excellent shops. Much of England is rolling hills with occasional small fields or flatland, with the lowland supporting farming such as wheat, potatoes and vegetables. Kent is famous for hops and apples and is the place where the Euro-tunnel begins.

England has a moderate climate with temperatures typically ranging from freezing to fog and maybe even sunshine on the same day during the winter. The winters tend to be cold and damp and in the north it usually snows on the high ground, and even in summer the weather can be unpredictable.

England has beautiful forests like the New Forest in Hampshire with its quaint thatched cottages and tea shops serving clotted cream teas, Dartmoor, the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales are beautiful.

In Wales, the birthplace of Richard Burton, Tom Jones and Anthony Hopkins, you will find rolling hillsides where there is always a welcome and dairy herds and sheep farming. Cardiff has a beautiful castle and has a history of coal mining and steel industry.

The cities of Liverpool, home to the Beatles, Manchester, Nottingham, in days gone by a thriving lace industry, and Birmingham are major cities in the Midlands and further north Cumbria, stunningly beautiful, is close to the Scottish Borders.

Purchasing a Property

Once you have decided on your property you must inform the estate agent how much you would be prepared to pay subject to contract.
Once the seller has accepted the offer their CONVEYANCER will send out a draft contract setting out the terms of the sale.
The purchaser's CONVEYANCER then checks the contract, raises enquiries and carries out searches to see what information is available about the property.

Once your CONVEYANCER reports that all is in order and the money is ready contracts are exchanged. After this point neither the vendor nor purchaser can withdraw from the transaction.
It is usual on exchange of contracts to pay a deposit which the seller can keep if the purchaser defaults. At exchange of contracts a completion date is set and before completion final searches are carried out to make certain no last minutes changes have taken place.

The CONVEYANCER prepares a final statement showing how much money is needed and on completion the CONVEYANCER pays over the money to the sellers. The CONVEYANCER will then pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax and will register the property in the new owners name at the LAND REGISTRY.


THE OFFER: In summary, the legal system in Scotland is geared to a fast moving exchange of formal letters, known as missives.
The purchaser's solicitor makes an offer including a price, date of entry, and a series of conditions covering, e.g. common burdens, rights of way and a host of other practical points.
The seller's solicitor replies, accepting some conditions, rejecting some, and qualifying others. The exchange of letters goes on until differences have been settled, at which point the magic words are used "we hold the bargain as concluded".
From that moment there is a binding contract. The whole process can be completed within a few days but normally will take a number of weeks frequently 4-6 weeks.

The speed and finality of the Scottish system imposes responsibilities on both buyer and seller. Unless both parties agree otherwise the Date of Entry in the offer is the date on which the seller must make his property available, and the buyer must have the price ready.
The seller has the responsibility of exhibiting local Searches and proving his title is good, although he may try to shift some of this responsibility to the purchaser in the missives.

It has to be remembered that what is not covered in the missives does not form part of the contract. It is vitally important therefore to either party, buyer or seller, that they check the terms of the missives being prepared in their name, and discuss them fully with the estate agent and their solicitor.

The buyers' principal responsibility is to ensure that they have made arrangements for the price to be available on the date of entry.
This is relatively straightforward where there is no other sale involved, or the other sale is through the Scottish system.
If however a person is selling in England and buying in Scotland this should be drawn to the attention of the estate agent and solicitor acting in Scotland so that suitable arrangements can be made.

It is nice to know that buying your house the Scottish way you cannot be gazumped, (i.e. the seller cannot change his mind and suddenly demand a higher price) stuck in a chain, or have the other side pull out day before the furniture van arrives because contracts have still not been exchanged.

What the Scottish legal system offers is peace of mind.
On the completion/settlement date it is important to liaise with the estate agent and respective solicitors prior to arranging to collect keys etc. The estate agent or solicitor will not pass over the keys until all funds are seen to have cleared into the appropriate account.

Fees & Taxes

Agents fees are paid by the seller and will depend on whether the agent has sole agency or multiple agency.

Legal fees are between GB400-GB750 for properties worth up to 1 Million GBP expensive properties + VAT. You should always get a written quotation not an estimate as charges vary.

Search fees are paid as you go.

Stamp Duty is paid on property over GB60,000 and is up to 4% depending on the price of the property.

Land Registry is from GB40-GB760.

The main costs are paid to the solicitor on the day of completion.


All visitors to the United Kingdom are required to have a valid passport.

EEU citizens and Swiss nationals have the right of free movement and residence in the UK.

All other nationalities will need to check with their Consulate/Embassy in their home country prior to departure for the UK with regards to the updated requirements for entry into and residence into the United Kingdom.

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