News & Insights

Top tips for developers

If you are a developer who is planning on selling your newly built or ‘off-plan’ properties, whether it is flats or houses, you should consider the following tips when thinking about instructing a solicitor to prepare the legal documentation for your site. This work is often referred to as ‘site setup’ and it is very important that it is done properly and carefully so that the sales process is quick, efficient and clear. Our New homes team specialises in site setup work and the subsequent property sales. We have a dedicated team that will take you through the site setup process and handle the sales themselves.

  • When are you planning on marketing your properties and taking reservations? You should instruct a solicitor to prepare your plots for sale early on, as the site setup can take anywhere from 4 – 12 weeks depending on the size and complexity of your site. Our New homes team will look to have a conference call or a meeting to understand your site, your plans and the timescales you want to achieve as soon as possible so we can ensure your objectives are met.
  • We often advise our developer clients to arrange for the preparation of Land Registry compliant plans early on. The plans will be used to mark out the extent of each of the plots you are selling. If you aren’t sure what a Land Registry compliant plan is then you should instruct a surveyor who specialises in the preparation of these plans. It is very important that your plans are compliant and accurate because it can cause serious problems during your sales if the they are wrong. We can advise you on the requirements of the land registry when it comes to plans.
  • It is important that your plans mark out common areas, roads or landscaping areas where relevant. This will assist our New homes team when they draft the relevant lease or transfer deed to sell your properties and it will speed up the process if your plans are clearly marked and easy to understand.
  • Who will look after common areas, private roads and private drainage? You should discuss with our New homes team if there are any areas that need to be maintained if they aren’t being taken over by the local authority. We will be able to advise you on the most appropriate way of dealing with this depending on the nature of your site.
  • If you are selling flats then you need to decide on the terms of your lease. It is very important that the leases for your flats are attractive for buyers and acceptable to mortgage lenders. Our New homes team will be able to advise you on the current requirements and the different options available to you. You should discuss this with us before you start marketing your properties so that any purchasers are given the correct information from your selling agents.
  • Will you be able to offer help to buy properties? You will need to ensure you are able to offer help to buy on your site by making an application to the Homes and Communities Agency before marketing your properties. It is helpful to tell us this at the outset so we can be ready to assist you with your application if you need us.
  • Do you need to enter into any statutory agreements with the local authority? We can assist you with any agreements that you need to enter into, whether it be for the adoption of your new roads, your new drainage system or improvements to the existing highway. You may have already entered into these agreements but need some guidance on your planning obligations which we can also assist you with.
  • The most important thing is to prepare your site well in advance of marketing and taking reservations so the best tip we can give you is to get in touch with us as early as you can!