I am hoping to offer my property in part exchange for another property. Will this result in a Stamp Duty saving for me?
Subject to a few very limited exceptions, the answer to this question is unfortunately “no”.
By contrast with the old Stamp Duty regime, the current Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) rules do not provide for payment of SDLT only on the difference in price between the two properties. Each property is treated separately and SDLT is payable on the full price for each property.
However, there are some limited concessions open to house builders who accept properties in part exchange for a new or adapted dwelling.
Depending on, for example, the size of the extension it may be necessary to obtain both Planning and Building Regulations Consents from the Local Planning Authority.
The Local Authority are usually happy to help as necessary.
Do remember that it may also be necessary to obtain Consent further to the terms of a covenant or covenants to which the property is subject. Bowcock Cuerden would be happy to help with this.
I live in a block of flats. Are there any Regulations which apply to the common parts of the building?
The common parts of a building containing flats are treated as “non-domestic premises” for the purposes of the Asbestos Risk and Fire Risk Assessment Regulations.
As a result, it is necessary for those responsible for the management of common parts to have Asbestos Risk Assessments and (with effect from 01.10.06) Fire Risk Assessments carried out.
Failure to do so could result in the commission of criminal offences and difficulties with insurance and mortgageability.
In short, the presence of a property within a conservation area restricts the extent to which alterations and additions can be made, whether with or without Planning or other Consents. (For example, “permitted development rights” (i.e. dealing with the extent to which changes can be made without Consent) are often removed or restricted).
The Local Planning Authority will often take a more restrictive view when dealing with the issue of Planning Consent.
My neighbour has applied for Planning Consent to build an extension to his property. I think that there is something in his Title Deeds which prevents him from building the extension. Does that mean that, if I object to his application, my objection will succeed?
Not necessarily. The Local Planning Authority will not be interested in the existence of covenants or other restrictions in Title Deeds as such.
In dealing with any objections, the Local Planning Authority will only take note of planning-related matters.
However, it may be possible to persuade the Local Planning Authority that the purpose of a covenant or other restriction does have implications for the planning process, and that breach of the covenant should therefore be taken into account.