Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Please Mr Builder, Can We Move in Now?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Please Mr Builder, Can We Move in Now?

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

QWHY can't a builder give a fixed completion date? Buying a new house is difficult and I have been told it's best not to try unless I have no property to sell or I'm prepared to go into temporary accommodation until the new house is ready.

AIF A property is in the course of construction it can be hard to predict when work will be complete and give a definite completion date as construction can be affected by weather and planning issues among other things.

Usually a contract for the sale of a new-build property provides that completion must take place on notice and within a certain number of days (often 10 days) following physical completion of the property.

Once building works have been completed the seller will serve a Notice to Complete on the buyer, requiring completion within a certain time period. Usually a Notice to Complete cannot be given unless a building regulations completion certificate or a new homes warranty and insurance certificate, such as an NHBC, have been issued.

There is often a "long stop" completion date requiring the developer to use reasonable endeavours to complete the property by a certain date. For instance, if there is a long delay caused by striking workers the buyer can rescind the contract.

If the buyer has a property to sell, to synchronise the sale and purchase, the sale contract should provide for completion on notice, but often a buyer of a property other than a new build will not accept this.

It may be simpler to buy a new property if there is no connected sale or if the buyer is willing to move into temporary accommodation until the new build is ready and completion can take place.

QTHOUGH I do not seem to have had any communication from the local authority, one of my neighbours has put in a planning application to build a very large glass extension to his property with an indoor swimming pool. …

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