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Essential house purchase documents

Buying a house is a long, complicated process and it's all too easy to forget the finer details. We take a look at the essential documents you should have with you once you complete your house purchase.

 Essential house purchase documents your solicitor / conveyancer should provide

  • Title Deeds: Normally you won’t have title deeds – this is because the Land Registry records are now all digital.
  • You may have title deeds if your property hasn’t been registered before, but this is becoming quite rare.  You should still get confirmation from your solicitor that s/he has registered you as owner of the property – your solicitor should provide you with a copy of the registered title showing you as “registered proprietor” within a month or two of completion.
  • If your property is leasehold, your solicitor should give you a copy of the lease (with lease plan of your property) and any service charge accounts or forecasts.
  • Your solicitor’s report on title is a useful document to keep handy. As well as including a summary of the legal title and property search results, it should also have attached the seller’s property information form which contains lots of useful practical information like the location of the water stop cock, electricity and gas meters and confirmation of who is responsible for which boundary fences.
  • For new builds (or properties under 10 years old) – you should have a copy of your Buildmark (NHBC) or other new home policy/warranty documents.
  • Confirmation from your solicitor that stamp duty has been paid (within 30 days of the completion date).
  • As appropriate, you should have a copy of any restrictive covenant indemnity insurance policy, chancel repair indemnity insurance or any other legal cover if required by your solicitor (if it is required, the reasons for this will be explained in the solicitor’s report on title).

Essential house purchase documents from your seller (if not already provided by your solicitor / conveyancer)

  • Guarantees – e.g. any recent damp-proofing, new appliances (oven, boiler, etc), FENSA (double-glazing) certificates. FENSA certificates last 10 years; damp proofing guarantee should also be about 10 years.  New appliances can have a warranty period of anything from 12 months to perhaps five years for a boiler.
  • Records of servicing of boiler.
  • Electrical certificates for any electrics works/rewiring.
  • Building control certificates for any extensions or conversion works that may have been done to the property.
  • Have a look at our Moving House Checklist for more questions to ask the seller.

Essential house purchase documents as a buyer

  • Buildings insurance policy details and contents insurance policy details (if you decide to have contents insurance).  See our guide on how to insure your home
  • Survey – if you have had a survey, it is useful to keep a copy of this to remind you what issues were raised/might need attention soon

The HomeOwners Alliance provides members with guidance on buying, selling and owning their homes. To see how we can help, find out more about the benefits of joining the HomeOwners Alliance.

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