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  • Buy-to-Let

    Property sale be undertaken electronically?

    I'm in the process of evicting a tenant on a s21 notice with the intention of selling the property when it's vacant.

    I don't know the timings at the moment, obviously, but it's likely that I'll be overseas for some or possibly all of the sales legal process.

    My question: is it possible for a solicitor to conduct the entire sales legal process with just electronic communication from me, or would I be required to be physically here at some stage?

    Thanks for any replies.

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    It should be possible but the best person to ask is your solicitor!

    You will have to confirm you ID in person or via a notary public, so it would be prudent to do that before you leave the UK.

    Unless there is any specific reason not to, I would also start marketing your property for sale now.

    For an easier, hassle-free life, to receive rent up until the day you complete, you could sell it with tenants in situ via a platform like Vesta.

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    I have never sold a property, but I have bought quite a few where I have never met the sols

    However, in these situations I had to provide proof of ID, so it might be a good idea to get this done BEFORE you intend to travel so you have it handy

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    Hi Ricco,

    Yes, in theory that's perfectly feasible but as Vanessa infers, it depends on your solicitor's modus operandi.  The vast majority of the conveyancing process can be done electronically with just one or two documents needing a physical signature, but if your solicitor doesn't like to work via email, it may not be possible.  100% of the purchases/sales I oversee are handled remotely, often with buyers/sellers/agents/solicitors being in different locations or countries; one just has to have a good process set up, and do some forward-planning.

    Happy to help with any specific queries if you get stuck.

    All the best

    Helen

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    Helen Godbold-Eade

    Freelance Administrator for Property Investors / Entrepreneurs

    http://www.like-clockwork.co.uk

    Find me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heleneade/

    I've nearly done it.  I got away with the ID because I'd already provided my solicitor with it a few years ago (existing customers don't need to be re-checked). 

    It's mostly been via email and scanned documents but the list of questions/answers to go to the buyer's solicitor and the actual contract had to be signed by me and sent via post. My signature was witnessed by a neighbour on the contract. 

    I've authorised exchange of contracts via email and the last thing I need to do is confirm my bank account number and sort code via telephone.

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    Law Society Guidance

    Customer Due Diligence & Ongoing monitoring and refreshing CDD

    Ongoing monitoring means scrutinising transactions to check that they remain consistent with what is known about the client. For smaller firms, ongoing monitoring will usually be undertaken by the fee earner. Firms may consider implementing a system of file reviews or using a matter spreadsheet to track high-risk matters and send reminders to fee earners, so they remember to undertake ongoing monitoring.

    You must also refresh your CDD information when the client’s circumstance change. For example:

    • when an individual changes their name
    • when there is a change in the beneficial ownership of a client
    • when the client instructs you in relation to a transaction that is not consistent with your knowledge about them.

    In addition, it is good practice to refresh your CDD information if there has been a long gap in instructions. Smaller firms may find it most convenient to check the CDD each time you open a matter for the client and either note that no refresh is necessary or update the CDD information.

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    My solicitor complied with all that.  I bought the property through them in the first place so they had already checked my ID in the past and they fairly recently dealt with part of my divorce so they know my current circumstances.  My estate agent also complied - I had to send certified ID to them as I hadn't bought the property through them and a recent utility bill and tax return as proof of my current address.

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    I have to say my buyer's solicitor hasn't kept up with the times and insists on replying to everything by letter through the post.

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