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Registered your details with West London estate agents by email - tick. Called a branch to discuss an Ealing property you’ve seen online - tick. Booked a valuation for your Shepherd’s Bush property through a website - tick.

It’s easy to assume that every aspect of moving home can be conducted online but the property industry still relies heavily on good old fashioned paper. Whether you are looking for a Shepherd’s Bush property to purchase or a flat to rent in Ealing, you’ll need to substantiate some of your claims with the necessary paperwork.

Having your files and documents in order before you proceed with your property search will help prevent delays in a fast-paced market. To help, we have compiled a handy guide to property and your paperwork:-

ID and proof of address

Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, buyers and sellers are both required to provide a form of valid ID. Copies are not normally accepted and the estate agent will usually photocopy your original ID to hold on file. The most common forms of accepted ID include:

  • A signed passport
  • A photo drivers’ licence
  • A P60
  • A P45
  • An Inland Revenue coding notice.

In addition, it is quite common to be asked for two different but recent utility bills as proof of address.

Tenants - Right to Rent checks

If you are enquiring about a property to rent in Shepherd’s Bush, Ealing or elsewhere in West London, there are new Right to Rent checks an agent is obliged by law to undertake. Tenants should have ready either:

  • A UK passport, a European Economic Area passport or identity card
  • A permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • A Home Office immigration status document
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen

Your agent is required to photocopy your documents and hold them on file for a year.

Property title deeds

Property title deeds are paperwork showing the chain of ownership for land and property. Until recently it wasn’t uncommon for property owners to receive the physical paper deeds to keep safe. Don’t panic if, after rummaging through your files, you can’t find yours. These days it’s more common for solicitors or mortgage lenders to hold title deeds. Request a copy of your deeds by contacting the solicitor you hired to purchase the property or your current mortgage lender. Title deeds can also be obtained by contacting Land Registry.

Applying for a mortgage

If your property purchase is dependent on a mortgage, you will need to support your application with a number of original documents - a list that grew longer after the Mortgage Market Review advised lenders to be more thorough in its assessment of potential borrowers. Before you meet with a lender or IFA, have ready:

  • Your last three months’ payslips
  • P60 form from your employer
  • Bank statements of your current account for the last three to six months
  • Statements from your savings accounts, especially to prove your deposit
  • Proof of any benefits received
  • Statement of two to three years’ accounts from an accountant if self-employed
  • Tax return form SA302 if you have earnings from more than one source or are self employed
  • Self-employed people should look to provide information alongside their tax return, which supports what the SA302 says about their income, such as bank statements
  • Utility bills
  • Passport or driving licence

Guarantees, warranties and building regulation certificates

If you are selling a home built less than 10 years ago, there may be a warranty with time left to run, and this will be requested by your buyers’ solicitor. If you have undertaken any major home improvements that are covered by a guarantee - such as a new boiler, kitchen or windows - dig out the paperwork. If you have extended or altered your property significantly, be ready to provide the certificate issued by building regulations to confirm the work had correct planning and has been signed off as safe and satisfactory.

If you’re still in doubt about what paperwork to gather before you buy, sell or rent a property please don’t hesitate to ask Orchards of London for guidance. We have helped thousands of people move home so we know what every mover needs to provide. Contact your local office today.

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