This fact sheet provides guidance for those involved in the development of residential properties whether new builds or conversions of existing properties.
On 1 September 2008, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) introduced new procedures in relation to newly built or converted properties. The buyer’s solicitors now need to ensure that the procedures are complied with before the lender will release mortgage funds for completion.
The procedures are designed to tackle mortgage fraud and require the disclosure of information concerning incentives and discounts offered to buyers by the developer/builder. The CML have issued a pro-forma for completion by developers in this respect, called the Disclosure Incentives Form (DIF).
The buyer’s solicitors must receive the DIF from the developer/builder of any new build, converted or renovated property before requesting the release of the mortgage funds for completion of the purchase by their client.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors requires valuers to advise lenders if they have not received a copy of the DIF. The problem that this could create for buyers and sellers is that failure to provide the DIF as early as possible in the course of a transaction could impact on the mortgage valuation or the issue of the mortgage offer, and ultimately could cause a delay in exchange of contracts.
To avoid these difficulties and delays (particularly where a sale has been agreed on the basis that the exchange of contracts takes place within a set time frame) we would strongly recommend that clients complete the DIF at the same time as the reservation form is completed and then provide a copy of the form to us so we are able to send it to the buyer’s solicitors at an early stage in the transaction. The agent should also be requested to pass a copy of the DIF to the lender’s valuer when the valuation inspection is booked in.
To summarise, the DIF must be completed by the seller of any property that is yet to be occupied for the first time, or for the first time in its current form as a result of renovation or conversion (i.e. this would apply on the purchase of a barn conversion). The completed DIF must be supplied to the solicitor or conveyancer acting on behalf of the lender providing the mortgage finance for the property and to the valuer acting on behalf of the lender upon request.