Who should pay for searches?
Christopher Ianson from Tyne and Wear
Legal questions and answers
I am in the middle of removing my name from a property where I no longer live but my ex-girlfriend does. The solicitors have given us a quote for searches, but I would like to know if this needs to happen even though it has been occupied by ourselves? If it does, is that something that I should be paying for or should my ex-girlfriend be paying this with taking over the mortgage?
In this case I would advise that it would all depend on the financial position with regard to the property and the mortgage instructions received by the solicitors for the remaining party.
If, although you state that the remaining party is ‘taking over the mortgage’ she is actually remortgaging to remove the party coming off the title, then it is likely that new searches would be required; it may also be the case that if the lender is remaining the same, depending on when the property was purchased (i.e. if it was a considerable time ago) they may want new searches, as planning matters (for example) do change over time.
Usually, if the matter is being dealt with as a Transfer of Equity, as opposed to a sale and purchase by the respective parties, then search insurance would be another option, which could be more beneficial in both time and cost.
As to who should pay – that would be a matter for negotiation depending on the financial position and agreement of the parties and no doubt, the circumstances of the break up.
Harvey Harding, PM Property Lawyers