Common Conveyancing Issues - Dan Curry answers your top three FAQs

  • Author: Daniel Curry
  • Posted on: 1st February 2018
  • Posted in: Blog

We've come to the end of January and what a start it has been to 2018 for Conveyancing here at Crosby & Woods HQ. We have been busy helping clients with new enquiries, despite the speculation of a potentially quiet start for the property market in the New Year.

We are delighted with the level of property sales and purchases, especially in the local property market, and we felt it was important to highlight some of your most frequently asked questions to help you make sense of some of the most common problems that homebuyers and homeowners face during the conveyancing process. 

So here are my top 3 FAQs: 

1. The property I am buying is affected by a Tree Preservation Order. How will this affect me?

If a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) has been imposed on the property you must obtain the local authority's approval in writing before cutting down or lopping any trees affected by the Order. Please note that a Protected Tree has no less standing in the eyes of the Council than a building.

You must, therefore, be aware that if a tree is causing damage to a property (for example due to its roots invading the foundations, or by drawing moisture from the ground thereby causing subsidence) the Council would not be bound to consent to remove or lop the tree in order to preserve the building.

In the circumstances, we advise that Buyers refer to their surveyor in order to satisfy themselves that the proximity of the trees to the property should not be of concern.

2. Why am I advised to have an Environmental search carried out on my purchase?

Under recent legislation, property owners are liable for the cost of clearing up any environmental damage or contaminated land within their property, even if such damage or contamination was caused prior to their period of ownership.

Buyers will, therefore, be liable for any previous contamination that may exist within the property. Land can be contaminated by a previous use, for example, manufacturing, the storage of chemicals, or even as a car repair yard. The Environmental search will reveal whether there are any adverse environmental matters which affect the property. The search may also reveal whether the property is in an area at risk from flooding or subsidence.

3. The property I am buying has the benefit of an NHBC Certificate. What does this mean?

If the property was built under the National House Building Council's Scheme it will have the benefit of the NHBC Warranty and Insurance Cover.

Basically, the Scheme covers the owners of the property against certain defects which appear within two years of the house being built and major structural faults which appear within 10 years of the house being built. The cover is available whether or not the original builder is still in existence.

The Scheme is subject to restrictions on claims imposed by the Council, as well as financial limitations on the compensation payable and, consequently, the protection will not necessarily meet the full cost of repair. It is a condition of the scheme that any defect must be reported to the council as soon as it becomes apparent to the owner and no compensation will be payable in respect of any defects which are revealed by the buyer's surveyors report.

The NHBC guarantee also provides insurance to safeguard any deposits paid on exchange of contracts lost through the builder’s insolvency.

There are so many potential minefields for homebuyers and homeowners when it comes to the conveyancing process so myself and the team will always do our best to answer your questions as clearly as possible to ensure that you don't get overwhelmed with jargon. 

As an experienced conveyancing solicitor with over 35 years experience, I am more than happy to answer any questions you have so please get in touch for a FREE no-obligation initial conversation on 01273 734 600 or email

Thanks for reading,

Dan Curry, Solicitor