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‘Clearing bank’ – definition

In November 2017, the Bank of England took over direct delivery of CHAPS. Accordingly, it became necessary to change the definition of ‘clearing bank’ in the Standard Commercial Property Conditions and the Standard Conditions of Sale.

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Management companies – restrictions

Do management company restrictions achieve any real purpose?

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Electronic search fees – VAT

The Law Society wants to hear from conveyancers who have been contacted by HMRC about the recovery of VAT on electronic property searches.

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SDLT – 14 days

From 1 March 2018, SDLT returns will need to be filed – and any SDLT paid – within 14 days (not 30 days).

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SDLT – Wales

In his November 2017 Budget, the Chancellor abolished SDLT for first-time buyers on purchases up to £300,000 (and also introduced a tax saving of up to £5,000 for £300,000-£500,000 first-time buyers).

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Land Registry – prioritise applications

The LR has amended PG 19 to clarify the need to prioritise the order of applications when registering a restriction.

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CHAPS – standard conditions

A reminder that CHAPS is no longer provided by the CHAPS Clearing Company Limited. Instead, it is now operated by the Bank of England (from 13 November 2017).

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Charge – discharged in error?

What happens when a bank discharges its charge in error? In practical terms, there are unlikely to be problems in getting the register altered so as to reinstate the mortgage. But, will this be a rectification of the register, or a mere alteration of the register?

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Japanese knotweed – ‘new build’ risk

There has been much publicity about Japanese knotweed this year, largely as a result of an important county court decision which held Network Rail liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced houses. The owners of those properties had been ‘trapped’ by knowledge of knotweed, and could not sell because banks and mortgagees would not grant mortgages on the affected properties. It was held that Network Rail was liable in private nuisance and had to pay damages (including diminution in value of the homes). See our April 2017 issue, p19.

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