This guide is for those planning to purchase their first home using a gifted deposit from family. It explains the additional information your conveyancer will require and the legal process involved. It applies to properties bought in England and Wales.
Our guide titled ‘Buying a Property – How Does the Conveyancing Process Work?’ comprehensively explains the legal procedures involved in purchasing a property.
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Information, your conveyancer, will need
Once your offer on a property is accepted, inform your conveyancer that some or all of your deposit has been given to you as a gift. Your conveyancer must carry out several checks to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.
To avoid any delays in the conveyancing process, it’s essential to inform your solicitor upfront that your deposit is being gifted. Otherwise, your conveyancer must prepare all the necessary documentation related to the gift, which may slow the contract exchange process. This includes obtaining written proof that the deposit is a gift, not a loan requiring repayment.
To use gifted funds for your property purchase, the gift giver(s) must complete a “gifted deposit declaration”, which clearly states that the funds are a gift and they will not have any legal rights to the property or the money given.
In addition to giving the gift, the giver must provide identification proof, such as a passport or photocard driving licence, and a bank statement. The documentation should indicate the source of the gifted money, whether it was earned savings or inherited.
After your conveyancer obtains all the required information, they will inform your mortgage lender that your deposit is a gift, not a loan. This serves as a crucial confirmation that you do not have any additional financial obligations on top of the expenses you have disclosed during the mortgage application process.
Will having a gifted deposit make the conveyancing process longer?
Receiving a gifted deposit and promptly providing the necessary information and proof of identity should not delay the conveyancing process. However, the conveyancer must perform additional checks to verify that the gifted money is legitimate, which may incur a small extra charge of approximately £100 plus VAT. If there are multiple gifts involved, the costs may be higher.
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It’s important to remember that your conveyancer will have to carry out various searches regardless of whether you have a gifted deposit. These searches are crucial as they include Land Registry, local, environmental, and water authority searches. Their objective is to identify whether there are any significant problems with the property you intend to buy or if there are any major plans, such as big developments, that may impact the value of your property. To learn more about these searches, read our guide titled ‘What are solicitors’ searches when buying a house?’
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is conveyancing?
Conveyancing is the legal process involved in buying or selling property in England (United Kingdom). It involves transferring ownership from one person to another and making sure that all legal requirements are met. ¹
2. What is a gifted deposit?
A gifted deposit is when someone gives you money towards your deposit as a gift. This can be a family member or friend. ²
3. How does the conveyancing process work when buying a property with a gifted deposit?
When buying a property with a gifted deposit, the conveyancing process is largely the same as when buying a property with your own deposit. However, your solicitor will need to carry out additional checks to make sure that the gifted deposit is legitimate and that there are no restrictions on how it can be used. ²
4. What checks will my solicitor carry out when buying a property with a gifted deposit?
Your solicitor will carry out checks on the person who has gifted you the deposit to make sure that they are not involved in the purchase of the property and that there are no restrictions on how the money can be used. They will also check that the money has been transferred into your account and that it has come from an acceptable source. ²
5. Can I use a gifted deposit for my mortgage deposit?
Yes, you can use a gifted deposit towards your mortgage deposit. However, you will need to provide evidence of where the money has come from and that it is a gift rather than a loan. ³
6. What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a tax paid when you buy a property over a certain value in England (United Kingdom). The stamp duty you pay will depend on the value of the property you buy. ⁴
7. How long does it take to complete on a house purchase?
The time it takes to complete on a house purchase will depend on several factors, including how quickly your solicitor can complete the legal work and how quickly your lender can process your mortgage application. However, as a general rule of thumb, it can take around 8-12 weeks to complete on a house purchase.
8. What is gazumping?
Gazumping is when someone makes an offer on a property already accepted by another buyer and then offers more money to try and secure the property for themselves.
9. What is conveyancing fraud?
Conveyancing fraud is when someone pretends to be your solicitor or conveyancer and tries to steal your money during the conveyancing process. This can happen through email scams or phone calls so it’s important to be vigilant and ensure you only communicate with your solicitor or conveyancer through secure channels.
10. What should I do if I am struggling to get approved for a mortgage?
If you struggle to get approved for a mortgage, you should speak to an independent financial advisor who can help you understand your options and find the right solution for your needs.
- Step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process – Homeward Legal. https://www.homewardlegal.co.uk/guides-advice/post/conveyancing-process-guide
- Buying a property with a gifted deposit – L&C Mortgages. https://www.landc.co.uk/mortgage-guides/buying-a-property-with-a-gifted-deposit-conveyancing-process
- Gifted Deposits Explained – HomeOwners Alliance. https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/gifted-deposits
- Conveyancing Process Made Easy For Buyers – HomeOwners Alliance. https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-buying/conveyancing-made-easy-for-buyers