The delay between the acceptance of your offer and the completion of the sale can see further deterioration of the property, especially if it is empty. Winter could have exacerbated the problems that little hole in the roof was creating just as spring-time could see plant growth affect walls and windows.
1 So, first things first; secure the property from intruders, make it watertight, and ensure none of the bad things, get worse.
2 Take out the appropriate buildings and public liability insurance, ensuring cover for fire, accidental damage, injury etc. is in place.
3 If the property has been empty for two years or more it may be in line for VAT concessions. You can check at www.emptyhomes.com There may also be grants available for energy saving aspects of your renovation. You can check in the Go Green section of this site.
4 If any planning applications need applying for, do it at the earliest convenience, and don’t forget the Party Wall Act. You should also be aware that there are a number of areas that will fall under Permitted Development Rights, and Building Regulations approval can take as little as 24 hours in some cases.
5 If you do not know builders and tradesmen for all the jobs you will need to complete your project, you will need to arrange for them to fit you into their busy schedules. It is often suggested that personal recommendation is the best way to find good tradesmen, but this is not always the case, especially if you haven’t inspected previous work yourself. One person’s opinion of good work could differ from another’s and were you to be dissatisfied it could cause friction with the recommender. Another good way of finding tradesmen is by searching the official bodies, such as the Federation of Master Builders, but also the feedback websites: www.checkatrade.co.uk, www.ratedpeople.com, www.myhammer.co.uk and www.mybuilder.co.uk