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What documents do you need when selling a house?

Ready to put your home on the market? There’ll be some paperwork to get sorted before you do.

Key points:

  • From EPCs to Electrical Installation and Gas Safety Certificates, there are certain documents you'll need to have ready when selling your home

  • You'll be asked to fill out a Seller's Property Information Form (or TA6), outlining lots of details about the property

  • And you'll need to complete Fittings and Contents Form (or TA10), specifying everything that's included in the sale of your home

Your home is likely to be your most valuable asset. Selling it will involve filling in a few important forms and having certain documents at the ready.

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare for.

Proof of identity

So that estate agents know you are who you say you are, you'll need to show proof of ID. 

They’ll need to see photographic identification (like a passport or driving licence) and a proof of address when you put your home on the market.

That’s because estate agents, legal representatives and mortgage lenders are all required by law to check your identity in order to protect against money laundering. 

The government’s proof of identity documents list can be found here.

Energy performance certificate

You should apply for an Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC, for your property before you put your home on the market.

If you’re using an estate agent to sell your home or a letting agent to rent it, it’s part of their job to make sure there’s a valid EPC on the property.

A legal requirement for sellers since 2008, an EPC will tell buyers how well your home uses energy and if it’s energy efficient or not. An EPC works on a traffic light system of A to G – with A being the most efficient.

The lower the rating, the more expensive the home is to heat and power. And buyers need to know if they should be expecting big energy bills.

EPCs also help to make buildings more energy efficient by giving buyers recommendations for improvements. 

They outline the potential costs for carrying works out, and the potential savings in pounds and pence that each one could generate.

Sellers and landlords can be fined up to £5,000 for not having an EPC and they must be carried out by an accredited domestic energy assessor.

You can find one in your area at the government’s official EPC register.

Property Information Form (otherwise known as a TA6)

Once you’ve agreed a sale on your property, you’ll need to fill out a Property Information Form, otherwise known as a TA6.

This form provides comprehensive information about your property to potential buyers, so they can decide whether or not to proceed with their purchase. 

It looks into things like:

  • the property boundaries

  • any disputes about the property

  • if any building works have taken place 

  • if the property is in a conservation area or listed

  • which utilities are connected to the property: gas, water, electricity, cable etc

  • guarantees/warranties for damp proofing, timber treatment, electrical works, roofing, central heating, underpinning, windows and glazed doors 

  • if the building’s insured and if claims have been made for things like flooding

  • if the property has an EPC 

  • any Green Deal efficiency measures implemented

  • if Japanese Knotweed has affected the home

Here’s a specimen TA6 form from The Law Society.

What certificates do I need to have when selling my home?

There are certain certificates you'll need to have ready to prove that any changes to your property have been done inline with building regs. They include:

FENSA certificates for windows and doors

A FENSA certificate is your assurance that the installer who fitted your windows or doors has complied with Building Regulations. 

It also means that your installation(s) will have been registered with the Local Council. 

These are legal requirements and proof of them is essential when selling your home.

Gas safety certificate

It’s not a legal requirement to have a gas safety certificate for your home if you’re wishing to sell it. 

That said, it’s highly recommended that the owners of gas appliances get them checked out with an annual gas safety inspection.

Regular inspections can be life-saving as they’ll help to detect any potential gas leaks and if there’s carbon monoxide in any of your pipes.

Only registered gas safety engineers can carry out inspections. 

Boiler safety certificate

However, you’re not allowed to sell a property, under any circumstances, if it doesn’t have a valid boiler safety certificate and ‘Building Regulations Compliance Certificate’. 

This shows when the boiler was installed, certifies that it was installed properly and that it meets all necessary building regs. 

If you lose your certificate, you can apply for a new one to be created from the records held by the Gas Safe Register for a small fee. 

Electrical Installation Certificate

It’s illegal to sell a home without an Electrical Installation Certificate, or EIC. 

The EIC proves that any electrical installation works done on the property were done inline with building regulations. 

You'll need to have two certificates to prove any electrical work was performed by a registered electrician. 

  • The Building Regulations Compliance Certificate

  • The Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC), or a Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate confirming that the work certifies BS 7671 - the British Standard for electrical safety

If you're missing an EIC, you can:

Planning approval for any major changes

If you've made a significant physical change to your property, such as an extension or major renovation works, you would probably have applied for planning permission.

Planning permission usually takes around 13 weeks to come through. And if you’re doing it retrospectively, it can take longer.

If you built an extension on your property that needed planning permission, but you never applied for it from your local authority, that’s considered an illegal addition. 

That can make it impossible for a buyer to obtain a mortgage to buy your home. However, you can overcome the problem by purchasing indemnity insurance. 

This covers a buyer against any costs associated with a future enforcement action, including the expense of removing an extension. 

Many mortgage companies will accept proof of such insurance to cover buyers, clearing the way for them to make an offer on your property.

Fittings and Contents Form - aka the TA10 form

Another form that needs filling in once you’ve agreed a sale is the Fittings and Contents Form - aka the TA10 form. 

It’s also sometimes called the Fixtures and Fittings form and it states what’s included and excluded within the sale price of the property.

It goes through everything, from the boiler and radiators through to the kitchen appliances, bathroom towel rails, carpets, curtains, cupboards and garden sheds.

You can see a specimen TA10 form from The Law Society here.

The TA10 is a legally binding document that forms part of the contract of sale.

If you’ve said it’s included, it must be included. Otherwise you may face a fine.

Title deeds

The title deeds are the proof that you own your property. The original title deeds are usually stored with the solicitor or conveyancer who acted on the last sale of the property.

Alternatively, your mortgage provider may retain them if you have a mortgage on your home.

What if the property I’m selling is leasehold?

If you’re selling a leasehold property, you’ll also need to fill out a Leasehold Management Pack or TA7 form.

This basically includes all the information about the lease. It’s often filled in by your solicitor or conveyancer and outlines things like:

  • service charges

  • ground rent

  • any plans for major works

  • the building’s insurance policy details

  • details on any management company that has been formed by the tenants to manage the lease/freehold

  • any asbestos surveys carried out

  • any external wall fire reviews

Here’s a specimen TA7 form from The Law Society

What if the property I’m selling is share of freehold?

Share of freehold usually applies to apartment owners. Having share of freehold can often boost the price of a leasehold property. It means that you own a share in the company that owns the freehold, together with the other leasehold owners.

As a shareholder of the company which owns the freehold, you should have a 'share certificate' or 'membership certificate', which you’ll need to provide when selling your home.

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