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The Potential Pitfalls of Winning a House in a Raffle

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A number of home owners across the country have opted to sell their home using a raffle scheme. One winner received a house valued at £500,000 with a £5 ticket. Sellers have raised tens of thousands for charity in the process of selling their home. There are, however, several potential pitfalls involved in winning a house in a raffle. We summarise them here.

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Read the Terms and Conditions

If you buy a ticket to win a house in a raffle, it’s crucial you read the terms and conditions carefully. What happens if not enough tickets are sold? Do you receive a refund? The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has the authority to challenge organisers, and a number of house raffles have been deemed illegal and shut down.

You Could Be Liable

Buying a raffle ticket is just a bit of fun, what could be the harm? A house in Shropshire valued at £545,000 had £17,250 stamp duty bill. If an existing homeowner had won the house and didn’t sell their existing property, the stamp duty bill would have increased to £33,600. In this instance the winner’s legal costs and stamp duty were included in her prize. This is not as common as one might assume.

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Winning a home is one thing. Owning that home is its own reality. It’s up to you to check you are not liable for the conveyancing costs from companies such as should you win a house in a raffle.

Instead of celebrating your good fortune you may find yourself searching for “conveyancing solicitors near me” because the home you won in a raffle has a hefty stamp duty bill as well as other tax and legal implications you are liable for. Take an extra couple of minutes and make sure you read the fine print.

Is Your New Home Actually Yours?

Another potential pitfall is confirming the house awarded as raffle prize is eligible for sale. Make sure the winning property is free of any leasehold issues. There have been instances where existing punitive groundwater and other charges have rendered the property unsellable.

And, of course, find out whether the winning property is freehold or leasehold. If it’s leasehold, check how many years remain on the lease and whether you are liable for additional groundwater and other service charges.