Updated: October 12, 2018

Bristol conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bristol

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay conveyancing solicitors in Bristol for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Bristol conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Bristol who work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like office copies and title plans or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Bristol cost?

While conveyancing fees in Bristol will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a historic mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bristol

Bordering the rural counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire, Bristol won the EU's prestigious European Green Capital Award in 2015. It has also been twice named by the Sunday Times as the best city in Britain in which to live - most recently in 2017.

The city enjoys a dynamic economy built on creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and its renovated city-centre docks make it an important destination for those interested in the UK's maritime heritage and culture. Demand for properties is high and this is reflected in a higher-than-average growth in values over the last 5 years.

Conveyancing for buyers

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of English property law. This principle no longer applies, however, the buyer still will need to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The Bristol conveyancing solicitor will give advice following their enquiries, make practical suggestions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This article provides useful guidance for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Bristol.

Your Bristol conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like the Skipton Building Society or a major lender such as Tesco Bank, before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Bristol it is vital that you check that they are approved by your lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Your purchase could be jeopardised by failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Bristol City Council)

Residential property searches are submitted by Bristol conveyancing solicitors to identify any wider issues that might possibly undermine the value of your home.

Searches are carried out primarily to satisfy the conditions of the lender, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

More specific searches, such as an HS2 search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be recommended in the initial search results.

Bristol City Council has a usual lead time of 6 weeks for property searches. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry, helping to evidence any issues, such as restrictions that limit alterations or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Bristol City Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a variety of factors including the size of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance for an average Valuation Band D property in Bristol, the amount of council tax would be £1,891 per year.

Bristol conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,418.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if the home is left unoccupied by a student.

Band Bristol City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,261
B £1,471
C £1,681
D £1,891
E £2,311
F £2,732
G £3,152
H £3,782

Can I appeal against my band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made. 30 resulted in a reduction. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4th Floor
Temple Gate

Stamp Duty on Bristol properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

A buyer will usually need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax if the home they are buying is valued at over £125k.

Quittance Conveyancing will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Bristol:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £324,109 £6,205.45
Average price (detached) £423,067 £11,153.35
Average new build £23,926 £0.00
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second home. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Bristol for the average price of £324,109 the SDLT would be £25,928.72.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bristol

In Nov 2017, the Government announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300,000.

Bristol conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bristol

New build site

The risks associated with purchasing a leasehold property remain of serious concern. Numerous legal complications could be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, including unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder, unreasonable ground rents and short leases.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor lacking in specialist knowledge, could have serious financial implications.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Bristol will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases
  • ground rents and service charges
  • managing agent practices
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bristol?

Building site

Based on data collated by Her Majesty's Land Registry, the average price for new build homes in Bristol is £163,061. 60 new build houses and flats have been bought in Bristol in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Bristol must be aware of local Bristol issues and should consider a range of factors, such as squaring developer incentives with lenders and verifying rights of easements.

Our award-winning new build conveyancing team specialise in meeting short developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Conservation areas

If you are intending to buy a house in a conservation area in Bristol, the property must not breach any conservation area building controls. Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Bristol's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bristol

Conveyancing for a house sale is less complicated than when buying. With a purchase, the onus is solely on the buyer to establish that the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Bristol acting for the existing owner need only respond to the purchaser's enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

A home can face numerous problems (for example where the property differs from the title plan or not being insurable) which could prevent the conveyancing process from completing.

Property specialists usually advise that vendors face these issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more protracted than for a freehold property.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Bristol will need to conduct additional legal work. This can involve requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of any required license to assign.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is strongly advised that you contact a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a Bristol home, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Bristol to handle your legal work.

Local Bristol conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cms Cameron Mckenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, 2 College Square, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5DB
  • Colin Jones Clarke & Hartland Solicitors, Broad Quay House, Prince Street, Bristol, BS1 4DJ
  • Environment Agency, Horizon House, Deanery Road, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BS1 5AH
  • Michelmores LLP, Broad Quay House, Broad Quay, Bristol, Bristol, BS1 4DJ
  • Pattinson & Brewer, 14th Floor, Colston Tower, Colston Street, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BS1 4XE

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bristol

Although people consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, homeowners generally remortgage simply to get a better rate.

You can appreciate the benefits of a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bristol. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

In order to ensure that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and your new bank or building society.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert

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