No Move, No Fee Kent Conveyancing Solicitors

Updated: October 22, 2018

Are you are buying or selling your home, and need Conveyancing Solicitors in Kent? Find out how to get the best No Move, No Fee conveyancing for your Kent move.

Cottage in kent

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Kent

Kent lies on the south-eastern tip of the UK, bordering Greater London to the north and the English Channel to the south. A key point for defence throughout history, the county has 26 castles in its southern area. The county town is Maidstone, with other important settlements including Dover, Canterbury, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Rochester.

Much of the industry is in the north of the county, close to London, while more rural areas, known as the Garden of England, have been predominantly cultivated for fruit and hops growing. Villages with less than 60 minute journey time to London include Bridge, Goudhurst and Beneden.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a key part of English property law. Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, this rule no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to investigate their intended purchase.

A Kent conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The content below discusses those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Kent where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is crucial.

Your Kent conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Lloyds Bank or a less common lender such as Platform, before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Kent you must confirm that they are approved by your lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some lenders will only work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of law firms.

If this is the case, the lender will require a different legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Setbacks can result from failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved to act for all lenders.

South Lakeland District Council searches and other searches

Residential property searches are applied for by Kent conveyancing solicitors to identify planning, development and environmental issues that might potentially undermine how much your home is worth.

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

Homebuyers will be made aware if your chosen lender insists on any further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a geological search.

Buyers could experience a delay of roughly 8 weeks for LA searches obtained from South Lakeland District Council, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will source office copies from HMLR, assisting with the identification of any planning issues. These issues could include neighbours' rights of access or errors on the title plan.

South Lakeland District Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Kent will pay to South Lakeland District Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. for an average Valuation Band D home in Kent, the council tax would be £1,791 per year.

Kent conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,343.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. A property constructed after 1991 is assessed and given a council tax banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band South Lakeland District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,194
B £1,393
C £1,592
D £1,791
E £2,189
F £2,587
G £2,985
H £3,582

Could you be overpaying?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Glynis House
25-27 Brogden St
Ulverston
LA12 7AT
Cumbria

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Kent properties

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

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

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Kent:

Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £323,795 £6,189.75
Average price (detached) £502,969 £15,148.45
Average new build £382,701 £9,135.05

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Kent

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000 with relief up to £500,000 in some areas. Following a change in April 2016, a higher SDLT rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. E.g. if a second home was bought for £323,795 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £25,903.60. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Kent will confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Kent

New build site

It is estimated that over 100,000 homeowners in England are trapped in leases with problematic lease terms. Numerous legal issues could be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, including spiralling ground rents and incomplete management company accounts.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Kent will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • checking the lease itself
  • managing agent practices
  • ground rents and service charges
  • planned large scale expenditure is planned
  • missing building regs and planning

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Kent?

New build building site

The average price for Kent new build property is £382,701, (source: HM Land Registry). 137 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Kent in 2018 so far.

The legal side of purchasing a new build is more complex than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Kent should be mindful of local considerations and will need to investigate several key factors, including checking new build mortgage procedures are followed and investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are experts in working to tight developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a home in a conservation area in Kent, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these building controls could include:

  • Restrictions on painting external walls
  • Restrictions on the display of advertisements
  • Restrictions on the erection of outbuildings

If a property is in breach, the local council could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Kent.

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Kent conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Kent

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Kent for the legal work involved in moving home.

How are Kent conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Kent will work on an hourly-rate basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as indemnity insurance or local authority searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Kent solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Kent will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as a commons registration search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate Back to top

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Kent

The legal side of a house sale is generally simpler than when buying. When property changes hands, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies with the purchaser to determine whether the title of the property they are buying does not have any legal issues.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Kent acting for the seller need only answer the purchaser's enquiries.

What could put the process at risk?

Obstacles, like not being insurable, could slow or frustrate the conveyancing process.

It is better not to hide from the issue, trusting that the issue won't be discovered - a better course of action will be to get advice, face the issues head on, and find a solution promptly.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is significantly more complex than for a freehold property.

Kent conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, such as collating all relevant freeholder information, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

It is highly recommended that you contact a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as the decision is made to sell to ensure the legal technicalities are handled correctly.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You can contact a local Kent conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Kent

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, for example releasing equity, or moving to an offset mortgage. The most common reason, however, is to get a lower interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Kent can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

It is vital that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancing team are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are changing to an interest-only mortgage with the Nationwide Building Society or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, our remortgage specialists can help.

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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