Leicester conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Leicester

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay your Leicester conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Leicester conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Leicester offer services on an hourly rate, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

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

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as landlord's notice fees or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Leicester cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Leicester should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a mining search, may be needed.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. 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

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Conveyancing - Buying a property in Leicester

The conveyancing for a homebuyer will require a Leicester conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from lost title deeds to the mortgageability of the property itself.

The buyer's lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), offer practical solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section examines those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Leicester necessitating a deeper level of knowledge.

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Your Leicester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a Leicester conveyancing solicitor, it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Harpenden Building Society, the HSBC or any other lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a restricted group of legal practices that match certain criteria.

In this case, the lender will need an alternative law firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second lawyer's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Failing to confirm your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status can result in serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage lenders.

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Residential Property Searches (Leicester City Council)

Property searches are enquiries made by Leicester conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - some Leicester property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

You will be informed if your mortgage lender wants any more searches, e.g. a more detailed flood report or a disadvantaged area search.

Leicester City Council has an average processing time of 7 weeks for property searches, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be sourced from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer, assisting with the identification of planning issues, for example the breach of a restrictive covenant or errors on the title plan.

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Leicester City Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Leicester City Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. the occupier of a Valuation Band D house in the Leicester City Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,771.

A conveyancing solicitor in Leicester will inform a buyer of the property's tax band once they are themselves notified.

If the property is unoccupied for 2 years or more, an additional premium of 50% may be applied to the council tax. Single person discount (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,328.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or for foreign language students.

Band Leicester City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,181
B £1,377
C £1,574
D £1,771
E £2,164
F £2,558
G £2,952
H £3,542

Can I challenge my council tax band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a subsequent reduction. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Enkalon House
86-92 Regent Rd
Leicester
LE1 7DD
Leicestershire

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Stamp Duty on Leicester properties

Given the complexity of the SDLT1 tax return form, only the courageous would attempt to complete and file this with HMRC without a conveyancing solicitor's help.

The threshold for stamp duty for a home is £125,000.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

See examples for average Leicester properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £176,975 £1,039.50
Average price (detached) £298,276 £4,913.80
Average new build £236,054 £2,221.08
Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers must pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Leicester bought a second home for the average price of £176,975 the SDLT would be £8,848.75.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Leicester

Since the budget announcement in 11/17, 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.

Leicester conveyancing solicitors will confirm their client pays the correct amount.

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Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Leicester

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat can be complex, compared to buying a freehold property. The many potential problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer can include unreasonable ground rents and onerous clauses in the lease.

Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a solicitor with little specialist experience, can have serious consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Leicester will consider possible leasehold issues, including dealing with landlords, reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old) and short leases.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

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Buying a 'New Build' property in Leicester?

New build building site

The average price for Leicester new builds is £264,763. 20 new builds have been bought in Leicester in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Leicester will need to be familiar with Leicester-specific considerations and new build's added complexities, like handling structural guarantees and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

Our expert new build team provide a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, paying close attention to considerations ranging from the home's future mortgageability to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

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Conservation areas in Leicestershire

If you are purchasing a property in one of Leicester's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area restrictions. These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Restrictions on door and window styles
  • Restrictions preventing paving over the front garden
  • A prohibition on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

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 if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Leicester.

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Conveyancing - Selling a property in Leicester

The legal process for a house sale is much simpler than when buying. During the sale of a house or flat, the onus is on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the property's title can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Leicester acting for the existing owner need only respond to the purchaser's enquiries.

How to reduce the risk of an abortive sale

Frequently occurring issues, such as having a flying freehold, can significantly protract the conveyancing process if left unresolved.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution, hoping the issue will fix itself, instead get professional advice and tackle it at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

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Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold property is significantly more protracted than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Leicester, for example requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

It is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a conveyancer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market, to help contain and resolve any delays.

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What if you are already acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Leicester, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you can contact a local Leicester conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

Local Leicester conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cartwright King Limited, 5th Floor, Horsefair House, 3 Horsefair Street, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 5BP
  • Hcb Park Woodfine LLP, Belvoir Chambers, 17 Bowling Green Street, Leicester, LE1 6AS
  • Jinnah & Co Ltd, 4th Floor Horsefair House, 3 Horsefair Street, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 5BP
  • Zms Legal Limited, 11 Bowling Green Street, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 6AS
  • Dodds Solicitors LLP, 32 Friar Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 5RA
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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Leicester

Securing a lower rate is the main reason that people change lenders. There are other reasons, such as getting onto a longer fixed-rate term, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

You will typically be able to benefit from a better rate earlier with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Leicester, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will represent both you and the new lender, in order to confirm the lender's investment is secured.

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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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