No Move, No Fee London Conveyancing Solicitors

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

Houses in London

Conveyancing - Buying a property in London

When carrying out the legal work for a home purchase, a conveyancing solicitor in London will investigate the property's title and make their "report on title".

After making their enquiries the solicitor will offer professional advice and will find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The content below offers assistance for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in London.

Your London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a major lender like TSB or a niche mortgage lender such as Platform, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in London it is essential that you check that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will need a different firm to act in their interests, and you will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your property lawyer could result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (City of Westminster Council)

Property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by London conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your new home. They include:

Search Description
Local Authority (LA) search planning and development details from City of Westminster Council records
Drainage & Water search identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Environmental search shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Chancel repair liability some London 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 further searches, for example a tin mining search or a more detailed environmental report.

City of Westminster Council has an estimated delivery time of 5 weeks for Residential property searches, so your solicitor will instead apply for quicker personal searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be obtained from HM Land Registry by the homebuyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any issues, such as errors on the title plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

City of Westminster Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in London will pay to City of Westminster Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For example, for an average Valuation Band E home in London, the council tax due would be £868 per year.

London conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's tax band as soon as they are 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 £651.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the property is occupied by someone who is seriously mentally impaired.

Band City of Westminster Council Tax (2018)
A £474
B £553
C £632
D £711
E £868
F £1,026
G £1,184
H £1,421

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a reduction. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue

Stamp Duty on London properties

The purchaser'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 you are buying a property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty.

Quittance Conveyancing ensure that the convoluted SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in London:

Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in London

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300,000. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% surcharge, even if the property is not let out. E.g. if a second property was bought for £839,875 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £67,190.00. .

London conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in London

New build site

The pitfalls associated with owning a leasehold property remain of serious concern. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • exponential ground rents
  • unfair clauses in the lease
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • unfair developer practices
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a lawyer lacking in specialist knowledge, can have serious consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold property, a expert conveyancing solicitor in London will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • dealing with landlords
  • service charges
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in London?

House under construction

Based on HM Land Registry data, 450 brand new homes have been bought in London in 2018 so far. The average sale price of new build homes in London is £449,784.

The legal side of purchasing a new build property is more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a London conveyancing solicitor should be mindful of local factors and needs to check a range of issues, such as dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and confirming building regulation compliance.

Our new build conveyancing team specialise in working to developer exchange timeframes and new build purchases.

Conservation areas in London

Moving into a conservation area-protected street usually means that the local character will be preserved. However, conservation area constraints will affect your property.

Called Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • Restrictions on the addition of a porch
  • Possible restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as replacing uPVC windows with traditional wooden frames.

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

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London conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in London for handling the legal work for your move.

Are London conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in London offer services on a price per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like bankruptcy checks or ID checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in London cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in London will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee 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 fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees Back to top

Conveyancing - Selling a property in London

The legal process for a house sale is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, the responsibility is solely on the buyer to make sure that the property they are buying is not legally defective.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in London acting for the existing owner only need to answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as parking issues or disputes, can potentially hinder your home move if left unresolved.

In most cases, it is advisable for vendors to address any such problems immediately.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more specialised than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in London, for example getting an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of any notices served on the leaseholder.

It is recommended that you instruct a leasehold specialist as soon as an estate agent is chosen to reduce delays.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in London, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in London to carry out your legal work.

Local London conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Banks Kelly Solicitors Limited, 1 King Street, London, EC2V 8AU
  • Maples Teesdale LLP, 30 King Street, London, EC2V 8EE
  • Bank of China (UK) Limited, 1 Lothbury, London, EC2R 7DB
  • Bank of Ireland, Legal Department, Bow Bells House, 1 Bread Street, London, London, EC4M 9BE
  • Bedell Cristin London Partnership, 11 Old Jewry, London, EC2R 8DU
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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in London

The main reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are also other reasons to remortgage, for example moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate, or wanting to borrow more.

A good conveyancing solicitor in London can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

To confirm that the mortgage provider's interests are protected, a property lawyer will represent both you and the mortgage lender.

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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