Updated: October 12, 2018

Southampton conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southampton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Southampton conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Southampton conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Southampton offer services on an hourly rate. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors 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 quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Southampton cost?

Conveyancing fees in Southampton will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

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. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Southampton

Southampton is the largest city in Hampshire and a major port, particularly for cruise ships. The docks have long been a major employer in the city and it remains the largest freight port on the Channel coast, with several container terminals. Southampton is home to the headquarters of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Ordnance Survey.

New industry has been attracted to the city, including aircraft manufacture, cables, electrical engineering products, and petrochemicals. With the New Forest National Park just a short journey to the west, the area is popular with families and the city has seen property values increasing by nearly 8%, one of the highest rises in the UK.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Purchase conveyancing will need the conveyancing solicitor in Southampton to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from a defective title (e.g. missing easements) to a boundary dispute affecting the mortgageability of the home.

The conveyancer will report their findings back to the buyer and their lender, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section gives advice for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Southampton.

Your Southampton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Southampton, it is critical that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Coutts Finance, the Scottish Building Society or any other lender.

A lot of banks and building societies are only happy to work with a restricted panel of legal firms that meet strict criteria. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will need a second law firm to act in their interests.

The buyer will then have to cover this substitute lawyer's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Your property transaction can be seriously delayed if you fail to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor banks and building societies.

Southampton City Council searches

Searches are enquiries made by Southampton conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - planning and development details from Southampton City Council records
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Southampton properties for local parish repairs.

Your solicitor will notify you if your chosen lender insists on any further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a more detailed environmental report.

The approximate delivery time for searches from Southampton City Council is 6 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Your conveyancing solicitor will request office copies from HM Land Registry. This will help to highlight any planning issues. These issues could include neighbours' rights of access or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Southampton City Council Council Tax

Southampton City Council calculate your council tax based on a number of criteria including the layout of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. the occupier of a Band B home in the Southampton City Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,349.

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

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 £1,012.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assigned a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Southampton City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,156
B £1,349
C £1,541
D £1,734
E £2,120
F £2,505
G £2,890
H £3,468

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Central Station
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW
Hampshire

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

Stamp Duty on Southampton properties

If you are buying a house that costs over £125k, then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC. Doing the SDLT1 form yourself is hard and not for those unfamiliar with it.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance Conveyancing use case management software to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for average properties in Southampton:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £223,460 £1,969.20
Average price (detached) £334,954 £6,747.70
Average new build £242,861 £2,357.22

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southampton

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a surcharge of 3%, even if the property is not let out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Southampton for the average price of £223,460 the SDLT would be £11,173.00.

Conveyancing solicitors in Southampton will ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southampton

New build site

The drawbacks of purchasing a leasehold property in the UK are increasingly coming to light. There are any number of potential traps that may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, including increasing ground rents, onerous covenants and unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from a solicitor lacking in specialist knowledge, could lead to serious consequences.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Southampton will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • absent freeholders
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)
  • residents' memoranda and articles of association

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southampton?

New build building site

Based on HM Land Registry data, 9 brand new homes have been bought in Southampton in 2018 so far. The average price for new build properties in Southampton is £234,944.

Purchasing a new build is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Southampton needs to be aware of local Southampton issues and must look into numerous things, like dealing with lender conditions and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

Our new build conveyancing team are specialists in new build purchases and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

If you are intending to buy a house in a conservation area in Southampton, the property will need to meet any conservation area restrictions. These conditions can include anything from restrictions preventing the addition of frontal sloping rooflights, to general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southampton

Conveyancing for a house sale is less complicated than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will carry out extensive due diligence into the property. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Southampton acting for the vendor effectively just collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

How to reduce the risk of an abortive sale

A property can be burdened by a series of legal issues (e.g. a problem with the roof) that can delay the sale conveyancing process.

In general, it is advisable for vendors to tackle these issues head on.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more complicated in comparison with a freehold house.

Southampton conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work. This can involve contacting the freeholder for a comprehensive pack of information, through to ascertaining if any excess payments are anticipated.

It is highly recommended that you contact a leasehold expert as soon as an estate agent is chosen to ensure the legal technicalities are handled correctly.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the seller of the same house?

SRA regulations restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a Southampton property, and we are doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Southampton to handle your legal work.

Local Southampton conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Berrymans Lace Mawer LLP, Charlotte Place, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 0TB
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, The White Building, 1-4 Cumberland Place, Southampton, SO15 2NP
  • Coffin Mew LLP, 3rd Floor, Cumberland House, 15-17 Cumberland Place, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 2BG
  • Deloitte LLP, Mountbatten House, 1 Grosvenor Square, Southampton, SO15 2BZ
  • Dutton Gregory LLP, 9 Cumberland Place, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 2WL

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southampton

The main reason people remortgage their home is to get a more affordable interest rate. Other reasons to remortgage include extending the mortgage term, or the current mortgage deal coming to an end.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Southampton can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can also act for your new lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major UK lenders' panels. So whether you are switching to an interest-only mortgage with the HSBC or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Buckinghamshire Building Society, we can assist.

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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