Updated: October 12, 2018

Ampthill conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Ampthill

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to your Ampthill conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Ampthill conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed 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, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Ampthill who will work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as office copies and title plans or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Ampthill solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Ampthill 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, such as a flooding search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Ampthill

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of English property law. Since 2013, this maxim no longer applies, however, it is still the duty of a buyer's solicitor to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

The Ampthill conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice once their enquiries are complete, solve outstanding issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section discusses those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Ampthill requiring a deeper level of knowledge.

Your Ampthill conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Ampthill, you need to check that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Santander, the Earl Shilton Building Society or any other 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 group of law firms that have achieved certain benchmarks.

If that is the case, the lender will need a second legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's fees. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

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

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Property Searches (Central Bedfordshire Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Ampthill conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your new home.

Lenders also need to see searches to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - reveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Chancel repair liability - some Ampthill property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Your conveyancer will notify you if your lender insists on any additional searches, such as a highways search or a more detailed environmental report.

Central Bedfordshire Council has a typical lead time of 10 weeks for Residential property searches. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning permissions

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will obtain an Official Copy of the Title Register from HMLR, helping to evidence potential planning issues, for example outbuildings lying outside the boundary or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

Central Bedfordshire Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Central Bedfordshire Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. for an average Valuation Band C residential property in Ampthill, the council tax payable would be £1,668 per year.

Ampthill conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's council tax band once 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 £1,251.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is uninhabitable. New build homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a council tax band.

Band Central Bedfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,251
B £1,459
C £1,668
D £1,876
E £2,293
F £2,710
G £3,127
H £3,752

Are you paying too much?

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

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans

From April 2016 to March 2017, 60 council tax challenges were made, and 20 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Ampthill properties

Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

If you are buying a house in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) complications and objections are avoided using the latest case management system.

See examples for typical Bedfordshire properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £301,650 £5,082.50
Average price (detached) £491,611 £14,580.55
Average new build £386,445 £9,322.25

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Ampthill

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. If you own another property or share in a property you will be subject to a surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £301,650 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £24,132.00. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Ampthill should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Ampthill

New build site

The potential risks of owning a leasehold property should be a source of anxiety for buyers of leasehold property. There are numerous technical issues that could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • undisclosed major works
  • reversionary interests
  • excessive freehold premiums
  • ground rent multipliers
Erroneous leasehold advice, from a property lawyer lacking in specialist knowledge, could have serious financial implications.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Ampthill will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • rights issues

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Ampthill?

New build building site

The average cost of new build homes in Ampthill is £386,445, (sce: HM Land Registry). 805 new build properties were purchased in Ampthill last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Ampthill will need to be aware of both local Ampthill factors as well as new build-specific issues, including dealing with incomplete service connection agreements, ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, LABC Warranty and CRL.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, paying close attention to concerns like the home's subsequent mortgageability and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Bedfordshire Conservation areas

If you are planning to purchase a house in a conservation area in Ampthill, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area conditions. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, general restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

The local planning authority 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 Ampthill's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Ampthill

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is less complicated than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor carries out thorough due diligence on the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Ampthill acting for the vendor just replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

Frequently occurring issues, such as having a flying freehold, might jeopardise the sale conveyancing process if they are ignored.

Don't put off finding a solution, hoping the issue will fix itself. The best course of action is to get professional advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution at the earliest stage.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is significantly more technical than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Ampthill will also perform extra work, for example requesting detailed managing agent information, through to ascertaining if the incoming lessee (i.e. the seller) is required to buy a share in the building's management company.

It is recommended that the vendor contacts a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to avoid undue delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

SRA regulations ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

You could contact a law firm in Ampthill to carry out your legal work, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Ampthill conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Sharman Law LLP, 88 Dunstable Street, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, MK45 2JR

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Ampthill

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, people generally remortgage a home to get a lower interest rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Ampthill 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 contributing factor to securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer will represent both you and the mortgage lender, in order to ensure that the new interest in the property is registered correctly and the interests of the lender are protected.

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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