Updated: October 12, 2018

Ashford Kent conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Ashford Kent

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Ashford Kent conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Ashford Kent conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Ashford Kent work on a cost per hour basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote will explain what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

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

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Ashford Kent solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Ashford Kent conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. transport searches, may be necessary.

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

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Ashford Kent

The legal work for a homebuyer will require the conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from a defective title (e.g. missing easements) to issues impacting on the future saleability of the home.

The buyer's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and their mortgage lender, offer practical solutions and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section considers those types of property that could involve extra risk for buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Ashford Kent.

Your Ashford Kent conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a financial institution like the Harpenden Building Society or a large lender such as NatWest, before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent you need to check that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of legal firms that pass strict selection criteria.

If that is the case, the lender will need an alternative solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's costs. This can mean the process takes much longer.

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

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all banks and building societies.

Property Searches (Ashford Borough Council)

Searches will be applied for by Ashford Kent conveyancing solicitors to unearth planning, development and environmental issues that could possibly compromise the value of your property. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchplanning and development details from Ashford Borough Council records
Environmental searchidentifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilitysome Ashford Kent property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specialised searches, such as an HS2 search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be advised in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

Ashford Borough Council has an average turnaround time of 6 weeks for LA searches. Your conveyancer will alternatively recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning searches

Office copies will also be applied for from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer, assisting with the identification of any potential issues. These issues could include limits on the development of the property or errors on the title plan.

Ashford Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Ashford Kent, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. For instance for an average Tax Band C residential property in Ashford Kent, the council tax payable would be £1,489.

A conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent will inform a purchaser of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,117.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if the property is a 'granny annexe'.

Band Ashford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,117
B £1,303
C £1,489
D £1,675
E £2,047
F £2,420
G £2,792
H £3,350

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
Folkestone
CT20 2TP
Kent

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made, and 20 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Ashford Kent properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) fines those who delay in completing and returning it. Stamp Duty Land Tax is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k.

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

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in Kent:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
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 Ashford Kent

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £323,795 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £25,903.60. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Ashford Kent will ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Ashford Kent

New build site

Recent media reports have suggested that over 100,000 UK property owners are trapped in leases with unreasonable conditions. The many potential traps lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser could include:

  • sinking fund issues
  • unfair developer practices
  • onerous covenants
  • unreasonable ground rents
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced property lawyer's misguided leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a house or flat with a lease, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent will consider potential leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • service charges
  • managing agent practices
  • leases approaching 80 years remaining
  • service charge apportionments

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Ashford Kent?

House being built

137 new build properties have been bought in Ashford Kent in 2018 so far, according to information compiled by the Land Registry. The average cost of new builds in Ashford Kent is £382,701.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent needs to be conscious of regional factors and the extra complexities associated with new build, e.g. confirming right of way over drains and sewers and checking new build mortgage procedures are followed.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, looking out for considerations like problematic leasehold terms and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Kent Conservation areas

If you are buying a home in one of Ashford Kent's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area restrictions. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, may include anything from restrictions on painting external walls, to restrictions on the addition of cladding.

If a property is in breach, the local authority could order you (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even where the alterations 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 Ashford Kent.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Ashford Kent

The conveyancing process on a property sale is less complicated than when buying. During the sale of a house or flat, the burden lies with the purchaser to validate that the title of the property they are buying is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Ashford Kent acting for the person selling need only answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What might you do to give yourself the best chances of success?

Common issues, like being situated on an unadopted road, could derail the sale process.

It is better not to hide from the issue in the hope that any issues won't be spotted, instead talk to a professional, face the issues head on, and find a solution at the earliest stage.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is much more complicated than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Ashford Kent, including obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of any notices served on the leaseholder.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold specialist as early in the process as possible, and ideally before going on the market, to avoid undue delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

You could contact a law firm in Ashford Kent to carry out your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Ashford Kent

People remortgage their home for a variety of reasons, including extending the mortgage term, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate. The main reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Ashford Kent will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

In order to certify that the lender's interests are safeguarded, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for 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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