Updated: October 12, 2018

Ashington conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Ashington

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Ashington for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Ashington conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Ashington who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as ID checks or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Ashington cost?

Ashington conveyancing solicitor fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a historic mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. 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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Ashington

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a conveyancing solicitor in Ashington to investigate the property, and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), solve outstanding issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below discusses those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Ashington that warrant specialised skills.

Your Ashington conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have a wide selection of lenders available, from a financial institution like Hampden & Co, to a major lender such as Lloyds Bank. Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Ashington, whoever you choose, it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your lender, because some lenders will only work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternative lawyer's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Failing to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status could result in serious delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Conveyancing Searches (Northumberland County Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made by Ashington conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a certificate of compliance for replacement windows
Environmental searchreveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Ashington properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

You will be made aware if your chosen lender wants any more searches, e.g. a more detailed flood report or an agricultural search.

Property purchasers can expect a lead time of approximately 8 weeks for Local Authority searches ordered from Northumberland County Council, so faster personal (as opposed to official) searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be ordered from the Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of potential planning issues. Examples of these include right of access issues or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Northumberland County Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Ashington will pay to Northumberland County Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. The occupier of a property in Tax Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,421.

A conveyancing solicitor in Ashington will inform a purchaser of the home's tax band once they are made aware.

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 £1,066.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. More recently-constructed homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a banding.

Band Northumberland County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,218
B £1,421
C £1,624
D £1,827
E £2,233
F £2,640
G £3,046
H £3,655

Can I lower my band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
Eagle Star House
Regent Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE3 3TW
Tyne and Wear

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

Stamp Duty on Ashington properties

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125,000 threshold you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. SDLT is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest legal case management system means that HMRC filing complications are a thing of the past.

This table sets out stamp duty for property in Ashington:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £115,742 £0.00
Average price (detached) £195,045 £1,400.90
Average new build £168,242 £864.84
If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% surcharge. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Ashington for the average price of £115,742 the stamp duty would be £3,472.26.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Ashington

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Ashington should confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Ashington

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property can be challenging when compared to purchasing a freehold property. Spiralling ground rents, sub-letting restrictions and incomplete management company accounts are but a few of the many potential difficulties lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer.

Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by an inexperienced conveyancer, could have serious financial implications.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Ashington will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. dealing with freeholders, reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old) and flats with varying lease terms.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Ashington?

New build building site

The average value of Ashington new build properties is £168,242, according to local information gathered by HMLR. 63 new builds were purchased in Ashington last year.

The legal side of acquiring a new build home requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Ashington must be mindful of both region-specific issues and also should check numerous things, like ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

With our new build team, you will get an accurate and truly independent assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, with a close eye on considerations like unreasonable leasehold terms and exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Northumberland Conservation areas

Whether you are going to buy a period coach house or a Regency townhouse, if the house is in a defined conservation area, any planned alterations to the house might not be accepted by Northumberland County Council.

These constraints may include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and extensions

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Ashington

The legal process for a property sale is less difficult than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancer will have to carry out detailed due diligence into the property's title and other legal aspects. Conveyancing solicitors in Ashington acting for the seller, however, essentially just answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

A home will frequently have a series of issues (such as being situated on a flood plain or restrictive covenants) that can frustrate your home move.

In most cases, you should face any such problems head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more complex than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional legal work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Ashington, and this could include requesting all relevant freeholder information or the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

So as to resolve any leasehold-related delays sooner, it is highly recommended that you instruct a conveyancer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor in a single transaction?

SRA regulations ban a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You can contact a local Ashington conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Ashington

People remortgage a home for a variety of reasons, including consolidating debts, or fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate. The main reason, however, is to lower their monthly repayments.

You can benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Ashington. They will work to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

Your property lawyer should also be able to act for the new lender. Our conveyancers are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So whether you are moving to an offset mortgage with Birmingham Midshires or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Darlington Building Society, our remortgage specialists can help.

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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