Updated: October 12, 2018

Baldock conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Baldock

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

Do Baldock conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Baldock who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax or office copies and title plans.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Baldock cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Baldock will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Baldock

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

A conveyancing solicitor in Baldock will offer professional advice following their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The following discusses those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Baldock where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is crucial.

Your Baldock conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Baldock, it is paramount that you confirm that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Santander, Bluestone Mortgages or any other lender.

The majority of mortgage lenders only accept a restricted panel of law firms that pass strict standards. If a solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will probably need an alternative firm to act in their interests.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this second lawyer's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm the lender panel membership of your property lawyer can mean serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor mortgage lenders.

North Hertfordshire District Council searches and other searches

Searches are applied for by Baldock conveyancing solicitors to help to identify problems that could undermine how much your house or flat will be worth.

Banks and building societies also need searches to be purchased. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - covers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Baldock 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 notified if your chosen lender needs any more searches, such as a highways search or a ground stability report.

The average processing time for searches supplied by North Hertfordshire District Council is 6 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries will also be obtained by your conveyancing solicitor, helping to evidence any planning issues, for example errors on the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

North Hertfordshire District Council Council Tax

North Hertfordshire District Council calculate your council tax based on a number of factors e.g. the size and character of the home and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance for an average Band E house in Baldock, the amount of council tax due would be £2,115 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Baldock will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as 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 £1,586.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where the property is a hall of residence.

Band North Hertfordshire District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,153
B £1,346
C £1,538
D £1,730
E £2,115
F £2,499
G £2,884
H £3,460
To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans
AL1 3WZ
Hertfordshire

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Baldock properties

The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125k. After a residential property sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Baldock:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £361,111 £8,055.55
Average price (detached) £661,963 £23,098.15
Average new build £507,664 £15,383.20
Following the autumn statement, second home buyers have had to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Baldock bought a second property for the average price of £361,111 the SDLT would be £28,888.88.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Baldock

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

Baldock conveyancing solicitors should confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Baldock

New build site

Data suggests that over 100,000 property owners in the UK are trapped by property leases with problematic conditions. Numerous technical obstacles may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, including:

  • doubling ground rents
  • unfair clauses in the lease
  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • sub-letting restrictions
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Baldock will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. dealing with landlords, reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old) and reserve funds.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Baldock?

New build site

The average price for new build property in Baldock is £507,664. 21 brand new properties were purchased in Baldock last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Baldock must be well-versed in Baldock-specific factors and the added complexities associated with new build, such as confirming Section 38 agreements, handling unreasonable delays and registering ownership with warranty providers, including NHBC, Advantage HCI? and ACHI.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, with a close eye on factors like problematic leasehold terms and possible freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, moving to a conservation area can ensure that the street's unique character is protected. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your home.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints can include restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights or restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property.

If a property is in breach, the local authority could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

The local planning authority (LPA) for North Hertfordshire has designated conservation area status on certain areas of Baldock. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Baldock's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Baldock

The legal work involved in a property sale is more straightforward than for a purchase. For a house purchase, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to ensure that the property they are purchasing does not have any legal issues.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Baldock acting for the current owner effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What could put the conveyancing process at risk?

Homes will frequently have numerous issues (for example previous or historic subsidence or problems with a party wall agreement) that can hinder the sale conveyancing process.

You shouldn't bury your head in the sand as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. The best course of action is to seek out professional help, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution ASAP.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more technical in comparison with a freehold house.

Baldock conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, including obtaining a comprehensive pack of information, through to insurance details.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Baldock, and we are acting for the other side, you could contact a local Baldock conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

Local Baldock conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Key Conveyancing LLP, 3b Whitehorse Street, Baldock, Hertfordshire, SG7 6PX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Baldock

The most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to secure a preferential rate. There are a number of other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals, such as extending the mortgage term, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Baldock can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing the rate you want.

In order to certify that the interests of the lender are protected, a property lawyer will act for both you and the new 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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