Updated: October 12, 2018

Balham conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Balham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your Balham conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Balham conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Balham who work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

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 or leasehold information packs.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Balham cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Balham will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a mining search, may be needed.

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

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Balham

The legal work for a property purchase requires a conveyancing solicitor in Balham to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors are problems with the property's title (e.g. adverse possession) and the future saleability of the property.

The purchaser's solicitor will report their findings back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following considers those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Balham that warrant specialist knowledge.

Your Balham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like the Dudley Building Society or a large lender such as NatWest, before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Balham it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Serious delays can result from failing to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Wandsworth Borough Council)

Residential property searches are carried out by Balham conveyancing solicitors to expose any significant issues that might possibly reduce how much your property is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect 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.
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Balham properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Your conveyancer will tell you if your lender wants any additional searches, e.g. an HS2 search or a geological search.

The average lead time for conveyancing searches ordered from the London Borough of Wandsworth is 4 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning documents

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose potential planning issues, such as errors on the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

London Borough of Wandsworth Council Tax

As a homeowner in Balham, 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 a residential property in the London Borough of Wandsworth area in Tax Band E would pay £883 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Balham will inform the 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £662.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is a 'granny annexe'.

Band London Borough of Wandsworth Tax (2018)
A £482
B £562
C £642
D £723
E £883
F £1,044
G £1,204
H £1,445

Is your new home in the wrong band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
1 Francis Grove
London
SW19 4DT

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request.

Stamp Duty on Balham properties

Completing the SDLT1 form yourself is quite involved and not for those unfamiliar with it.

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest integrated conveyancing case management system means that HMRC filing form rejections are a thing of the past.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in London:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Balham

Since 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300k. If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a higher SDLT rate of 3%. E.g. if a second property was bought for £839,875 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £67,190.00. .

Balham conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Balham

New build site

The drawbacks associated with buying a leasehold flat in the UK are well documented. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including onerous clauses in the lease, exponential ground rents and absent freeholders.

Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced conveyancer's misguided leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Balham will address aspects of leasehold, for example managing agent or landlord enquiries, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and share of freehold complexity.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Balham?

House under construction

Based on HMLR information, 450 brand new properties have been bought in Balham in 2018 so far. The average price for a new build in Balham is £449,784.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Balham will need to be familiar with both local factors and new build's additional complexities, e.g. liaising with the builder's onsite sales team, dealing with incomplete service connection agreements and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC, Advantage and Ward Cole.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert appraisal of the legal title of the house or flat, with close attention paid to considerations ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

London Conservation areas

Whether you are planning to buy a period cottage or a Georgian town house, if the property is in a designated conservation area, your plans to alter the property may not be permitted by London Borough of Wandsworth.

These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the display of advertisements, to restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch.

If a property is in breach, the local council can instruct the owner to 'undo' the recent changes, even if the changes 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 Balham.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Balham

The legal side of a property sale is generally simpler than for a property purchase. The buyer carries out a thorough legal appraisal on your home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Balham acting for the seller merely collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and answers the buyer's questions .

What could put your sale at risk?

Issues, such as not being insurable, can frustrate your move if ignored.

In general, you should face these issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is significantly more protracted than for a freehold property.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Balham, which could include collating all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that you contact a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a Balham home, and a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in Balham to carry out your legal work.

Local Balham conveyancing solicitor directory

  • A-Z Law Solicitors Limited, 198-200 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9BP
  • SJS Solicitors, 82 Balham High Road, Balham, London, SW12 9AG
  • Andrew Croft & Co, 240 Balham High Road, London, London, SW17 7AW
  • R.O.C.K Solicitors, 151 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9DJ
  • Emin Read Solicitors Ltd, 25 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9DX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Balham

People remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, such as moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or consolidating debts. By far the most common reason, however, is to get a better interest rate.

Homeowners can appreciate the benefits of a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Balham, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

So that they can confirm that the interests of the lender are covered, a property lawyer 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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