Updated: October 12, 2018

Bedford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bedford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your Bedford conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Bedford conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Bedford who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains what you will pay when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process. These include costs like indemnity insurance or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Bedford cost in total?

Bedford conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

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

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bedford

Bedford, the county town of Bedfordshire, was founded in Saxon times at a ford on the River Great Ouse. Historically at the centre of England's lace industry, the town was transformed into a major engineering hub in the 1800s.

Over the last century, Bedford became a magnet for people from all over the world and is now one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse towns in the UK. This has led to the development of the town's rich, cosmopolitan culture.

Express rail services to London St Pancras mean the capital can be reached in less than an hour.

Conveyancing for buyers

As a key part of the legal work for a homebuyer, a Bedford conveyancing solicitor will investigate the title of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

Following their enquiries the conveyancer will offer professional advice and will deal with any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The content below examines the kinds of property which may involve extra hazards for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Bedford.

Your Bedford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a less common mortgage lender like Coutts Finance or a major lender such as Halifax, before choosing a Bedford conveyancing solicitor it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your lender.

Many banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet stringent criteria. If a solicitor can't act for your lender, the lender will probably require a different solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The purchaser will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Not checking the lender panel status of your conveyancer can frustrate the process.

Our solicitors can act for all banks and other lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Bedford Borough Council)

Residential property searches are applied for by Bedford conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any significant issues that might possibly undermine how much your house or flat will be worth. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchexposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchdescribes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
Environmental searchdescribes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
Chancel repair liabilityinvolves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

More specific searches, such as a Crossrail search or a more detailed environmental report, may also be advised following the initial searches.

Bedford Borough Council has a usual delivery time of 10 weeks for LA searches, so your lawyer will advise using faster personal searches.

Planning searches

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from the Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any potential issues. These issues could include neighbours' rights of access or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Bedford Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Bedford will pay to Bedford Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band E residential property in Bedford, the amount payable would be £2,167 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bedford will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band as soon as they are notified.

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 £1,625.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property is a hall of residence. The Valuation Office Agency assess council tax bandings for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Bedford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,182
B £1,379
C £1,576
D £1,773
E £2,167
F £2,561
G £2,955
H £3,546

Are you paying too much?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Northgate House
59-77 Sheep St
Northampton
NN1 2LL
Northamptonshire

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Bedford properties

If you are buying a property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay SDLT.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Quittance Conveyancing 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 homes in Bedford:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £296,795 £4,839.75
Average price (detached) £425,704 £11,285.20
Average new build £314,375 £5,718.75

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bedford

As from November 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000. If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £296,795 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £23,743.60. .

Bedford conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bedford

New build site

It has been recently reported that over 100,000 UK homeowners are trapped by leases with unreasonable terms. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • doubling ground rents
  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • short leases
Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Bedford will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • ground rents and service charges
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bedford?

New build building site

The average purchase price of a new build home in Bedford is £370,709. 14 new build properties have been bought in Bedford in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Bedford will need to be aware of local considerations and the added complexities of new build, including administering Help to Buy purchases and handling equity loan schemes.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team are specialists in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Bedfordshire

If you are buying a house in a conservation area in Bedford, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include:

  • Restrictions on painting external walls
  • Restrictions on the display of advertisements
  • Restrictions on the erection of outbuildings

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Thurleigh, Podington and Roxton are among the conservation areas in Bedford. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Bedford.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bedford

The legal side of a house sale is much simpler than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor conducts a full legal review on the home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Bedford acting for the vendor essentially just replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Factors that could delay or endanger the conveyancing process

Common issues, like excessive service charges or Japanese Knotweed, can easily endanger your home move if not handled appropriately.

Property specialists will usually suggest to vendors that they face these issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is a great deal more time-consuming than for a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Bedford will need to conduct extra work, which could include getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that the seller instructs a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market,.

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

SRA rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. However, a CLC-regulated conveyancer, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a property in Bedford, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Bedford to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bedford

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people will usually remortgage their home to secure a lower interest rate.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Bedford. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are changing to a lifetime tracker mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Leeds Building Society, Quittance 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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