Updated: October 12, 2018

Benfleet conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Benfleet

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Benfleet for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Benfleet conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Benfleet carry out the legal work on a fees per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote sets out what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will have to pay any '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 Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or indemnity insurance.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Benfleet cost?

Conveyancing fees in Benfleet should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Benfleet

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property purchase, a Benfleet conveyancing solicitor will investigate the title of the property and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender.

Once their enquiries are complete the solicitor will give advice and will offer practical solutions and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section provides advice for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Benfleet.

Your Benfleet conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a financial institution like Coutts Finance or a large lender such as the Bank of Scotland, before you choose a Benfleet conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they can act for your mortgage lender.

The majority of banks and building societies only accept a restricted panel of firms. If a conveyancer cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely need a different legal firm to complete the legal work.

You will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Not checking the lender panel membership of your conveyancing solicitor could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all mortgage lenders.

Castle Point Council searches

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Benfleet conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchenvironmental issues that could adversely affect the property
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

Further searches, such as a tin mining search or a mining search, may also be advised in the standard search results.

The typical lead time for conveyancing searches supplied by Castle Point Council is 6 weeks. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning issues

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of planning issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Castle Point Council Council Tax

Castle Point Council calculate council tax on Benfleet homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance a residential property in the Castle Point Council area in Tax Band E would pay £2,102 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Benfleet will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,576.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment. The Valuation Office Agency work out bandings for newly-built homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Castle Point Council Tax (2018)
A £1,146
B £1,338
C £1,529
D £1,720
E £2,102
F £2,484
G £2,866
H £3,439

Could I be overpaying council tax?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
London House
New London Rd
Chelmsford
CM2 0QL
Essex

A homeowner can apply for their property to be reassessed, and a refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band.

Stamp Duty on Benfleet properties

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000.

Steep fines await those who miss the SDLT payment deadline.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the critical SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

See SDLT examples for properties in Benfleet:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £357,215 £7,860.75
Average price (detached) £474,610 £13,730.50
Average new build £457,120 £12,856.00
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when purchasing a second home. So if a second home was bought for £357,215 then the SDLT total will be £28,577.20.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Benfleet

In Nov 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k.

Benfleet conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Benfleet

New build site

The potential risks of leasehold property ownership are a source of concern for leasehold property buyers. The numerous common problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer include:

  • sub-letting restrictions
  • ground rent multipliers
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • marriage value issues
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's bad leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a house or flat with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Benfleet will consider potential leasehold issues, such as current-year service charge estimates, flats with varying lease terms and dealing with freeholders and managing agents.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Benfleet?

House under construction

The average value of new build properties in Benfleet is £364,995. 1 new build houses and flats have been bought in Benfleet in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build home can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Benfleet conveyancing solicitor must be aware of Benfleet-specific factors and must look into numerous things, including dealing with lender conditions and confirming building regulation compliance.

With our new build team, you will get a specialist assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, scrutinising contract concerns like onerous leasehold conditions and likely freehold acquisition traps.

Essex Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the house you are buying is in a conservation area in Benfleet. If it is, the house will be affected by certain restrictions. These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Restrictions on door and window styles
  • Restrictions preventing paving over the front garden
  • A prohibition on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

If a property is in breach, you could be instructed (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Benfleet's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Benfleet

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat is more straightforward than when purchasing. When buying, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies with the purchaser to verify that the title of the property they are buying can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Benfleet acting for the current owner need only answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

Why do sales fall through?

A house or flat can be burdened by a broad spectrum of problems (such as problems with a party wall agreement) which may slow or frustrate your home move.

It is almost always recommended for vendors to tackle such issues head on.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is much more complex than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Benfleet conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work, and this could include requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a common parts fire risk assessment.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as is practicable to speed up the handling of the legal work.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a Benfleet home, and a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Benfleet to undertake your conveyancing.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Benfleet

Homeowners remortgage for all sorts of reasons, such as the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or releasing capital to pay off other debts. By far the most common reason, however, is to get a lower interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Benfleet can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage should also be able to act for your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancing team are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with the NatWest or to a repayment mortgage with Virgin Money, we can assist.

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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