Updated: October 12, 2018

Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Berkhamsted

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

How are Berkhamsted conveyancing fees calculated?

We work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Berkhamsted who will work on a price per hour basis. Your quote sets out what you will pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like office copies and title plans or bankruptcy searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Berkhamsted cost?

While conveyancing fees in Berkhamsted will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees 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 Berkhamsted

The legal work for a home purchase will require the Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues are a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) and proximity to mining works affecting the mortgageability of the property.

The property lawyer will report their findings back to the purchaser, deal with any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The content below considers the property types that may be of concern to homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Berkhamsted.

Your Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are getting a mortgage from the Manchester Building Society, Lloyds Bank or any other lender, before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Berkhamsted it is vital that you check that they can represent your mortgage lender.

The majority of lenders will only accept a restricted panel of firms that meet stringent standards. If a conveyancer cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely require a second legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Failing to check the lender panel membership of your conveyancer can result in serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Dacorum Borough Council searches

Searches are questions asked of various bodies by Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Environmental searchshows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Chancel repair liabilitysome Berkhamsted property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specialised searches, such as an HS2 search or a contaminated land report, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

Buyers will have to endure a wait of up to 12 weeks for searches ordered from Dacorum Borough Council, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

Office copies will also be sourced from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the purchaser. This will help to reveal planning issues, such as discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or right of access issues.

Dacorum Borough Council Council Tax

Dacorum Borough Council calculate your council tax based on various criteria that include the layout of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance the occupier of a Band E residential property in the Dacorum Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £2,070.

Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,553.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band Dacorum Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,129
B £1,317
C £1,505
D £1,694
E £2,070
F £2,446
G £2,823
H £3,387

Is it possible to appeal?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed. The band could be revised up as well as down. To challenge your banding contact:

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

Stamp Duty on Berkhamsted properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k. The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the Stamp Duty Land Tax administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form and because there may be penalties for underpayment.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use state-of-the-art case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) as quickly as possible.

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Berkhamsted:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £654,234 £22,711.70
Average price (detached) £949,806 £38,730.60
Average new build £683,356 £24,167.80

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Berkhamsted

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 already own another property , anywhere in the world you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Berkhamsted bought a second property for the average price of £654,234 the SDLT would be £52,338.72.

Conveyancing solicitors in Berkhamsted will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Berkhamsted

New build site

The risks of buying a leasehold property in the UK are recognised. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • increasing ground rents
  • excessive freehold premiums
Poor leasehold guidance, from a conveyancing solicitor with little specialist experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Berkhamsted will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as dealing with freeholders and managing agents, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and flats with varying lease terms.

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Call Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Berkhamsted?

House being built

The average value of new build properties in Berkhamsted is £686,667. 3 new build properties have been bought in Berkhamsted in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Berkhamsted will need to be aware of Berkhamsted-specific factors and the added complexities of new build, like investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property and handling the uncertainties of buying off plan.

Our team of new build conveyancers specialise in new build purchases and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you are intending to buy an 18th century stone cottage or a Victorian terraced house, if the property is in an officially designated conservation area, your plans to alter the property might not be allowed by Dacorum Borough Council.

Called Article 4 directions, these building controls can include restrictions on painting external walls, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or general restrictions governing unsympathetic additions or modifications.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as replacing uPVC windows with traditional wooden frames.

The Dacorum local planning authority has assigned conservation area-status to parts of Berkhamsted. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Berkhamsted's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Berkhamsted

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is much easier than when purchasing. The buyer will have to carry out detailed due diligence on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Berkhamsted acting for the seller simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

What could jeopardise the sale of your property?

A property will frequently have a series of challenges (for example being in an area threatened by local development) which may slow or frustrate your move.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution, trusting that the issue won't be discovered - speak to an expert instead, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as soon as you can.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is a great deal more technical in comparison with a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Berkhamsted must carry out extra work, and this could include sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any breach of the terms of the lease.

It is strongly advised that you contact a leasehold specialist as soon as is practicable to help contain and resolve any delays.

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

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA regulations ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

You could contact a local Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Berkhamsted conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Harrowell & Atkins, Boxwell House, 275 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1BW
  • Machins Solicitors LLP, Lockhart House, 295-299 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1AJ
  • A F Barker & Co, 40 Lower Kings Road, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 2AA
  • Austins LLP, 175 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 3AP
  • S J Lacey, The White Cottage, Norcott Hall, Northchurch, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4 1LB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Berkhamsted

People remortgage their home for all sorts of reasons, for example releasing equity, or the current mortgage deal coming to an end. The most common reason, however, is to get a more attractive interest rate.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate faster with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Berkhamsted. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

It is key that your property lawyer can also act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders. So no matter whether you are changing to an offset mortgage with the Halifax or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Hinckley and Rugby 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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