Updated: October 12, 2018

Bury St Edmunds conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Bury St Edmunds

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Bury St Edmunds conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds will work on a fees per hour basis. We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as HMLR fees or office copies.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Bury St Edmunds cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Bury St Edmunds will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Bury St Edmunds

In carrying out the legal work for a property purchase, a conveyancing solicitor in Bury St Edmunds will carry out due diligence on the title of the property and report back to the buyer and the lender.

The solicitor will give advice once their enquiries are complete, deal with any legal problems and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following considers the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds necessitating specialist legal knowledge.

Your Bury St Edmunds conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a large lender such as Virgin Money, to a niche lender like the Holmesdale Building Society. Before you select a Bury St Edmunds conveyancing solicitor, it is paramount that you confirm that they can represent your mortgage lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders only accept a restricted group of legal practices.

If this is the case, the lender will probably need an alternative legal firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Significant delays can be caused by failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can carry out the legal work for all major and minor banks and other lenders.

Searches (St Edmundsbury Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are applied for by Bury St Edmunds conveyancing solicitors to expose any broader issues that might reduce the value of the property you are purchasing.

Banks and building societies also expect residential property searches to be submitted. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchplanning and development details from St Edmundsbury Borough Council records
Environmental searchidentifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be told if your mortgage lender insists on any additional searches, such as an HS2 search or a commons registration search.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has an approximate delivery time of 10 weeks for searches, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be obtained from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This will help to reveal any potential issues. Examples of these include outbuildings missing from the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by St Edmundsbury Borough Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, for an average Valuation Band D residential property in Bury St Edmunds, the amount due would be £1,674 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,256.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the property is a 'granny annexe'.

Band St Edmundsbury Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,116
B £1,302
C £1,488
D £1,674
E £2,046
F £2,419
G £2,791
H £3,349

Can I challenge my council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Clare House
Greyfriars
Ipswich
IP1 1LR
Suffolk

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

Stamp Duty on Bury St Edmunds properties

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.

If your home costs more than £125,000 then you will have to pay SDLT.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance use case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

This table sets out stamp duty for typical property in Bury St Edmunds:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £317,382 £5,869.10
Average price (detached) £404,102 £10,205.10
Average new build £332,990 £6,649.50
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% surcharge, even if the home is not rented out. So if a second home was bought for £317,382 then the stamp duty total will be £25,390.56.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Bury St Edmunds

Since the budget announcement in Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Bury St Edmunds

New build site

It is thought that over 100,000 homeowners in the UK are trapped in property leases with unreasonable terms. Spiralling ground rents, overpriced managing agent packs and leases with fewer than 80 years to run are only some of the many potential difficulties awaiting an uninformed buyer.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in Bury St Edmunds will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • ground rents and service charges
  • managing agent practices
  • short leases

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Bury St Edmunds?

Building site

According to data gathered by the HM Land Registry, 20 brand new homes have been bought in Bury St Edmunds in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of Bury St Edmunds new build properties is £332,570.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Bury St Edmunds needs to be conscious of local Bury St Edmunds issues and the extra complexities associated with new build, such as handling unreasonable delays and administering Help to Buy purchases.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an impartial view of the legal status of the property, looking out for factors ranging from unreasonable leasehold terms to an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Conservation areas in Suffolk

Whether you are going to buy a listed character property or a period townhouse, if the home is in an officially designated conservation area, your plans to develop the home might not be accepted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be ordered to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Bury St Edmunds's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Bury St Edmunds

The legal work involved in a sale of a house or flat is generally simpler than for a property purchase. The buyer's solicitor does a thorough investigation on the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds acting for the seller merely responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

Factors that could delay or endanger your property sale

Properties will often come with a range of complex issues (for example not having full title or having right or way issues (such as being landlocked)) that can endanger the sale process.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up - talk to a professional and deal with it ASAP.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is quite a lot more difficult than for a freehold property.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Bury St Edmunds will need to conduct additional work, including collating all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

In order to resolve any leasehold difficulties faster, it is strongly advised that the seller instruct a property lawyer as soon as possible, and preferably before marketing the property,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, SRA rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Bury St Edmunds, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in Bury St Edmunds to carry out your legal work.

Local Bury St Edmunds conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Ashtons Legal, The Long Barn, Fornham Business Court, Fornham St Martin, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 1SL

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Bury St Edmunds

The most common reason homeowners remortgage is to get a better interest rate. There are any number of other reasons to consider remortgaging, for example releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder, or the existing lender having refused a payment holiday.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Bury St Edmunds will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer will represent both you and the bank or building society, in order to confirm the lender's interests are protected and that the new interest in the property is registered correctly.

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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