Updated: October 12, 2018

Canterbury conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Canterbury

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

Do Canterbury conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Canterbury who carry out the legal work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote explains all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

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 Land Tax or leasehold information packs.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Canterbury cost?

Conveyancing fees in Canterbury should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as a commons registration search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees 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 Canterbury

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a fundamental principle of English property law. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Canterbury will offer professional advice following their enquiries, help with resolving any problems and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below provides advice to assist people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Canterbury for a purchase.

Your Canterbury conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are getting a mortgage from NatWest, the Leeds Building Society or any other lender, before instructing a Canterbury conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Many lenders only accept a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of legal firms that meet stringent standards. If your conveyancer cannot act for your lender, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Significant delays can arise if you do not confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all mortgage lenders.

Canterbury City Council searches

Residential property searches will be applied for by Canterbury conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any wider issues that might possibly have an impact on how much your home is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes road proposals
  • Environmental search - exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Your solicitor will make you aware if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, for example a highways authority search or a contaminated land report.

Canterbury City Council has an average delivery time of 6 weeks for conveyancing searches, so faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This helps to find any potential issues. Examples of these include right of access issues or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Canterbury City Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Canterbury, 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 the occupier of a Tax Band D house in the Canterbury City Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,702.

Conveyancing solicitors in Canterbury will inform the buyer of the home's tax band as soon as they are 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,277.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the property is a 'granny annexe'. More recently-constructed homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a band.

Band Canterbury City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,135
B £1,324
C £1,513
D £1,702
E £2,080
F £2,459
G £2,837
H £3,404

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

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. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
Folkestone
CT20 2TP
Kent

Stamp Duty on Canterbury properties

Steep fines await those who miss the Stamp Duty Land Tax payment deadline. The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125,000.

HMRC objections are avoided using the latest case management software.

See SDLT examples for homes in Canterbury:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £318,684 £5,934.20
Average price (detached) £420,711 £11,035.55
Average new build £357,039 £7,851.95
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a higher rate of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £318,684 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £25,494.72. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Canterbury

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Canterbury conveyancing solicitors will confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Canterbury

New build site

It is thought that over 100,000 UK property owners are trapped in property leases with problematic lease terms. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, including restrictions on the use of the property and exponential ground rents.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with limited leasehold experience, could have costly, long-term consequences.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Canterbury will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • dealing with landlords
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • alterations since the lease was granted

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Canterbury?

House being built

12 new build houses and flats have been bought in Canterbury in 2018 so far, (sce: Her Majesty's Land Registry). The average cost of new build homes in Canterbury is £357,039.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Canterbury must be well-versed in regional considerations and new build-specific issues, e.g. handling structural guarantees, administering Help to Buy purchases and working with warranty providers such as NHBC, Premier Guarantee? and Ward Cole.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial appraisal of the legal title of the house or flat, with a close eye on concerns ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Kent

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Canterbury, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property is in one of Canterbury's conservation areas. If it is, the house will be affected by specific constraints. These constraints may include restrictions on the addition of a porch, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or restrictions on joinery colour choices.

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

Conservation areas in Canterbury include West Station, Chislet and Chitty and Blean. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Canterbury.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Canterbury

The legal side of a house sale is less complicated than when buying. During the sale of a house or flat, the onus is solely on the buyer to make sure that the house or flat is legally sound.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Canterbury acting for the existing owner need only respond to the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, such as not having full title or Japanese Knotweed, can seriously protract the sale conveyancing process if not dealt with promptly.

Property experts almost always advise that sellers handle such issues as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold flat is significantly more complicated than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Canterbury. This can involve sourcing all relevant freeholder information or details of any breach of the terms of the lease.

You should seriously consider instructing a conveyancer as soon as the decision is made to sell to reduce leasehold-related delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Canterbury to carry out your conveyancing, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Canterbury conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Furley Page LLP, 39 St. Margarets Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2TX
  • Beadle Pitt & Gottschalk, 1 St. Margarets Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2TT
  • Direction Home (Law) LLP, 31 Watling Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2UD
  • Gardner Croft LLP, 2 Castle Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2QH
  • Girlings Personal Injury Claims Ltd, 16 Rose Lane, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2UR

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Canterbury

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, including fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or funding a one-off purchase. The most common reason, however, is to get a better interest rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Canterbury will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work needs to be able to act for your preferred mortgage lender. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are changing to a flexible mortgage with the HSBC or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Darlington Building Society, our remortgage team 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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