Updated: October 12, 2018

Catford conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Catford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Catford conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Catford conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Catford who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

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

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or indemnity insurance.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Catford cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Catford will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. 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 Catford

Purchase conveyancing needs the Catford conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors are technical problems relating to the property title and factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. sitting tenants).

The buyer's property lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, deal with any legal problems and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section of the article examines the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Catford where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is essential.

Your Catford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a less common mortgage lender like Atom Bank or a major lender such as NatWest, before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Catford it is essential that you check that they can represent your lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some banks and building societies only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of law firms.

If that is the case, the lender will require a second firm to act in their interests, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees. This can frustrate or delay the process.

The conveyancing process can be seriously delayed if you fail to check your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and building societies.

Conveyancing Searches (Lewisham Borough Council)

Property searches are applied for by Catford conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that might potentially impact how much the property you intend to buy will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by Lewisham Borough Council
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Environmental search - describes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves 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.

You will be made aware if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, for example a highways authority search or an energy search.

The average turnaround time for property searches obtained from the London Borough of Lewisham is 5 weeks. Your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Checking planning status

Office copies will also be ordered from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any issues. These issues could include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

London Borough of Lewisham Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of factors such as the size and layout of the property and the value of the property. For instance for an average Valuation Band B property in Catford, the amount payable would be £1,165 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Catford will inform a buyer of the property's band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £874.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or properties awaiting grant of probate.

Band London Borough of Lewisham Tax (2018)
A £999
B £1,165
C £1,332
D £1,498
E £1,831
F £2,164
G £2,497
H £2,996

Can I appeal against my band?

In the 2016/17 financial year, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 were approved and the tax was reduced. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

Stamp Duty on Catford properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price of the property if it exceeds £125k. It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance's investment in the latest legal case management system means that HMRC filing rejections are a thing of the past.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in London:

  Average sale price (February 2018) SDLT
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Catford for the average price of £839,875 the SDLT would be £67,190.00.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Catford

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Catford will confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Catford

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat is not as simple as buying a freehold property. The many potential problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer could include absent freeholders, costly and undisclosed major works and spiralling ground rents.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced conveyancer's misguided leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Catford will address aspects of leasehold, e.g. flats in the same block with disparity between their leases, service charges and sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Catford?

New build site

According to data sourced by Her Majesty's Land Registry, the average sale price of Catford new builds is £449,784. 450 new build homes have been bought in Catford in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Catford must be familiar with both local issues and the added complexities of new build, including liaising with the builder's onsite sales team, handling initial Land Registry registration and checking new build warranties with warranty providers such as NHBC, LABC New Home Warranty and Global Home Warranties.

Our highly qualified conveyancing team are experts in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

London Conservation areas

Whether you are purchasing a period country house or a Tudor home, if the property is in an officially designated conservation area, any planned alterations to the property might not be accepted by London Borough of Lewisham.

Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

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

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Catford.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Catford

The legal side of a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than for a purchase. The buyer's solicitor will carry out a comprehensive legal review into the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Catford acting for the seller, however, just collects any required paperwork and answers the buyer's questions .

Why do sales fall through?

Properties can face numerous possible issues (e.g. an issue with noisy neighbours) that can delay a sale.

Don't ignore the issue as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. The best course of action is to talk to a professional and work to resolve it as soon as you can.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more specialised than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Catford. This can involve getting an up-to-date service charge statement or a common parts fire risk assessment.

It is highly recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as an estate agent is chosen to avoid undue delays.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a Catford home, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a property solicitor firm in Catford to carry out your conveyancing.

Local Catford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Parker Arrenberg Limited, 37 Rushey Green, Catford, London, London, SE6 4AS
  • Gems Legal Services Limited, 47 Perry Hill Road, Catford, London, SE6 4LF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Catford

Securing a better rate of interest is generally why homeowners remortgage. There are other reasons, such as releasing capital to pay off other debts, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Catford, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage provider to certify the interests of the lender are protected.

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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