Updated: October 12, 2018

Chelsea conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Chelsea

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Chelsea for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Chelsea conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Chelsea work on a cost per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote sets out exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or office copies.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Chelsea solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Chelsea will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. 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 Chelsea

The district of Chelsea is within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and is one of the most exclusive areas of the capital. It lies north of the River Thames between Chelsea Bridge and Chelsea Harbour. Always a popular location for the wealthy Chelsea was once described as a village of palaces, with its main artery, the King's Road, once Charles II's private road from St James's Palace to Fulham.

Much of the property was built in the 19th century and is characterised by attractive red-brick terraces, mansion blocks, which surround pretty squares, and quiet mews houses tucked away from the busy main roads. Newer homes have been built close to the river.

Conveyancing for buyers

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, a purchaser must still investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

A Chelsea conveyancing 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 section considers the property types that may be of interest to buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Chelsea.

Your Chelsea conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Chelsea, it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Halifax, the Manchester Building Society or any other lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your lender, because some lenders only accept a select panel of law firms that have achieved certain benchmarks.

Under these circumstances, the lender will need an alternative firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's costs. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Failing to check your solicitor's lender panel status could result in significant delays.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all banks and other lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Kensington & Chelsea Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are submitted by Chelsea conveyancing solicitors to identify any wider issues that could possibly reduce the value of the property you intend to buy.

Searches are primarily carried out to meet the mortgage lender's criteria, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Additional searches, such as a radon gas search or a contaminated land report, may also be referred to in the initial search results.

Purchasers should anticipate a wait of approximately 8 weeks for LA searches supplied by The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning issues

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will also obtain an Official Copy of the Title Register from HM Land Registry. This will help to expose any planning issues, for example the breach of a restrictive covenant or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council Tax

As a homeowner in Chelsea, 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 Valuation Band C property in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea area would pay annual council tax of £1,013.

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

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 £760.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or if the resident is living in long term residential care.

Band Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Tax (2018)
A £760
B £886
C £1,013
D £1,139
E £1,393
F £1,646
G £1,899
H £2,279

Is your new home in the wrong band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were upheld and refunds awarded. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5BU

Stamp Duty on Chelsea properties

Stamp duty is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland). Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

Quittance Conveyancing's case management system integrates with electronic filing gateway to ensure that the SDLT is paid quickly and with minimal fuss.

See stamp duty examples for properties in London:

  Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Chelsea

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers. If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £839,875 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £67,190.00. .

Chelsea conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Chelsea

New build site

The potential risks associated with purchasing a leasehold house or flat in the UK are well established. Numerous legal issues could be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • spiralling ground rents
  • unfair clauses in the lease
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Chelsea will address aspects of leasehold, such as service charge records from the last three years, leaseholder/freeholder disputes and dealing with freeholders.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Chelsea?

House being built

Based on local data compiled by the Land Registry, 450 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Chelsea in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of Chelsea new build property is £449,784.

The legal side of acquiring a new build property is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Chelsea must be aware of both region-specific issues and also will examine a number of areas, like dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and handling initial Land Registry registration.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an expert appraisal of the legal status of the property, paying close attention to considerations ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in London

Whether you are planning to buy a period coach house or an Edwardian house, if the home is in an officially designated conservation area, your plans to alter the home may not be accepted by Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include a prohibition on roof terraces, limitations on new outbuildings or limits on the use of cladding.

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Chelsea

Conveyancing for a sale of a home is much simpler than for a property purchase. With a purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to establish that the title of the property they are buying is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Chelsea acting for the person selling effectively just answer the buyer's questions.

What could jeopardise the sale process?

A house or flat will often come with many problems (e.g. an issue with noisy neighbours or having a defective lease) which could delay a purchase for weeks.

Property specialists almost always advise that sellers tackle such issues head on.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is significantly more involved than for a freehold house.

Chelsea conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, and this could include getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is highly recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

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

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, SRA rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Chelsea to carry out your conveyancing, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Chelsea conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Crown Prosecution Service London, Kensington & Chelsea Borough U, 2nd Floor, 2 Lucan Place, London, SW3 3PB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Chelsea

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people will generally remortgage to secure a better rate of interest.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Chelsea, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major UK lenders. So whether you are moving to a flexible mortgage with Barclays Bank or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Chelsea Building Society, our remortgage specialists 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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