Updated: October 12, 2018

Cheltenham conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Cheltenham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid conveyancing solicitors in Cheltenham for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Cheltenham conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Cheltenham offer services on an hourly rate. We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process, such as local authority searches or managing agent information.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Cheltenham cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Cheltenham 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 (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a commons registration search, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Cheltenham

Cheltenham in Gloucestershire is said to be the most complete regency town in England, is host to several festivals - including racing, music, literature and science, and has been named the UK's best place to raise a family.

The town developed as a spa after the discovery of mineral springs in the early 18th century, and its Georgian houses with symmetrical facades, large windows and high ceilings command high premiums.

More affordable homes are available in outlying areas such as the Reddings and Up Hatherley, redeveloped in the post-war era. To the north of Cheltenham, new homes are being built in Bishop's Cleeve. With good communication transport links to Bristol and London, and the Cotswolds on the doorstep, Cheltenham is a desirable and increasingly popular place in which to live.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to the buyer.

It remains, however, the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Cheltenham to investigate the property, and make their "report on title", make practical suggestions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This article provides assistance for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Cheltenham.

Your Cheltenham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers can choose from many lenders, from a major lender such as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), to a less common mortgage lender like the Monmouthshire Building Society. Before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Cheltenham, you must confirm that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Quite a few lenders are only prepared to work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will need an alternative law firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to check the lender panel membership of your property lawyer could mean serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all banks and building societies.

Cheltenham Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Cheltenham conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about your new home.

Lenders almost always need certain searches to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • 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.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your chosen lender needs any additional searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a commons registration search.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of around 14 weeks for Residential property searches from Cheltenham Borough Council. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning searches

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be sourced from the Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, helping to evidence any planning issues. These issues could include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Cheltenham Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Cheltenham will pay to Cheltenham Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance the occupier of a Band C home in the Cheltenham Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,482.

Cheltenham conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,112.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where the property is occupied solely by students. New build properties are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax band.

Band Cheltenham Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,112
B £1,297
C £1,482
D £1,668
E £2,038
F £2,409
G £2,780
H £3,335

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made. 20 were upheld and refunds awarded. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Ley Court
Barnett Way
Gloucester
GL4 3RT
Gloucestershire

Stamp Duty on Cheltenham properties

A buyer will usually need to pay SDLT if the property they are purchasing is valued at over £125,000. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the required SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Cheltenham:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £321,811 £6,090.55
Average price (detached) £539,127 £16,956.35
Average new build £345,963 £7,298.15

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Cheltenham

Since 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second property in the form of a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Cheltenham bought a second home for the average price of £321,811 the SDLT would be £25,744.88.

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

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Cheltenham

New build site

The drawbacks associated with buying a leasehold house or flat in the UK are well established. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include:

  • ground rent multipliers
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced conveyancer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in Cheltenham will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • residents? management company
  • insurance covenants

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Cheltenham?

Building site

5 new build properties have been bought in Cheltenham in 2018 so far, based on statistics published by HMLR. The average value of Cheltenham new build homes is £328,798.

Acquiring a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Cheltenham should be aware of local factors and needs to check a range of issues, including helping with mortgage offer extension terms and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.

Our expert new build team provide an independent view of the legal title of the property, with a close eye on issues ranging from the home's subsequent mortgageability to 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a home in a conservation area in Cheltenham, the property must not breach any conservation area restrictions. These conditions, called Article 4 Directions, can include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, to restrictions on the addition of cladding.

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 where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Cheltenham conservation areas include Bafford, Cudnall Street and St Mary's. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Cheltenham's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Cheltenham

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is less difficult than for a property purchase. When buying, the burden is on the buyer to confirm that the home they are buying is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Cheltenham acting for the existing owner only need to answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What could jeopardise the sale process?

Frequently occurring issues, such as excessive service charges or not being connected to the main sewers, can significantly slow or frustrate a transaction.

In general, it is recommended for sellers to handle any such problems without delay.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is a great deal more complex than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Cheltenham must undertake extra work, and this could include getting all relevant freeholder information or the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

You should instruct a solicitor as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused difficulties.

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

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. A CLC-regulated conveyancer, however, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a Cheltenham home, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Cheltenham to undertake your conveyancing.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Cheltenham

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners will generally remortgage a home to benefit from a lower interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Cheltenham will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting on to the rate you want.

It is critical that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can act for your chosen mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels. So whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with Bradford & Bingley or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Swansea 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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