Updated: October 12, 2018

Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Chester Le Street

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Chester Le Street for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Chester Le Street conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Chester Le Street who carry out the legal work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

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

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or leasehold information packs.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Chester Le Street cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Chester Le Street will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as a flood plain search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Chester Le Street

The conveyancing for a property purchase needs a conveyancing solicitor in Chester Le Street to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues are a defective title (e.g. missing rights) and factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. a short lease).

The solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), iron out any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section of the article considers those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Chester Le Street that require specialised skills.

Your Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like Paragon or a large lender such as Halifax, before appointing a Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitor it is critical that you make sure that they are approved by your lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies only accept a restricted panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

If this is the case, the lender will need an alternative firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's fees. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Setbacks can be caused by failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Durham County Council)

Searches are submitted by Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that could possibly affect the value of your house or flat.

Mortgage lenders almost always need property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and 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 - some Chester Le Street property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Your conveyancer will make you aware if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, e.g. a more detailed flood report or a contaminated land report.

Homebuyers will have to endure a wait of around 14 weeks for Local Authority searches ordered from Durham County Council, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Planning documents

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will request office copies from the Land Registry, helping to evidence planning issues. Examples of these include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or right of access issues.

Durham County Council Council Tax

Durham County Council calculate council tax on Chester Le Street homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £2,307.

A conveyancing solicitor in Chester Le Street will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band once 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 £1,730.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable.

Band Durham County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,258
B £1,468
C £1,678
D £1,887
E £2,307
F £2,726
G £3,146
H £3,775

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 60 council tax challenges were made, and 20 were upheld and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Wycliffe House
Green Lane
Durham
DH1 3UW
County Durham

Stamp Duty on Chester Le Street properties

The current SDLT threshold is £125,000 in England and Wales. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) form rejections are avoided using the latest case management software.

See examples for typical local properties:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £155,849 £616.98
Average price (detached) £246,220 £2,424.40
Average new build £208,023 £1,660.46
Following the autumn statement, second home buyers have had to pay a 3% surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Chester Le Street for the average price of £155,849 the SDLT would be £7,792.45.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Chester Le Street

In 2017, the Government announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300k.

Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitors should ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Chester Le Street

New build site

The potential pitfalls of buying a leasehold flat in the UK are well known. There are any number of potential traps that may be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, such as sinking fund issues and exponential ground rents.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Chester Le Street will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as current-year service charge estimates, sinking funds and managing agent or landlord enquiries.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Chester Le Street?

House under construction

3 new build properties have been bought in Chester Le Street in 2018 so far, (sce: Her Majesty's Land Registry). The average price for new build homes in Chester Le Street is £125,831.

The legal work for purchasing a new build property requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of both region-specific considerations and also should check numerous things, e.g. dealing with lender conditions and investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property.

Our expert new build team provide an impartial view of the property's legal status, paying close attention to concerns ranging from unreasonable leasehold terms to likely freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in County Durham

If you are purchasing a home in a conservation area in Chester Le Street, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area building controls. These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Restrictions on the addition of a porch
  • Possible restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority can instruct the owner to 'undo' the recent changes, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Chester Le Street's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Chester Le Street

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat is generally simpler than for a purchase. With a purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies with the purchaser to validate that the property they are buying is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Chester Le Street acting for the seller only need to answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Hurdles, like not having a building regulations completion certificate or being in an area threatened by local development, have the capacity to slow or frustrate the sale conveyancing process.

Property experts will almost always suggest to vendors that they handle any such problems without delay.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is quite a lot more complicated compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Chester Le Street will also carry out additional work, including sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen to help contain and resolve any delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller of the same property?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a Chester Le Street property, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Chester Le Street to carry out your legal work.

Local Chester Le Street conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Richmond Anderson Goudie Part of The Richmond Partnership, Flake Cottages, Cone Terrace, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH3 3TA
  • Her Majesty's Courts Service (Chester-le-Street), Magistrates Court, Newcastle Road, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH3 3UA
  • Nigel J Humes & Co, 3-5 High Chare, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH3 3PX
  • Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP, Mains House, 143 Front Street, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH3 3AU
  • John Bayles & Co, 26 Harraton Terrace, Durham Road, Birtley, Chester Le Street, County Durham, DH3 2QG

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Chester Le Street

Benefitting from a lower interest rate to reduce monthly expenses is generally why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example releasing equity, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Chester Le Street will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for the new bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are moving to a flexible mortgage with Britannia or to a long-term fixed mortgage with Birmingham Midshires, 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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