Updated: October 12, 2018

Christchurch conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Christchurch

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

Are Christchurch conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Christchurch work on a cost per hour basis. Our conveyancers work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as office copies or Land Registry fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Christchurch cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Christchurch will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance. For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees 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 Christchurch

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 the Christchurch conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, report back to the buyer and the lender, make practical suggestions and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following examines elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Christchurch where additional expertise is crucial.

Your Christchurch conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Christchurch, you need to check that they can act for your chosen lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Dudley Building Society, Barclays Bank or any other lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted panel of legal practices that meet strict selection criteria.

If that is the case, the lender will require a second legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Your property purchase can be seriously delayed if you fail to confirm your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Property Searches (Christchurch Borough Council)

Searches are enquiries made by Christchurch conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your planned purchase.

Banks and building societies also expect property searches to be purchased. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether the home is in a conservation area
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your lender wants any further searches, for example a highways search or a Forestry Commission search.

The typical delivery time for Local Authority searches provided by Christchurch Borough Council is 10 weeks. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries will also be obtained by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, helping to identify planning issues, such as discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Christchurch Borough Council Council Tax

Christchurch Borough Council calculate your council tax based on various factors which include the size and character of the home and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, the occupier of a Band D residential property in the Christchurch Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,888.

A conveyancing solicitor in Christchurch will inform the purchaser of the property's 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 £1,416.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the resident is living in long term residential care.

Band Christchurch Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,259
B £1,468
C £1,678
D £1,888
E £2,307
F £2,727
G £3,146
H £3,776

What to do if you suspect your new home is incorrectly valued

Owners can apply for their property to be reassessed, but the band could be revised up as well as down. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
5th Floor
Holland House
Oxford Rd
Bournemouth
BH8 8EF
Dorset

Stamp Duty on Christchurch properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it. SDLT works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value home.

HMRC complications are avoided using the latest legal case management system.

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Christchurch:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £371,302 £8,565.10
Average price (detached) £485,562 £14,278.10
Average new build £387,183 £9,359.15
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second home. E.g. if a second home was bought for £371,302 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £29,704.16. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Christchurch

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas.

Conveyancing solicitors in Christchurch will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Christchurch

New build site

The drawbacks of buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are recognised. Numerous technical obstacles may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as restrictions on the use of the property and doubling ground rents.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from a lawyer with only freehold experience, could have serious financial consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Christchurch will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • dealing with freeholders
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)
  • notices served on the freeholder

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Christchurch?

House being built

7 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Christchurch in 2018 so far, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. The average price for Christchurch new build property is £287,143.

The legal work for acquiring a new build property can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Christchurch conveyancing solicitor should be aware of local considerations and needs to check numerous things, like dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and working to builders' exchange timelines.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an independent appraisal of the property's legal status, looking out for considerations like the home's future marketability and 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Dorset Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a residential property in a conservation area in Christchurch, the property will need to meet any conservation area constraints. These conditions may include anything from restrictions on the use of cladding, to restrictions preventing the addition of frontal sloping rooflights.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Verno Lane, Avon Buildings and Burton are among the conservation areas in Christchurch. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Christchurch.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Christchurch

The conveyancing process on a house sale is less complicated than when purchasing. With a purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies with the purchaser to determine whether the property they are purchasing is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Christchurch acting for the existing owner need only answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

What could put a property sale at risk?

Homes can face a range of problems (e.g. excessive ground rent) that have the capacity to prevent the conveyancing process from completing.

In general, you should handle such issues without delay.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

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

Christchurch conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, and this could include liaising with the management company to obtain a complete pack of managing agent information, through to details of any disputes with the current leaseholder.

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is recommended that the seller instruct a lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. However, a CLC-regulated conveyancer, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

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

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Christchurch

Securing a lower interest rate is generally why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing equity.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Christchurch, reducing the time the conveyancing takes to complete. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

In order to certify that the interests of the lender are covered, a property lawyer will need to act for both you and the bank or building society.

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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