Updated: October 12, 2018

Darlington conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Darlington

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Darlington conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Darlington conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Darlington who offer services on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote will explain all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

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 managing agent fees or bankruptcy searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Darlington cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Darlington will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs 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 substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Darlington

In carrying out the conveyancing for a property buyer, the Darlington conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the title of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

The purchaser's solicitor will make recommendations following their enquiries, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following section considers the types of residential property which may involve extra hazards for people who want conveyancing solicitors in Darlington for a purchase.

Your Darlington conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from NatWest, Pepper Money or any other lender, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Darlington it is essential that you check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some lenders will only work with a select panel of legal firms that meet stringent criteria.

In this case, the lender will need a different law firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Your home move can be seriously delayed if you fail to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Darlington Borough Council searches

Residential property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Darlington conveyancing solicitors to give details about your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by Darlington Borough Council
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Chancel repair liability - some Darlington property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

You will be told if your lender insists on any further searches, for example a radon gas search or a geological search.

Buyers can expect a lead time of approximately 7 weeks for conveyancing searches provided by Darlington Borough Council, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Checking planning status

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HMLR by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to reveal any potential issues, for example errors on the title plan or right of access issues.

Darlington Borough Council Council Tax

Darlington Borough Council calculate council tax on Darlington homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance for an average Band D home in Darlington, the amount of council tax due would be £1,749 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Darlington will inform a purchaser of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,312.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied.

Band Darlington Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,166
B £1,360
C £1,554
D £1,749
E £2,137
F £2,526
G £2,915
H £3,497

Can I dispute my band?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Marks House
St. Marks Court
Stockton-On-Tees
TS17 6QR
Cleveland

Stamp Duty on Darlington properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

When buying a home, stamp duty will probably need to be paid if the property is valued at over £125,000.

With Quittance Conveyancing you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for average properties in Darlington:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £156,031 £620.62
Average price (detached) £248,391 £2,467.82
Average new build £172,190 £943.80

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Darlington

In 11/17, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on homes below £300k. Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers must pay a surcharge of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £156,031 then the stamp duty total will be £7,801.55.

Darlington conveyancing solicitors should ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Darlington

New build site

It is risky to purchase a leasehold home if you don't know what you are getting into. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer include undisclosed major works and ground rent multipliers.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor, could have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to buy a leasehold home, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Darlington will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • service charges
  • changes to the terms of the lease
  • short leases

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Darlington?

House being built

Based on local data sourced by the HM Land Registry, 5 new build homes have been bought in Darlington in 2018 so far. The average cost of new build property in Darlington is £167,367.

The legal side of purchasing a new build is more complex than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Darlington conveyancing solicitor needs to be aware of local Darlington considerations and must look into numerous things, including dealing with lender conditions and checking that any contracts allow for future 'common parts' maintenance.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team specialise in meeting short developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas in County Durham

When acting for the buyer of a home in Darlington, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the residential property is in a conservation area in Darlington. If it is, the property could be affected by certain conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions could include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Needing consent to alter doors and guttering

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a garden fence or gate.

Middleton One Row, West End and Piercebridge are among the conservation areas in Darlington. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Darlington's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Darlington

The legal process for a house sale is less difficult than for a purchase. The buyer needs to carry out a detailed investigation into the property. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Darlington acting for the vendor essentially just collects any required paperwork and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What could go wrong?

Common issues, like not having full title, have the potential to delay your move.

It is usually a good idea for sellers to tackle these issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold property is a great deal more difficult compared to a freehold house.

Darlington conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve contacting the landlord for a copy of the lease, through to a copy of the service charge budget for the current year.

Sellers should seriously consider instructing a property lawyer as soon as possible to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused issues.

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

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You can contact a local Darlington conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Darlington conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Freeman Johnson, 11 Victoria Road, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5SP
  • Clark Willis Law Firm LLP, 105 Bondgate, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7LB
  • Dma Law Limited, 40 Skinnergate, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7NR
  • Latimer Hinks Solicitors Limited, 5-8 Priestgate, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 1NL
  • Close Thornton LLP, 2 Duke Street, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7AB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Darlington

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people will generally remortgage a home to get a lower interest rate.

You would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Darlington. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

So that they can make sure that the lender's capital is protected, the property lawyer will act for both you and the new lender.

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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