Updated: October 12, 2018

Dartford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Dartford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Dartford conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Dartford conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Dartford who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as landlord's notice fees or bankruptcy checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Dartford solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Dartford will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain 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 costs or nasty surprises. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Dartford

There is now an obligation on a seller to disclose any property defects or disputes to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

It remains, however, the duty of a Dartford conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, so that they can feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, find solutions to outstanding defects and other 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 Dartford that warrant specialist knowledge.

Your Dartford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a major lender like NatWest or a financial institution such as the Harpenden Building Society, before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Dartford you need to check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Many banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a select panel of firms. If a solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will require an alternative legal firm to complete the legal work.

The buyer will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Long delays can arise if you do not check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Dartford Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions asked of various bodies by Dartford conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased.

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

Your conveyancer will tell you if your chosen lender needs any more searches, e.g. an HS2 search or an energy search.

The approximate delivery time for conveyancing searches provided by Dartford Borough Council is 4 weeks, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Planning documents

Official Entries will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor, helping to identify any issues, such as the title plan showing only very general boundaries or neighbours' rights of access.

Dartford Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various factors including the property's whereabouts and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, the occupier of a Tax Band C home in the Dartford Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,501.

Conveyancing solicitors in Dartford will inform the buyer of the property's tax 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 £1,126.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. A property constructed after 1991 is assigned a banding by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Dartford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,126
B £1,313
C £1,501
D £1,689
E £2,064
F £2,439
G £2,814
H £3,377

Can I lower my band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
10th Floor
Crown House
Linton Rd
IG11 8HJ

Stamp Duty on Dartford 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.

If the purchase price of your new home is over the £125k threshold (excluding 'chattels' or 'fixtures and fittings'), the Stamp Duty Land Tax becomes chargeable.

Quittance Conveyancing use smart case management systems to make sure that mistakes are not made on the Stamp Duty Land Tax process.

See stamp duty examples for properties in Dartford:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £319,513 £5,975.65
Average price (detached) £518,469 £15,923.45
Average new build £342,426 £7,121.30
If you own another property or share in a property (including outside the UK)you will be subject to a 3% surcharge. So if a second home was bought for £319,513 then the SDLT total will be £25,561.04.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Dartford

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k.

Dartford conveyancing solicitors should confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Dartford

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat if you don't know what you are getting into is risky. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including:

  • unfair clauses in the lease
  • ground rent multipliers
  • costly and undisclosed major works
Misguided leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancer, can have serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Dartford will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • dealing with landlords
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)
  • managing agent memoranda and articles of association

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Get in touch with our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Dartford?

Building site

The average cost of Dartford new build homes is £374,081. 18 brand new properties have been bought in Dartford in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Dartford must be conscious of Dartford-specific factors and must look into numerous things, such as handling deposits and investigating road and drainage issues.

Our expert new build team provide an expert appraisal of the legal title of the house or flat, and in particular concerns ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Kent Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home you are buying is in a conservation area in Dartford. If it is, the house could be affected by certain conditions. These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal of chimneys, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or general restrictions governing the use of unsympathetic materials.

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

Conservation areas in Dartford include Red Street, Church Hill and Hook Green. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Dartford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Dartford

The legal side of a house sale is much easier than when buying. The buyer's conveyancer will have to go through detailed research on your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Dartford acting for the seller mostly just collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

How to reduce the risk of an abortive sale

Obstacles, like a landlord dispute on a leasehold property, can potentially slow or frustrate the sale conveyancing process if not handled appropriately.

Property experts will almost always suggest to sellers that they face any such problems head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more specialised in comparison with a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Dartford must undertake additional tasks, such as getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of any notices served on the leaseholder.

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that you instruct leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as possible, and preferably before going on the market,.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Dartford, and a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Dartford to carry out your legal work.

Local Dartford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP, Corinthian House, Galleon Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, Kent, DA2 6QE
  • Martin Tolhurst Partnership LLP, 3, Bullace Lane, Dartford, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1BB
  • Apex Abs Limited, 22 The Base, Victoria Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 5FS
  • Buss Murton Law LLP, 2 Banks Place, Market Place, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EX
  • Cook Taylor Woodhouse Limited, 12 High Street, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1BY

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Dartford

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to benefit from a lower interest rate. There are a number of other reasons to consider remortgaging, for example wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or releasing funds to help pay for home improvements.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Dartford will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

Your property lawyer must also be able to act on behalf of your preferred mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major UK lenders. So whether you are changing to an offset mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Chelsea Building Society, 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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