Updated: October 12, 2018

Dartmouth conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Dartmouth

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay conveyancing solicitors in Dartmouth for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Dartmouth conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Dartmouth who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like HMLR fees or office copies.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Dartmouth cost in total?

Dartmouth conveyancing solicitor fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

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

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Dartmouth

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a key part of English property law. Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, this rule no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth will give advice after making their enquiries, solve outstanding issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section considers elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Dartmouth that demand specialised skills.

Your Dartmouth conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like Paratus AMC or a large lender such as TSB, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your lender.

Some banks and building societies will only work with a select panel of firms. If your solicitor is unable to act for your lender, the lender will need an alternative firm to carry out the legal work.

You will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to check the lender panel status of your conveyancing lawyer can result in significant delays.

Our solicitors can act for all lenders.

South Hams District Council searches

Searches are submitted by Dartmouth conveyancing solicitors to identify any broader issues that might compromise how much the property you intend to buy will be worth.

Banks and building societies also need to see conveyancing searches to be obtained. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchexposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
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 risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Dartmouth properties for local parish repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your chosen lender insists on any more searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a contaminated land report.

Homebuyers could experience a delay of around 10 weeks for searches obtained from South Hams District Council, so quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning issues

Your conveyancing solicitor will request an Official Copy of the Title Register from HMLR. This will help to highlight planning issues. Examples of these include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or neighbours' rights of access.

South Hams District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Dartmouth, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. E.g. for an average Valuation Band D residential property in Dartmouth, the amount of council tax would be £1,822.

A conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth will inform the buyer of the property's 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,366.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if the property is a 'granny annexe'.

Band South Hams District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,215
B £1,417
C £1,619
D £1,822
E £2,227
F £2,632
G £3,037
H £3,644

Can I challenge my council tax band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
190 Armada Way

From April 2016 to March 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Dartmouth properties

Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical homebuyer. Usually, however, the form is completed by the property lawyer to avoid penalties or delays.

If the purchase price of the home you intend to buy is over the £125k threshold, you must pay stamp duty.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

This table sets out stamp duty for average property in Dartmouth:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £418,335 £10,916.75
Average price (detached) £640,227 £22,011.35
Average new build £395,448 £9,772.40

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Dartmouth

In Nov 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300k. If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a higher rate of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Dartmouth bought a second home for the average price of £418,335 the SDLT would be £33,466.80.

Dartmouth conveyancing solicitors will confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Dartmouth

New build site

The risks associated with buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are well publicised. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • unfair developer practices
  • short leases
  • ground rent multipliers
Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, could have serious financial consequences.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, e.g. dealing with landlords, reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old) and the implications of the remaining length of the lease.

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Dartmouth?

New build building site

The average price for a new build home in Dartmouth is £395,448, (source: HMLR). 26 new build homes were purchased in Dartmouth last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth must be familiar with both local factors and new build-specific issues, including handling unreasonable delays and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

Our highly qualified team of conveyancers specialise in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Devon

Whether you are planning to buy a thatched cottage or a Tudor home, if the house is in a conservation area, your plans to develop the house may not be accepted by South Hams District Council.

These conditions can include:

  • Possible restrictions on solar panel positioning
  • Restrictions on the use of external insulation
  • Limits on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

Parts of Dartmouth lie within a South Hams LPA-governed conservation area. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Dartmouth's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Dartmouth

The legal process for a sale of a home is much easier than for a property purchase. The buyer's solicitor will have to go through extensive due diligence into the property, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Dartmouth acting for the seller merely collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What can sellers do to improve the odds of your sale going through?

Homes can face possible difficulties (e.g. an issue with noisy neighbours) that can hinder the sale process.

It is almost always a good idea that sellers face such issues head on and fix them.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more protracted compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Dartmouth will also carry out additional work, which could include obtaining a completed copy of the Leasehold Property Enquiry Form, through to a copy of the service charge budget for the current year (and any anticipated payments on account).

It is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell to ensure the legal technicalities are handled correctly.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

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

Local Dartmouth conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Wollen Michelmore LLP, 10 The Quay, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 9PT
  • Roger Richards Solicitors, 10 Churston Broadway, Dartmouth Road, Paignton, Devon, TQ4 6LE

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Dartmouth

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a better rate of interest is usually why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or funding a one-off purchase.

You should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Dartmouth. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender to make sure the lender's new interest is correctly registered and the lender's investment is secured.

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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