Updated: October 12, 2018

Didcot conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Didcot

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Didcot conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Didcot conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Didcot who carry out the legal work on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any '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. These include costs like office copies and title plans or Stamp Duty.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Didcot cost in total?

Didcot conveyancing fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Didcot

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to the buyer and the estate agent.

It remains, however, the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Didcot to investigate the property, so that they can report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, help with resolving any problems and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The following section examines those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Didcot where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is required.

Your Didcot conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a Didcot conveyancing solicitor, it is essential that you check that they can act for your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Topaz Finance, TSB or any other lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some lenders are only prepared to work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of law firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will require a second firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Serious delays can arise if you do not confirm your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (South Oxfordshire District Council)

Property searches will be applied for by Didcot conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that might potentially undermine how much the property you are buying will be worth.

Lenders typically also require a list of searches to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - reveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - shows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be notified if your lender requires any more searches, such as a highways authority search or a mining search.

South Oxfordshire District Council has a typical processing time of 7 weeks for Local Authority searches. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be obtained by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find planning issues, such as restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

South Oxfordshire District Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by South Oxfordshire District Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, for an average Band B property in Didcot, the council tax due would be £1,409.

Didcot conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band as soon as 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 £1,057.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the home is left unoccupied by a student.

Band South Oxfordshire District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,208
B £1,409
C £1,610
D £1,811
E £2,214
F £2,616
G £3,019
H £3,623

Could you be overpaying?

Owners can apply for their property to be reassessed. If the valuation is revised down, they may be entitled to a refund. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive
Oxford
OX4 2RU
Oxfordshire

Stamp Duty on Didcot properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price of the property if it exceeds £125k. The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the SDLT administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form and because there may be penalties for underpayment.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as quickly as possible.

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

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £342,084 £7,104.20
Average price (detached) £485,723 £14,286.15
Average new build £340,866 £7,043.30

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Didcot

Since Nov 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300,000. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second home in the form of an SDLT surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £342,084 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £27,366.72. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Didcot will confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Didcot

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold home can be challenging when compared to buying a freehold home. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, such as:

  • ground rent multipliers
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Didcot will consider possible leasehold issues, including share of freehold complexity, service charges for relevant date periods and reviewing the lease itself.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Didcot?

New build site

According to data gathered by the Land Registry, the average price for new build homes in Didcot is £340,000. 1 new build properties have been bought in Didcot in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Didcot must be aware of both local considerations and the extra complexities of new build, like handling unreasonable delays and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

Our expert new build team provide an expert appraisal of the property's legal status, whilst being mindful of considerations ranging from the home's subsequent mortgageability to potential freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Oxfordshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the property you are purchasing is in a conservation area in Didcot. If it is, the home could be affected by certain conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Didcot's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Didcot

The legal work involved in a property sale is much simpler than when purchasing. The buyer's solicitor carries out a thorough legal appraisal into the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Didcot acting for the seller just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could put the process at risk?

A property can be burdened by any number of possible issues (such as a boundary dispute or problems with a party wall agreement) which could protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

Property specialists will almost always advise that vendors handle these issues as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is much more protracted compared to a freehold house.

Didcot conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, for example sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of the lease.

In order to resolve any leasehold problems faster, it is highly recommended that you instruct a property lawyer as soon as is practicable.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

SRA regulations ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a Didcot home, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Didcot to carry out your legal work.

Local Didcot conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Law and Property Lawyers Limited, 137 Broadway, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 8RQ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Didcot

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a lower interest rate is usually why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or funding a one-off purchase.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Didcot can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

To confirm that the parties' interests are protected, the property lawyer will 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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