Updated: October 12, 2018

Dover conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Dover

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Dover conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Dover conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Dover who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote will explain all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as bankruptcy checks or landlord's notice fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Dover cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Dover will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as a commons registration search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Dover

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a fundamental principle of English property law. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to investigate their intended purchase.

The Dover conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This part of the article considers the kinds of property that may carry risks for homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Dover.

Your Dover conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are a wide range of mortgage providers, from a large lender such as Halifax, to a niche lender like Precise Mortgages. Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Dover, you need to check that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (their 'panel') of legal firms.

If that is the case, the lender will likely require a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Not checking your conveyancer's lender panel status can result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Property Searches (Dover District Council)

Property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Dover conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting the home you want to buy.

Lenders typically also require property searches to be submitted. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
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 searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as a tin mining search or a contaminated land report, may also be recommended in the initial search results.

Dover District Council has an estimated delivery time of 13 weeks for Residential property searches, so it will be worth using a faster private search company.

Planning issues

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will also order the Title Register from the Land Registry, helping to evidence any planning issues, for example the title plan showing only very general boundaries or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Dover District Council Council Tax

Dover District Council calculate your council tax based on a variety of factors e.g. the size of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991 (or 2003 in Wales). For instance the occupier of a Band C home in the Dover District Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,536.

Conveyancing solicitors in Dover will inform the purchaser of the property's 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 £1,152.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative. Property constructed after 1991 is assigned a band by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Dover District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,152
B £1,344
C £1,536
D £1,727
E £2,111
F £2,495
G £2,879
H £3,455

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
CT20 2TP

In the 2016/17 financial year, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on Dover properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HM Revenue & Customs fines those who delay in completing and returning it. If you are buying a house in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

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

See examples for average Dover properties:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £260,078 £3,003.90
Average price (detached) £392,646 £9,632.30
Average new build £281,180 £4,059.00
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Dover for the average price of £260,078 the SDLT would be £20,806.24.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Dover

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Dover will ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Dover

New build site

Buying a leasehold property is not as straightforward as buying a freehold property. Increasing ground rents, onerous clauses in the lease and unfair developer practices are only some of the frequent complications lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold property, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Dover will address aspects of leasehold, such as landlord/tenant disputes, service charge records from the last three years and reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old).

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Dover?

House under construction

According to data sourced by the HM Land Registry, the average purchase price of new build homes in Dover is £301,195. 10 new builds have been bought in Dover in 2018 so far.

The legal side of buying a new build property can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Dover must be conscious of Dover-specific issues and needs to consider a range of factors, like handling equity loan schemes and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

Our expert new build team provide an independent appraisal of the legal title of the property, whilst being mindful of concerns like the home's future marketability and potential freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Kent

When acting for the buyer of a home in Dover, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the home is in one of Dover's conservation areas. If it is, the home could be affected by specific building controls. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of chimneys
  • Restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property
  • A prohibition on side or two-storey extensions

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

Ash - Guilton, Ringwould and Elmstone are among the conservation areas in Dover. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Dover.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Dover

The legal side of a sale of a house or flat is generally simpler than when buying. For a house purchase, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is on the buyer to make sure that the property's title is legally sound.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Dover acting for the person selling effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Common obstacles, like having a defective lease or an issue with noisy neighbours, can easily jeopardise the conveyancing process if left unresolved.

It is generally advisable for vendors to handle such issues without delay.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more specialised in comparison with a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Dover will usually undertake extra work, which could include getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

It is recommended that the seller instruct a lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell to mitigate predictable leasehold delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a law firm in Dover to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Dover conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Frederic Hall Solicitors, 77 Biggin Street, Dover, Kent, CT16 1BB
  • Pigotts, 10 Victoria Crescent, High Street, Dover, Kent, CT16 1DU
  • Bradleys, Victoria House, 1 Maison Dieu Road, Dover, Kent, CT16 1RW
  • Stilwell & Singleton, 110 Maison Dieu Road, Dover, Kent, CT16 1RT
  • Mowll Limited, Trafalgar House, Gordon Road, Whitfield, Dover, Kent, CT16 3PN

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Dover

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, such as releasing equity, or getting on to a new fixed-rate deal. The most common reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

You would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Dover, minimising the time taken to complete the conveyancing. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work is also able to act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are changing to a 100% mortgage with Lloyds Bank or to a repayment mortgage with the Manchester Building Society, we can help.

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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