Updated: October 12, 2018

Dunstable conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Dunstable

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Dunstable conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Dunstable conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Dunstable will work on a price per hour basis. Some conveyancers will complete the work for a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote sets out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor 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. These include costs like Stamp Duty or indemnity insurance.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Dunstable cost?

Dunstable conveyancing solicitor fees will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For standard conveyancing transactions, 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 Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Dunstable

The conveyancing for a property buyer will need a conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from problems with the property's title to planning issues affecting the future saleability of the property.

The purchaser's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and their mortgage lender, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section of the article sets out useful information for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Dunstable.

Your Dunstable conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable, it is essential that you check that they can act for your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, the Dudley Building Society or any other lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of firms that meet stringent standards.

Should this be the case, the lender will need a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Failing to check your property solicitor's lender panel status can result in significant delays.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor banks and other lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Central Bedfordshire Council)

Searches are applied for by Dunstable conveyancing solicitors to expose any wider issues that could compromise how much your property will be worth.

Searches are carried out primarily to meet lender requirements, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

More pertinent searches, such as an HS2 search or an energy search, may also be advised depending on the contents of the standard searches.

The approximate delivery time for LA searches obtained from Central Bedfordshire Council is 10 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will source official entries from HMLR, helping to evidence any potential issues. These issues could include errors on the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

Central Bedfordshire Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Dunstable will pay to Central Bedfordshire Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band C residential property in Dunstable, the amount due would be £1,668.

Dunstable conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,251.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Central Bedfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,251
B £1,459
C £1,668
D £1,876
E £2,293
F £2,710
G £3,127
H £3,752

Owners can apply for their property to be reassessed. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans
AL1 3WZ
Hertfordshire

Stamp Duty on Dunstable properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

Stamp duty is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000.

Quittance is able to administer the stamp duty process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

This table sets out stamp duty for property in Dunstable:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £292,134 £4,606.70
Average price (detached) £463,916 £13,195.80
Average new build £324,439 £6,221.95
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Dunstable bought a second home for the average price of £292,134 the SDLT would be £23,370.72.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Dunstable

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Dunstable will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Dunstable

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property if you are unaware of the facts is not recommended. The many potential complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser include increasing ground rents and incomplete management company accounts.

Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with limited leasehold experience, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to buy a house or flat with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • plans to collectively purchase the freehold

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Dunstable?

House under construction

Based on local data compiled by the Land Registry, 6 new build houses and flats have been bought in Dunstable in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of a new build home in Dunstable is £165,833.

Buying a new build property can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable must be aware of local Dunstable considerations and should check numerous things, e.g. handling structural guarantees and confirming building regulation compliance.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers specialise in working to developer exchange timeframes and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas in Bedfordshire

If you are intending to purchase a property in one of Dunstable's conservation areas, the property will need to meet any conservation area conditions. These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can 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

If a property is in breach, the local council could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Dunstable's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Dunstable

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, the burden is on the buyer to determine whether the property's title is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Dunstable acting for the person selling need only answer the buyer's questions.

What could jeopardise your home sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as not being insurable, could delay a sale if not handled appropriately.

It is better not to hide from the issue as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems. Get advice, face the issues head on, and find a solution proactively.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is a great deal more complicated than for a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Dunstable, which could include sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

In order to resolve any leasehold problems faster, it is strongly advised that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as is practicable.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

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

Local Dunstable conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Knowles Benning LLP, 24 West Street, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1SN
  • Morton Solicitors, 75 West Street, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1ST
  • Byron Fearn, Scotson Chambers, 80 High Street South, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 3HD
  • M & K Solicitors Ltd, 278 Dunstable Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 8JN
  • Ma Solicitors, 120a Dunstable Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 1EW

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Dunstable

People remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, such as releasing funds to help pay for home improvements, or switching from interest-only to repayment. The main reason, however, is to save money with a lower rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

Your property lawyer needs to be able to act for your new lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are moving to an interest-only mortgage with the NatWest or to a two-year discount with the Buckinghamshire Building Society, we 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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