Updated: October 12, 2018

East London conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in East London

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid conveyancing solicitors in East London for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are East London conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in East London work on an hourly rate. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote explains what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the legal 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 bankruptcy checks or leasehold information packs.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in East London cost?

While conveyancing fees in East London will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in East London

In carrying out the legal work for a property purchase, the East London conveyancing solicitor will look into the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and deliver their report on title to the purchaser.

Following their enquiries the conveyancer will make recommendations and will assist in resolving any issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following examines the kinds of property which may involve extra hazards for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in East London.

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Your East London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in East London, it is paramount that you confirm that they can represent your lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Halifax, the Harpenden Building Society or any other lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted panel of firms that match certain criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will require a second solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Failing to confirm your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status could jeopardise the sale.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage lenders.

Tower Hamlets Borough Council searches and other searches

Searches will be applied for by East London conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any pertinent information that could possibly reduce how much your property will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - planning and development details from Tower Hamlets Borough Council records
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Chancel repair liability - some East London property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specific searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a mining search, may also be recommended following the initial searches.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has a typical turnaround time of 12 weeks for Residential property searches. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Planning searches

Your conveyancing solicitor will obtain an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HM Land Registry, helping to identify potential planning issues, such as the title plan showing only very general boundaries or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council Tax

London Borough of Tower Hamlets calculate council tax on East London homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For example, for an average Band C residential property in East London, the amount of council tax due would be £1,138.

East London conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £854.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. Newer homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a banding.

Band London Borough of Tower Hamlets Tax (2018)
A £854
B £996
C £1,138
D £1,280
E £1,565
F £1,849
G £2,134
H £2,561

Is it possible to appeal?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Cityside House
40 Adler St
London
E1 1EE

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on East London properties

If a residential property is purchased for £125,000 or less, no stamp duty is payable. Above this, most homebuyers will need to pay stamp duty. Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Quittance's integrated case management system are fully integrated with HMRC's electronic filing gateway.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in London:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £880,307 £34,015.35
Average price (detached) £711,410 £25,570.50
Average new build £449,784 £12,489.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in East London

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when purchasing a second property. For example, if a property owner bought a second property in East London for the average price of £880,307 the SDLT would be £70,424.56.

East London conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in East London

New build site

The potential pitfalls of leasehold property ownership remain of serious concern. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed purchaser include:

  • unfair developer practices
  • onerous clauses in the lease
  • spiralling ground rents
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from an inexperienced lawyer, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in East London will address aspects of leasehold, including reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old), absent freeholders and possible service charge shortfalls.

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in East London?

Building site

According to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry, 450 new builds have been bought in East London in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of East London new build properties is £449,784.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in East London must be aware of both local East London factors as well as the added complexities of new build, such as squaring developer incentives with lenders and administering Help to Buy purchases.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, with close attention paid to concerns ranging from the home's future resaleability to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure development.

Conservation areas in East London

When acting for the purchaser of a property in East London, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property is in one of East London's conservation areas. If it is, the house is affected by constraints. These constraints may include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions preventing the installation of VELUX windows
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

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

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in East London.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in East London

The legal process for a house sale is more straightforward than for a property purchase. The buyer conducts a thorough investigation into the property's title and other legal aspects, whereas conveyancing solicitors in East London acting for the seller simply answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What could jeopardise your property sale?

Common issues, like not having appropriate warranties, can actually prolong a sale if left unresolved.

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

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is a great deal more protracted in comparison with a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in East London must usually carry out further legal work, and this could include applying for the most recent annual service charge accounts, through to ascertaining if any excess payments are anticipated.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor of the same home?

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

If you are buying or selling a East London property, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in East London to undertake your conveyancing.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in East London

Saving money on a lower interest rate is usually why people decide to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or wanting to borrow more.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in East London will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

So that they can confirm that the interests of the lender are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and your new lender.

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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