Updated: October 12, 2018

Finchley conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Finchley

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Finchley for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Finchley conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our 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, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Finchley who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote explains all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as local authority searches or TT fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Finchley cost?

Finchley conveyancing solicitor fees will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a flood plain search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Finchley

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it is still the duty of a buyer's solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

A Finchley conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice once their enquiries are complete, offer pragmatic solutions and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following examines the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Finchley where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is helpful.

Your Finchley conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a Finchley conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from TSB, the Swansea Building Society or any other lender.

Some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a restricted group of legal firms. If your solicitor cannot act for your chosen lender, the lender will require a different law firm to complete the legal work.

You will then have to cover this second lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Your home move can be seriously delayed if you fail to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Barnet Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches are carried out by Finchley conveyancing solicitors to help spot any wider issues that could possibly impact how much your house or flat is worth.

Lenders typically also require certain searches to be obtained. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchplanning and development details from Barnet Borough Council records
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Finchley properties for local parish repairs.

More specific searches, such as a radon gas search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

The estimated lead time for conveyancing searches obtained from the London Borough of Barnet is 15 weeks, so quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning documents

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose potential planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

London Borough of Barnet Council Tax

As a homeowner in Finchley, 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. For instance for an average Tax Band C property in Finchley, the amount of council tax would be £1,319 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Finchley will inform a purchaser of the home's council tax band once they are made aware.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £989.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is uninhabitable. The Valuation Office Agency calculate council tax bands for new build homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band London Borough of Barnet Tax (2018)
A £989
B £1,154
C £1,319
D £1,484
E £1,813
F £2,143
G £2,473
H £2,967

Are you paying too much?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Chase House
305 Chase Rd
London
N14 6LZ

A homeowner can ask for their property to be reassessed. If the valuation is revised down, they may be entitled to a refund.

Stamp Duty on Finchley properties

The threshold for stamp duty for a residential property is £125k. SDLT is paid to HMRC and the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the complicated SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

See SDLT examples for homes in London:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second home. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Finchley for the average price of £839,875 the SDLT would be £67,190.00.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Finchley

Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Finchley conveyancing solicitors will ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Finchley

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold property if you don't know what you are getting into. Spiralling ground rents, costly and undisclosed major works and leases with fewer than 80 years to run are but a few of the many potential difficulties awaiting an uninformed buyer.

Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Finchley will address aspects of leasehold, such as current-year service charge estimates, unexpired lease terms and dealing with freeholders and managing agents.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with our leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Finchley?

Building site

According to HM Land Registry data, the average purchase price of Finchley new build homes is £449,784. 450 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Finchley in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Finchley must be mindful of Finchley-specific issues and new build's added complexities, like confirming right of way over drains and sewers, handling deposits and working with warranty providers, including NHBC, Premier Guarantee? and HAPM.

Our conveyancing team are experts in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and meeting short developer deadlines.

London Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a home in one of Finchley's conservation areas, the property will need to meet any conservation area constraints. Called Article 4 directions, these conditions may include:

  • Limitations on the erection of outbuildings
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the erection of outbuildings

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Finchley

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is less difficult than for a property purchase. The buyer carries out due diligence on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Finchley acting for the seller just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could jeopardise your property sale?

A property will often come with any number of complex issues (such as tree preservation orders or previous or historic subsidence) which could prevent the conveyancing process from completing on time.

It is better not to hide from the issue as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues, instead seek out professional help and attempt to resolve it proactively.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold property is significantly more protracted than for a freehold house.

Finchley conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work, for example liaising with the management company to obtain the latest service charge accounts, through to a copy of the insurance policy schedule.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a property lawyer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market,.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA regulations prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Finchley to handle your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Finchley conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Simmons Stein & Co, Winston House, 2 Dollis Park, Finchley, London, N3 1HF
  • Alan Samuels & Co, 314 Regents Park Road, Finchley, London, N3 2JX
  • BSG Solicitors LLP, 314 Regents Park Road, London, Finchley, N3 2JX
  • Lester Dominic Solicitors Limited, Upper Floors, 85-87 Ballards Lane, Finchley Central, London, N3 1XT
  • S Hirsch & Co, Wohl Enterprise Hub, Finchley Central, London, N3 2BS

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Finchley

Homeowners remortgage their home for a number of reasons, such as consolidating loan repayments, or getting on to a new fixed-rate deal. The most common reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Finchley, reducing the time the conveyancing takes to complete. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer will represent both you and your new lender, in order to confirm the lender's interests are safeguarded.

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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