Updated: October 12, 2018

Folkestone conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Folkestone

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Folkestone for handling the legal work for your move.

How are Folkestone conveyancing fees calculated?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Folkestone who work on a price per hour basis. Your quote explains what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as office copies and title plans or bankruptcy searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Folkestone cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Folkestone will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Folkestone

The conveyancing for a homebuyer needs a conveyancing solicitor in Folkestone to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from defective property title to Japanese Knotweed affecting the mortgageability of the home.

The purchaser's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer, offer pragmatic solutions and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section considers the property types which could be of concern to buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Folkestone.

Your Folkestone conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are around 100 UK lenders, from a major lender such as the Scottish Building Society, to a financial institution like Paratus AMC. Before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Folkestone, it is critical that you make sure that they can act for your mortgage lender.

Quite a few banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of law firms that meet strict selection criteria. If your solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

You will be expected to pay this alternative solicitor's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Your property purchase could be jeopardised by failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all lenders.

Searches (Shepway District Council)

Property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Folkestone conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased. They include:

  • Local Authority search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

More specific searches, such as a highways authority search or a contaminated land report, may also be recommended in the standard searches.

The estimated delivery time for Local Authority searches delivered by Shepway District Council is 7 weeks, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Checking planning status

Office copies will also be ordered from the Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any issues, such as right of access issues or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Shepway District Council Council Tax

Shepway District Council calculate council tax on Folkestone homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance a residential property in the Shepway District Council area in Band E would pay £2,200 per annum.

Folkestone conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property'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 £1,650.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative.

Band Shepway District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,200
B £1,400
C £1,600
D £1,800
E £2,200
F £2,600
G £3,001
H £3,601

Can I dispute my band?

In 2016/17, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 were upheld and refunds awarded. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
CT20 2TP

Stamp Duty on Folkestone properties

The threshold for stamp duty for a property is £125k. Completing the SDLT1 form yourself is quite involved and not for the uninitiated.

Quittance will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Folkestone:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £255,918 £2,795.90
Average price (detached) £399,899 £9,994.95
Average new build £314,823 £5,741.15
If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay a surcharge of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £255,918 then the stamp duty total will be £20,473.44.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Folkestone

Since Nov 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000.

Folkestone conveyancing solicitors should confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Folkestone

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property can be complex, compared to buying a freehold home. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed buyer could include:

  • marriage value issues
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • reversionary interests
  • increasing ground rents
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with limited leasehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Folkestone will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, e.g. :

  • checking the lease itself
  • dealing with freeholders
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)
  • service charge retentions

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Folkestone?

Building site

According to data compiled by HMLR, 12 new build houses and flats have been bought in Folkestone in 2018 so far. The average sale price of new build properties in Folkestone is £211,123.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Folkestone must be aware of both local considerations and the added complexities associated with new build, e.g. spotting incomplete agreements for roads and sewers, handling structural guarantees and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Building Zone and CRL.

Our team of conveyancers are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas in Kent

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property you are purchasing is in a conservation area in Folkestone. If it is, the property will be affected by specific constraints. These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include anything from restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property, to a prohibition on roof terraces.

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

Parts of Folkestone lie within a Shepway LPA-governed conservation area. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Folkestone's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Folkestone

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is simpler than for a property purchase. With a purchase, the burden lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the title of the property they are buying does not have any legal issues.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Folkestone acting for the person selling need only answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

A property will often come with numerous possible difficulties (such as having a defective lease or not having appropriate warranties) that have the capacity to protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

In general, it is a good idea for sellers to handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is a great deal more protracted than it is for a freehold home.

Conveyancing solicitors in Folkestone will also perform extra work, which could include contacting the landlord for the freeholder pack, through to details of planned major works.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is strongly advised that you instruct a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as possible.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Folkestone, and we are carrying out the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in Folkestone to carry out your legal work.

Local Folkestone conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Lyons Davidson Limited, Middelburg Square, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1AZ
  • P H Brothwell, 16 Church Street, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 1SE
  • Bowers & Jessup Solicitors, Westholme Chambers, 134a Sandgate Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2BW
  • Frederic Hall Solicitors, York House, 32 Cheriton Gardens, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2UR
  • Rootes & Alliott, 27 Cheriton Gardens, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2AR

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Folkestone

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people will usually remortgage to secure a preferential rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Folkestone will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred lender. Our conveyancing team are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are moving to a variable-rate with the Nationwide Building Society or to a two-year discount with the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, our remortgage specialists 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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