Updated: October 12, 2018

Forest Hill conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Forest Hill

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

How are Forest Hill conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill will work on a fees per hour basis. Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote explains exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for '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, such as office copies and title plans or local authority searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Forest Hill cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Forest Hill will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, such as a flood plain search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden fees. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Forest Hill

The legal work for a homebuyer will require the conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) to sitting tenants affecting the mortgageability of the property.

The conveyancer will report their findings back to the buyer and their lender, assist in resolving any issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The following provides assistance for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill for a purchase.

Your Forest Hill conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a large lender like the Nationwide Building Society or a niche mortgage lender such as Pepper Homeloans, before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill it is very important that you make sure that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

The majority of lenders will only accept a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms. If a solicitor is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will need a second law firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will then have to cover this second lawyer's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status can mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Lewisham Borough Council)

Searches will be applied for by Forest Hill conveyancing solicitors to unearth any pertinent information that might reduce the value of your property.

Banks and building societies also need conveyancing search packs to be applied for. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Drainage & Water searchdescribes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your chosen lender insists on any further searches, for example a Crossrail search or a mining search.

The estimated processing time for LA searches obtained from the London Borough of Lewisham is 5 weeks. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Planning issues

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will also order official entries from the Land Registry. This will help to identify any issues. Examples of these include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or restrictions that limit alterations.

London Borough of Lewisham Council Tax

As a homeowner in Forest Hill, 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. E.g. for an average Valuation Band D home in Forest Hill, the tax would be £1,498.

Forest Hill conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band as soon as they are 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,124.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person.

Band London Borough of Lewisham Tax (2018)
A £999
B £1,165
C £1,332
D £1,498
E £1,831
F £2,164
G £2,497
H £2,996

Can I challenge my council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

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 Forest Hill properties

Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC is difficult and time consuming. The majority of buyers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

The threshold for SDLT for a residential property is £125k.

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

See examples for typical London properties:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Forest Hill

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Following the autumn budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay a higher SDLT rate of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £839,875 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £67,190.00. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill should ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Forest Hill

New build site

The drawbacks associated with owning a leasehold property should be a source of concern for leasehold home buyers. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • unfair developer practices
  • onerous covenants
  • increasing ground rents
Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a conveyancer lacking in specialist knowledge, can have serious consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill will address aspects of leasehold, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • dealing with freeholders
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • changes to the terms of the lease

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Forest Hill?

New build building site

The average price for new build property in Forest Hill is £449,784. 450 brand new homes have been bought in Forest Hill in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill will need to be aware of both local Forest Hill factors as well as the added complexities associated with new build, including handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract factors ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

London Conservation areas

Purchasing property in a conservation area should mean that the street's character will not drastically alter. However, conservation area building controls will affect your residential property.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Needing consent to alter doors and guttering

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Forest Hill's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Forest Hill

The legal process for a house sale is normally less troublesome than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancer conducts detailed due diligence into the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill acting for the seller merely collates information and answers the buyer's questions .

What factors could threaten your sale?

A house or flat can face any number of legal problems (for example a boundary dispute or being a listed building with non-compliant alterations) that might stop a sale in its tracks.

In most cases, you should face such issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more time-consuming than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Forest Hill will usually undertake extra work. This can involve collating an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that you contact a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

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

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could contact a law firm in Forest Hill to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Forest Hill

The most common reason homeowners remortgage is to secure a preferential rate. Other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals include borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or the existing lender having refused a payment holiday.

You can benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Forest Hill. They will work to reduce the processing time of the conveyancing. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work must also be able to act on behalf of your new mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so no matter whether you are switching to a variable-rate with the Co-operative Bank or to a repayment mortgage with the Hinckley and Rugby 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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