Updated: October 12, 2018

Gateshead conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Gateshead

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Gateshead for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Gateshead conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Gateshead offer services on a price per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote sets out what fees you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

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

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 bankruptcy searches or ID checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Gateshead cost in total?

While conveyancing fees in Gateshead will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Gateshead

Gateshead lies on the opposite bank of the River Tyne to Newcastle and is joined to the latter by 7 bridges. This friendly town offers a wide choice of housing, from executive apartments to family homes and the council's local plan aims to deliver more than 11,000 homes over the next 15 years.

With world-class cultural and sporting venues, access to the beautiful North East coastline and countryside, and property prices 46% lower than the national average, Gateshead provides a high standard of living for its 120,000 residents.

Conveyancing for buyers

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller is obliged to reveal any property defects or disputes to the buyer and the estate agent.

It remains, however, the duty of the Gateshead conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and deliver their report on title to the purchaser, deal with any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This article sets out advice for people searching for conveyancing solicitors in Gateshead for a purchase.

Your Gateshead conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Gateshead, it is critical that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Aldermore Bank, the Bank of Scotland or any other lender.

Most mortgage lenders will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of law firms that pass strict selection criteria. If your solicitor is unable to act for your lender, the lender will need a different law firm to complete the legal work.

You will be expected to pay this second lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your property lawyer could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council searches

Searches are enquiries made of government bodies by Gateshead conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your planned purchase.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

You will be made aware if your lender insists on any more searches, e.g. a highways search or an agricultural search.

Property purchasers should expect to wait up to 5 weeks for property searches delivered by Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council. As a result, regulated searches will be faster.

Checking planning status

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the purchaser, helping to identify any planning issues. Examples of these include right of access issues or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria e.g. the number of people living at the property and the value of the property. For example, for an average Band C property in Gateshead, the council tax would be £1,669 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Gateshead will inform the purchaser of the home'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 may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. New build properties are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax banding.

Band Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,251
B £1,460
C £1,669
D £1,877
E £2,294
F £2,711
G £3,129
H £3,754

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 resulted in a reduction. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Eagle Star House
Regent Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

Stamp Duty on Gateshead properties

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use case management software to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HM Revenue & Customs as quickly as possible.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in Gateshead:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £148,658 £473.16
Average price (detached) £263,769 £3,188.45
Average new build £179,320 £1,086.40

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Gateshead

In Nov 2017, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second property in the form of a 3% surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Gateshead bought a second property for the average price of £148,658 the SDLT would be £7,432.90.

Gateshead conveyancing solicitors should confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Gateshead

New build site

Buying a leasehold property is not as simple as purchasing a freehold home. Ground rent multipliers, absent freeholders and costly and undisclosed major works are among the many traps lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Bad or incomplete leasehold advice, from a solicitor with little specialist experience, could lead to serious consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Gateshead will address aspects of leasehold, for example leases approaching 80 years remaining, service charges and whether they have been collected and reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old).

Ensure 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 Gateshead?

Building site

The average sale price of Gateshead new build properties is £179,320, (source: HM Land Registry). 23 new build houses and flats have been bought in Gateshead in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build property requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Gateshead conveyancing solicitor must be aware of both region-specific factors and also must check a range of issues, such as handling structural guarantees and administering Help to Buy purchases.

With our new build team, you will get an expert appraisal of the legal title of the property, paying close attention to issues ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the property you are planning to buy is in a conservation area in Gateshead. If it is, the property will be affected by certain conditions. These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, can include restrictions on the addition of a porch, limitations on new outbuildings or restrictions on the use of external insulation.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as replacing uPVC windows with traditional wooden frames.

Conservation areas in Gateshead include Axwell Park, Coatsworth and Bradley Park. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Gateshead.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Gateshead

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat usually requires less work than for a purchase. With a property purchase, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to validate that the property's title does not have any legal issues.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Gateshead acting for the vendor just answer the buyer's questions.

What can you do to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

A house or flat can face a broad spectrum of challenges (e.g. a boundary dispute or problems with a party wall agreement) that can frustrate a transaction.

In most cases, you should address such issues immediately.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold property is much more technical than it is for a freehold home.

Conveyancing solicitors in Gateshead must usually carry out further legal work, for example obtaining ground rent details, through to ascertaining if the incoming lessee (i.e. the seller) is required to buy a share in the building's management company.

It is recommended that the seller instruct a lawyer as soon as possible to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. Waiting for a long-overdue managing agent response is the most likely reason that the sale of a leasehold flat will fall through.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You could contact a local Gateshead conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Gateshead conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Alan Hall, 15 Walker Terrace, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1EB
  • Ben Hoare Bell LLP, 9 Regent Terrace, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1LU
  • Butterworths, 3 Walker Terrace, Bensham Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1EB
  • Hathaways The Law Firm Limited, 18/19 Regent Terrace, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1LU
  • Lambert Taylor & Gregory Solicitors, 9 Walker Terrace, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 1EB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Gateshead

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people usually remortgage their home to get a more attractive interest rate.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate faster with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Gateshead, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage must also be able to act on behalf of the new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So whether you are switching to a cashback mortgage with RBS or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Harpenden Building Society, we 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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