Updated: October 12, 2018

Gillingham conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Gillingham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Gillingham conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Gillingham conveyancing fees calculated?

Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Gillingham who offer services on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as landlord's notice fees or property searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Gillingham solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Gillingham will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

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

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Gillingham

Gillingham in Kent is one of the key towns in the River Medway area, close to the historic Chatham docks where HMS Victory was built. Previously overlooked by commuters, average house prices are considerably lower than in other areas of south-east England. With direct rail links to central London, however, the town has become a magnet for first-time buyers looking for an affordable place to live.

Over a 20-year period the area will see a total of a billion pounds invested to regenerate old industrial areas and build new housing.

Conveyancing for home buyers

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham to carry out due diligence on the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, offer practical solutions and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section of the article examines the kinds of residential property which may be of interest to homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Gillingham.

Your Gillingham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a less common lender like Precise Mortgages or a major lender such as Barclays Bank, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Many lenders are only prepared to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks. If a conveyancer can't act for your lender, the lender will need a different law firm to carry out the legal work.

The buyer will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Not checking your solicitor's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Property Searches (Medway Council)

Property searches will be applied for by Gillingham conveyancing solicitors to identify issues that might potentially impact how much your property is worth. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Environmental searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Drainage & Water searchdescribes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your lender insists on any further searches, e.g. a Crossrail search or a more detailed environmental report.

Medway Council has a usual delivery time of 5 weeks for property searches, so faster personal (as opposed to official) searches will be recommended.

Checking planning status

Official Entries will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer, assisting with the identification of any planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

Medway Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Medway Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. the occupier of a Band C home in the Medway Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,444.

A conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham will inform the purchaser of the property's tax band as soon as they are notified.

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 £1,083.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is occupied solely by students. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assess bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Medway Council Tax (2018)
A £1,083
B £1,263
C £1,444
D £1,624
E £1,985
F £2,346
G £2,707
H £3,249

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

A homeowner can ask for their property to be reassessed, but the band could be revised up as well as down. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St

Stamp Duty on Gillingham properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) fines those who delay in completing and returning it. Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland).

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest integrated conveyancing case management system means that HMRC filing rejections are a thing of the past.

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Gillingham:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £260,948 £3,047.40
Average price (detached) £415,229 £10,761.45
Average new build £188,760 £1,275.20
If you own another home or share in a home (including outside the UK)you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. So if a second property was bought for £260,948 then the stamp duty total will be £20,875.84.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Gillingham

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Gillingham should confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Gillingham

New build site

The risks of leasehold property ownership should be of serious concern. There are numerous technical issues that could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • restrictions on the use of the property
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
  • increasing ground rents
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, can have serious consequences.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • share of freehold complexity

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Gillingham?

House being built

The average sale price of new build homes in Gillingham is £131,667. 2 brand new properties have been bought in Gillingham in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build home is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham needs to be conscious of local Gillingham factors and must check numerous things, such as handling structural guarantees and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

Our award-winning new build team are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms.

Conservation areas in Kent

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, moving into a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your residential property.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include a wide range of constraints from general restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials, to restrictions on replacing roof tiles.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Gillingham

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is less difficult than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor must carry out a full legal review into the property. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Gillingham acting for the vendor just replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Factors that could delay or endanger your sale

Properties will frequently have a range of potential roadblocks (for example tree preservation orders) that might draw out a purchase for several weeks.

Don't put off finding a solution in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - a better course of action will be to seek out professional help, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as soon as you can.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.


Conveyancing for a leasehold property is much more time-consuming than it is for a freehold home.

Conveyancing solicitors in Gillingham must usually carry out further legal work, such as obtaining the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a property lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as possible.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Gillingham to handle your legal work, if we are carrying out the legal work for the other side.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Gillingham

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, people usually remortgage a home to lower their monthly repayments.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Gillingham can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work should also be able to act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so no matter whether you are changing to a flexible mortgage with Barclays Bank or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Coventry Building Society, our remortgage team 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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