Updated: October 12, 2018

Gloucestershire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Gloucestershire

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

Do Gloucestershire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire who work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like property searches or managing agent fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Gloucestershire solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Gloucestershire will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as a commons registration search, may be necessary.

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

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Gloucestershire

In carrying out the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, a conveyancing solicitor in Gloucestershire will look into the title of the property and feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer.

The conveyancer will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section discusses those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire where greater expertise is critical.

Your Gloucestershire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are a wide range of mortgage providers, from a niche lender like Paragon, to a large lender such as RBS. Before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Gloucestershire, whoever you choose, you need to check that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

The majority of lenders only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of legal practices that have achieved certain benchmarks. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will require a second law firm to act in their interests.

You will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status can mean serious delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Property Searches (Gloucester City Council)

Residential property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Gloucestershire conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes notices under the Planning, Highways and Public Health Acts
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Gloucestershire properties for local parish repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a Forestry Commission search.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of approximately 13 weeks for conveyancing searches supplied by Gloucester City Council. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will request an Official Copy of the Title Register from the Land Registry. This will help to identify any issues, for example a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Gloucester City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Gloucestershire will pay to Gloucester City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band B residential property in Gloucestershire, the council tax payable would be £1,292.

Conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £969.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Gloucester City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,108
B £1,292
C £1,477
D £1,661
E £2,031
F £2,400
G £2,769
H £3,323

Are you paying too much?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Ley Court
Barnett Way
Gloucester
GL4 3RT
Gloucestershire

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Gloucestershire properties

SDLT works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value property. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

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

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Gloucestershire:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £295,493 £4,774.65
Average price (detached) £435,886 £11,794.30
Average new build £344,723 £7,236.15

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Gloucestershire

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a higher SDLT rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second property was bought for £295,493 then the SDLT total will be £23,639.44.

Conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Gloucestershire

New build site

Buying a leasehold property is not as simple as buying a freehold home. There are many legal issues that may be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • short leases
  • increasing ground rents
  • sinking fund issues
Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's bad leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in Gloucestershire will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • checking the lease itself
  • managing agent practices
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • missing building regs and planning
  • insurance covenants

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Gloucestershire?

House under construction

According to data gathered by HM Land Registry, 53 new build houses and flats have been bought in Gloucestershire in 2018 so far. The average value of Gloucestershire new builds is £307,383.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Gloucestershire will need to be familiar with local Gloucestershire issues and new build's added complexities, including verifying rights of easements and investigating developer incentives.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are experts in working to developer exchange timeframes and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Gloucestershire

Whether you are buying a period coach house or an Edwardian house, if the home is in a designated conservation area, any planned alterations to the home may not be accepted by Gloucester City Council.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions can include restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls, restrictions on the display of advertisements or restrictions 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 Gloucestershire's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Gloucestershire

The legal work involved in a house sale is normally less troublesome than when purchasing. The buyer conducts an investigation on the legal title of your home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire acting for the seller merely gathers together any pertinent information and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

What could put your home sale at risk?

Obstacles, like not having appropriate warranties, can actually derail a sale if ignored.

Don't bury your head in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - get legal advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution proactively.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more specialised than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Gloucestershire will usually undertake additional tasks. This can involve getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement or a common parts fire risk assessment.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold expert as soon as is practicable to avoid undue delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

SRA regulations ban the same 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 parties.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Gloucestershire to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Gloucestershire

By far the most common reason people remortgage is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are other reasons to consider remortgaging, such as releasing equity, or getting on to a new fixed-rate deal.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Gloucestershire can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer will need to act for both you and your new bank or building society, in order to ensure the parties' interests are protected.

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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