Updated: October 12, 2018

Hampshire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Hampshire

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Hampshire conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You must cover the cost of 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 office copies or Land Registry fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Hampshire solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Hampshire will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a flooding search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Hampshire

The county of Hampshire (or Hants) is the largest in south-east England, both in area and population, and is one of the most affluent in the UK. It lies between Dorset and West Sussex on the south coast. The county town is the cathedral city of Winchester and its major conurbations are Portsmouth and Southampton, both significant ports.

Almost 45% of the county is covered by its 2 National Parks - The New Forest and the South Downs. Overton, Kingsclere, Fleet and Basingstoke are popular with commuters, with journeys to London taking less than an hour. Within the New Forest the towns of Lymington, Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst offer rural living, with Brockenhurst recently voted the most beautiful place to live in the UK.

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 Hampshire conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, make their "report on title", assist in resolving any issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The following section offers useful guidance for homebuyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire.

Your Hampshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a Hampshire conveyancing solicitor, it is paramount that you confirm that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Chelsea Building Society, Barclays Bank or any other lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a restricted panel of legal firms that meet stringent criteria.

Under these circumstances, the lender will require a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

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

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

Winchester City Council searches and other searches

Residential property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Hampshire conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your new home.

Mortgagees also usually require conveyancing searches to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Hampshire properties for local parish repairs.

You will be informed if your mortgage lender requires any further searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a ground stability report.

The average delivery time for LA searches provided by Winchester City Council is 17 weeks, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning issues

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will also order an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from the Land Registry. This will help to expose any issues, for example discrepancies with the filed plan or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Winchester City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Hampshire will pay to Winchester City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For example, for an average Valuation Band C property in Hampshire, the council tax amount would be £1,480 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,110.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or if an occupier is a student nurse. The Valuation Office Agency work out council tax bandings for newly-constructed property, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Winchester City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,110
B £1,295
C £1,480
D £1,665
E £2,034
F £2,404
G £2,774
H £3,329

Are you paying too much?

A homeowner can apply for their property to be reassessed, but the band could be revised up as well as down. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Overline House
Central Station
Blechynden Terrace
Southampton
SO15 1GW
Hampshire

Stamp Duty on Hampshire properties

SDLT will almost always need to be paid if the home being purchased is valued at over £125,000. SDLT is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Quittance is able to administer the stamp duty process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

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

  Average selling price (February 2018) SDLT
Average price £350,762 £7,538.10
Average price (detached) £512,187 £15,609.35
Average new build £333,700 £6,685.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Hampshire

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Hampshire for the average price of £350,762 the SDLT would be £28,060.96.

Hampshire conveyancing solicitors will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Hampshire

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold home if you are unaware of the implications is risky. The many potential complications awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser could include costly and undisclosed major works, exponential ground rents and unfair clauses in the lease.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancer lacking in specialist knowledge, could lead to serious consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Hampshire will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • service charges
  • dealing with landlords
  • planned large scale expenditure is planned

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Hampshire?

House under construction

The average value of a new build home in Hampshire is £419,442, (HM Land Registry figures). 106 brand new homes have been bought in Hampshire in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property is considerably more complicated than buying a 'secondhand' home. Therefore a Hampshire conveyancing solicitor should be aware of local issues and will consider a range of issues, such as ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and confirming Section 38 agreements.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an independent appraisal of the property's legal status, whilst being mindful of concerns like the home's future marketability and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Hampshire conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the property you are planning to buy is in one of Hampshire's conservation areas. If it is, the home will be affected by specific restrictions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions can include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on uPVC window frames
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and extensions

If a property is in breach, you could be ordered (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Hampshire.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Hampshire

The legal process for a property sale is simpler than for a purchase. When property changes hands, the responsibility is on the buyer to confirm that the home they are buying is legally sound.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Hampshire acting for the seller for the most part just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

Why do sales fall through?

A house or flat will frequently have issues (for example being a listed building with non-compliant alterations or not having a building regulations completion certificate) that can hinder a sale.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems - speak to an expert instead and tackle it at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is much more difficult in comparison with a freehold house.

Hampshire conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, such as collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of any health and safety assessment for the common parts.

It is strongly advised that you contact leasehold-specialist property lawyer as early in the process as possible, and potentially before going on the market, to help contain and resolve any delays.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a Hampshire property, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Hampshire to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Hampshire

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, people usually remortgage to secure a preferential rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Hampshire will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

It is critical that your property lawyer can act on behalf of the new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are changing to a tracker with Bradford & Bingley or to a two-year discount with the Darlington 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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