Updated: October 12, 2018

Hampstead conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Hampstead

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Hampstead for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Hampstead conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Hampstead who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out 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 cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as HMLR fees or landlord's notice fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Hampstead cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Hampstead 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. transport searches, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Hampstead

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller should disclose defects or disputes to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

It is, however, still the duty of the Hampstead conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and make their "report on title", deal with any legal problems and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following gives advice for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Hampstead for a purchase.

Your Hampstead conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Hampstead, it is paramount that you confirm that they can represent your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Halifax, Godiva Mortgages or any other lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some lenders will only accept a select panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria.

Under these circumstances, the lender will require an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Camden Borough Council)

Searches are enquiries made by Hampstead conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting the property being purchased.

Banks and building societies also expect conveyancing search packs to be purchased. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Additional searches, such as an HS2 search or a Forestry Commission search, may also be recommended in the initial search results.

The approximate lead time for Residential property searches provided by The London Borough of Camden is 7 weeks, so it will be worth using a faster private search company.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be applied for from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any potential issues. These issues could include discrepancies with the filed plan or neighbours' rights of access.

London Borough of Camden Council Tax

As a homeowner in Hampstead, 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. For instance for an average Valuation Band B property in Hampstead, the amount payable would be £1,158.

A conveyancing solicitor in Hampstead will inform a buyer of the home's tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £868.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if an occupier is an apprentice school leaver or YTS trainee.

Band London Borough of Camden Tax (2018)
A £992
B £1,158
C £1,323
D £1,489
E £1,820
F £2,150
G £2,481
H £2,977

Can I appeal against my band?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5BU

Stamp Duty on Hampstead properties

If you are buying a property in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing complications and objections are a thing of the past.

See examples for typical London properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £1,028,020 £46,552.00
Average price (detached) £1,209,120 £64,662.00
Average new build £854,797 £32,739.85

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Hampstead

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay a higher rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Hampstead for the average price of £1,028,020 the SDLT would be £133,642.60.

Conveyancing solicitors in Hampstead will confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Hampstead

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat without understanding the implications can be fraught with risk. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, including increasing ground rents, freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders and costly and undisclosed major works.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Hampstead will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • planned large scale expenditure is planned
  • missing building regs and planning

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - You can call our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Hampstead?

House being built

According to data compiled by HM Land Registry, 450 new build houses and flats have been bought in Hampstead in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of Hampstead new build properties is £449,784.

The legal work for purchasing a new build can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a Hampstead conveyancing solicitor should be mindful of local issues and should check numerous things, including dealing with fast exchange timeframes and checking planning conditions have been fulfilled.

Our highly qualified conveyancing team are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Conservation areas in London

When carrying out the legal work for a home in Hampstead, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the residential property is in a conservation area in Hampstead. If it is, the house is affected by constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include anything from restrictions on the addition of cladding, to restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls.

If a property is in breach, you could be required by the local planning authority to return the home to its earlier condition, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Parts of Hampstead lie within a Camden LPA-governed conservation area. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Hampstead.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Hampstead

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is more straightforward than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancer will have to go through a comprehensive legal review into the property, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Hampstead acting for the seller merely collects any required paperwork and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What factors could threaten your sale?

A home can be burdened by any number of issues (e.g. having a flying freehold or a problematic solar panel lease) that can derail your home move.

Don't bury your head in the sand in the hope that any issues won't be spotted. The best course of action is to speak to an expert, face the issues head on, and find a solution proactively.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is much more specialised than for a freehold property.

Hampstead conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work, for example liaising with the management company to obtain the managing agent pack, through to ascertaining if the incoming lessee (i.e. the seller) is required to buy a share in the building's management company.

In order to resolve any leasehold difficulties faster, it is recommended that the seller instruct a property lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both sides?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a home in Hampstead, and a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Hampstead to carry out your legal work.

Local Hampstead conveyancing solicitor directory

  • David Clark LLP, 38 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 6TE
  • Osbornes Solicitors LLP, 28b Hampstead High Street, London, NW3 1QA
  • Solomon Taylor & Shaw, 3 Coach House Yard, Hampstead High Street, London, NW3 1QF
  • Streathers Highgate LLP, 1 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, London, NW3 6TP
  • NWL Solicitors, 9 Hampstead West, 224 Iverson Road, London, NW6 2HL

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Hampstead

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, for example moving to an offset mortgage, or wanting to borrow more. The main reason, however, is to reduce the monthly repayments.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate faster with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Hampstead, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is vitally important that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your preferred mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are switching to a 100% mortgage with the Royal Bank of Scotland or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Yorkshire Bank, Quittance 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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