Updated: October 12, 2018

Harpenden conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Harpenden

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid conveyancing solicitors in Harpenden for the legal work involved in moving home.

How are Harpenden conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Harpenden who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain what fees you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as bankruptcy checks or office copies.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Harpenden solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Harpenden will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a historic mining 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. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Harpenden

When carrying out the legal work for the purchase of a house or flat, the Harpenden conveyancing solicitor will look into the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and deliver their report on title to the purchaser.

Following their enquiries the lawyer will make recommendations and will deal with any legal problems and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article provides useful information for buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Harpenden.

Your Harpenden conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Harpenden, you must confirm that they are approved by your mortgage lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Fleet Mortgages, Virgin Money or any other lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some banks and building societies only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of law firms that meet stringent standards.

If that is the case, the lender will probably need a second legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this substitute solicitor's costs. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Not checking your property lawyer's lender panel status could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all mortgage lenders.

Residential Property Searches (St Albans City & District Council)

Searches will be applied for by Harpenden conveyancing solicitors to identify planning, development and environmental issues that might possibly affect the value of the property you intend to buy.

Mortgagees typically also require a list of searches to be purchased. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchreveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Further searches, such as a tin mining search or a mining search, may also be advised subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

St Albans City & District Council has a usual turnaround time of 6 weeks for searches, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be ordered from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose any issues. These issues could include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

St Albans City & District Council Council Tax

St Albans City & District Council calculate council tax on Harpenden homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Tax Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,511.

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

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 £1,134.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band St Albans City & District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,134
B £1,322
C £1,511
D £1,700
E £2,078
F £2,456
G £2,834
H £3,401

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans
AL1 3WZ
Hertfordshire

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed. If the valuation is revised down, they may be entitled to a refund.

Stamp Duty on Harpenden properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

Stamp Duty Land Tax works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value property.

Quittance use smart case management systems to ensure that mistakes are not made on the SDLT process.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for properties in Harpenden:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £785,294 £29,264.70
Average price (detached) £1,206,690 £64,419.00
Average new build £511,304 £15,565.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Harpenden

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% SDLT surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. For example, if a property owner bought a second home in Harpenden for the average price of £785,294 the stamp duty would be £62,823.52.

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

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Harpenden

New build site

The pitfalls associated with purchasing a leasehold property in the UK are frequently reported by the press. There is a wide range of sometimes obscure legal issues that may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, such as:

  • excessive freehold premiums
  • doubling ground rents
  • sinking fund issues
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

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

  • reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old)
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • service charge apportionments

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Harpenden?

House being built

Based on local data sourced by the HM Land Registry, the average value of Harpenden new build property is £1,020,000. 2 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Harpenden in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Harpenden must be well-versed in local considerations and the specific issues associated with new build, such as handling the uncertainties of buying off plan, handling initial Land Registry registration and registering ownership with warranty providers such as NHBC Buildmark, Building Zone and Ark Residential.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an independent appraisal of the legal title of the house or flat, with a close eye on factors ranging from problematic leasehold terms to potential freehold acquisition traps.

Hertfordshire Conservation areas

Moving to a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your property.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints can include restrictions on replacing windows, restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required by law to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Harpenden.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Harpenden

The legal work involved in a property sale is simpler than when purchasing. The buyer will have to carry out extensive research on the legal title of your home. Conveyancing solicitors in Harpenden acting for the vendor mostly just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

Factors that could delay or endanger your sale

A house or flat can be burdened by a broad spectrum of complex issues (for example parking issues or disputes or a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme) that can endanger your home move.

Property specialists will usually advise that vendors address such issues immediately.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more technical in comparison with a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Harpenden must usually carry out further legal work, such as asking for management company information, through to a copy of the service charge budget for the current year (and any anticipated payments on account).

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is strongly advised that you contact a leasehold specialist as early as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor in one transaction?

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

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

Local Harpenden conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Neves Solicitors LLP, Tollgate House, 69-71 High Street, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2SL
  • Wright & Co, The Leys, 2c Leyton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2TL
  • Taylor Walton LLP, T W House, Station Approach, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4SP
  • Paul Berg & Taylor, 5 Kinsbourne Court, 96-100 Luton Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 3BL
  • Alban Perrin Limited, 10 Waterside, Station Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4US

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Harpenden

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

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a lower rate faster by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Harpenden, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

To ensure that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage lender.

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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