Updated: October 12, 2018

Harwich conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Harwich

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to your Harwich conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Harwich conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Harwich offer services on a price per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote sets out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like managing agent information or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Harwich cost?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Harwich will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be necessary.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Harwich

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

It remains, however, the duty of a Harwich conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and make their "report on title", iron out any legal issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This article examines those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Harwich where specialist conveyancing skills may be crucial.

Your Harwich conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a major lender like NatWest or a less common lender such as Handelsbanken, before you select a Harwich conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they are approved by your mortgage lender.

Some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your mortgage lender, the lender will probably require a different law firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Not checking your property solicitor's lender panel status can mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all banks and building societies.

Residential Property Searches (Tendring District Council)

Searches are enquiries made of government bodies by Harwich conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the property being purchased.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Your conveyancer will notify you if your chosen lender insists on any more searches, such as an HS2 search or a disadvantaged area search.

Tendring District Council has a typical processing time of 13 weeks for LA searches. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Checking planning status

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get an Official Copy of the Title Register from HM Land Registry, helping to identify any issues. These issues could include that a restrictive covenant has been breached or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

Tendring District Council Council Tax

Tendring District Council calculate council tax on Harwich homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. for an average Band C home in Harwich, the amount of council tax due would be £1,476 per year.

Harwich conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's 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 £1,107.

Other discounts and exemptions could 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 the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment.

Band Tendring District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,107
B £1,291
C £1,476
D £1,660
E £2,029
F £2,398
G £2,767
H £3,320

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 saw a reduction. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Clare House

Stamp Duty on Harwich properties

If a residential property is valued at over £125,000, the purchaser usually must pay SDLT.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

HMRC late filing penalties are avoided using the latest case management system.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Harwich:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £200,143 £1,502.86
Average price (detached) £279,689 £3,984.45
Average new build £218,400 £1,868.00
Following a change in April 2016, a higher SDLT rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second home was bought for £200,143 then the SDLT total will be £10,007.15.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Harwich

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers.

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

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Harwich

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications is not recommended. There are many legal issues that may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • increasing ground rents
  • unfair clauses in the lease
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • absent freeholders
Poor leasehold guidance, from an inexperienced lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Harwich will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • managing agent practices
  • plans to collectively purchase the freehold

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Harwich?

House under construction

According to data gathered by the HM Land Registry, 20 brand new homes were purchased in Harwich last year. The average purchase price of Harwich new build properties is £218,400.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Harwich must be mindful of regional considerations and the complications associated with new build, including negotiating new build contracts and checking new build mortgage procedures are followed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an accurate and truly independent assessment of the property's legal status, paying close attention to considerations like the home's subsequent resaleability and 'doubling' ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Essex Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Harwich. If it is, the house could be affected by specific restrictions. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, could include anything from restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes, to restrictions on VELUX windows.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Harwich

The legal work involved in a sale of a house or flat is less difficult than when purchasing. The buyer's solicitor will have to carry out detailed due diligence on the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Harwich acting for the seller mostly just answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What could go wrong?

Properties will frequently have any number of legal problems (such as having a defective lease or not being connected to the water mains) which could threaten the completion of a sale.

Property specialists will almost always recommend to vendors that they handle such issues as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more difficult than it is for a freehold home.

Harwich conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, including collating all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any deed of variation.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is strongly advised that you instruct leasehold-specialist property lawyer as early in the process as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Harwich to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

Local Harwich conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Ellisons, London House, 45 Kingsway, Dovercourt, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3JU

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Harwich

Homeowners remortgage for all sorts of reasons, such as wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or releasing funds to help pay for home improvements. By far the most common reason, however, is to reduce the monthly repayments.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Harwich can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work should also be able to act for your preferred bank or building society. Our conveyancing team are on all major lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are moving to an offset mortgage with Britannia or to a variable-rate mortgage 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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