Updated: October 12, 2018

Hastings conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Hastings

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

How are Hastings conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Hastings who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

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 property searches or landlord's notice fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Hastings solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Hastings conveyancing fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees 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 Hastings

When carrying out the legal work for the purchase of a house or flat, a Hastings conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the title of the property and make their "report on title".

Once their enquiries are complete the lawyer will offer suggestions and advice and will find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article discusses those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Hastings where additional expertise is necessary.

Your Hastings conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a large lender such as the Co-operative Bank, to a financial institution like the Leeds Building Society. Before you instruct a Hastings conveyancing solicitor, it is critical that you make sure that they are on the panel of your lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms.

If this is the case, the lender will need a second legal firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this alternative solicitor's fees. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

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

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Hastings Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions submitted to public bodies by Hastings conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting the property being purchased.

Searches are primarily performed to meet lender requirements, usually including the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

More specialised searches, such as a highways authority search or a Forestry Commission search, may also be advised following the initial searches.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of roughly 9 weeks for conveyancing searches provided by Hastings Borough Council, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR. This will help to reveal planning issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Hastings Borough Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Hastings Borough Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Tax Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £2,332.

Hastings conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,749.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. A new property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax banding.

Band Hastings Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,272
B £1,484
C £1,696
D £1,908
E £2,332
F £2,756
G £3,180
H £3,816

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

Owners can ask for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Annes House
2 St. Annes Rd
Eastbourne
BN21 3LG
East Sussex

Stamp Duty on Hastings properties

If your home costs more than £125,000 then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical buyer. Usually, however, the form is completed by the conveyancing solicitor to avoid penalties or delays.

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

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for properties in Hastings:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £229,670 £2,093.40
Average price (detached) £352,720 £7,636.00
Average new build £282,541 £4,127.05

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Hastings

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k. If you own another residence you will be subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in Hastings bought a second home for the average price of £229,670 the SDLT would be £11,483.50.

Hastings conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Hastings

New build site

The risks associated with purchasing a leasehold property should be a worry for leasehold property buyers. The many potential traps lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer include doubling ground rents, short leases and unreasonable managing agent fees.

Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a conveyancer lacking in specialist knowledge, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold property, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Hastings will address aspects of leasehold, including unexpired lease terms, ground rents and service charges and reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old).

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Hastings?

Building site

The average value of Hastings new build property is £297,650, according to local information gathered by the Land Registry. 3 brand new homes have been bought in Hastings in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Hastings will need to be familiar with both local considerations and the specific issues associated with new build, including working to builders' exchange timelines and handling the uncertainties of buying off plan.

Our conveyancing team are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

East Sussex Conservation areas

Whether you are buying a listed character property or a Georgian town house, if the house is in a conservation area, your plans to develop the house might not be permitted by Hastings Borough Council.

These conditions, called Article 4 Directions, can include a range of factors from general restrictions governing the use of unsympathetic materials, to limitations on skylights.

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

Hastings conservation areas include Cornwallis Gardens, St Leonards West and Warrior Square. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Hastings's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Hastings

The legal work involved in a sale of a house or flat is more straightforward than for a property purchase. The buyer's solicitor conducts a thorough investigation on the home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Hastings acting for the vendor simply gathers together any pertinent information and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What could jeopardise the sale process?

Homes will often come with a series of legal issues (such as missing planning permission or restrictive covenants) which may derail the sale conveyancing process.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems. The best course of action is to get legal advice and work to resolve it ASAP.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more complicated than for a freehold property.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Hastings will need to conduct additional work, and this could include requesting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any details of any ongoing enfranchisement process.

It is strongly advised that you instruct leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to reduce delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. A CLC-regulated conveyancer, however, can act for both parties.

You can contact a local Hastings conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Hastings

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people usually remortgage a home to get a more affordable interest rate.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Hastings, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will represent both you and your new lender to confirm the HM Land Registry is notified of the lender's charge over the property and the mortgage provider's 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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