Updated: October 12, 2018

Hove conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Hove

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Hove conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Hove conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Hove who work on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as property searches or office copies.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Hove cost in total?

Hove conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be necessary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Hove

The seaside town of Hove in East Sussex lies immediately west of Brighton. In 1997 it merged with Brighton to become the borough of Brighton and Hove and in 2001 was awarded city status.

Property in Hove is more affordable than Brighton, making it popular with young families although its regular inclusion as one of the UK's 'best places to live' lists mean that the property market is brisk.

There are good rail links to central London, Gatwick, and along the coast to Southampton and Portsmouth.

Conveyancing for buyers

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a fundamental principle of English property law. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

The Hove conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, offer practical solutions and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following section considers the kinds of residential property which may involve extra hazards for homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Hove.

Your Hove conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Hove, it is critical that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Adam & Company, the Bank of Scotland or any other lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your lender, because some banks and building societies are only happy to work with a restricted panel of legal practices.

If this is the case, the lender will need an alternative firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's fees. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your lawyer can create problems and delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Brighton and Hove City Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Hove conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your new home.

Mortgage lenders also need searches (as set out in the CML Handbook) to be applied for. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Hove properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

You will be notified if your lender insists on any more searches, for example a more detailed flood report or an energy search.

Brighton and Hove City Council has an estimated lead time of 4 weeks for Local Authority searches, so it will be worthwhile to use a quicker private search company.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer, helping to evidence planning issues. Examples of these include rights or restrictions on how the property may be used or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Brighton and Hove City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Hove will pay to Brighton and Hove City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. the occupier of a Valuation Band B property in the Brighton and Hove City Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,405.

Hove conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,054.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment.

Band Brighton and Hove City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,205
B £1,405
C £1,606
D £1,807
E £2,208
F £2,610
G £3,011
H £3,614

Can I appeal against my band?

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Strand Parade
The Boulevard
Worthing
BN12 6EA
West Sussex

Stamp Duty on Hove properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay stamp duty on the purchase price of the property if it exceeds £125,000. After a property sale has completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use state-of-the-art case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HMRC as quickly as possible.

See examples for average Hove properties:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £446,796 £12,339.80
Average price (detached) £959,949 £39,744.90
Average new build £576,579 £18,828.95

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Hove

Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Hove for the average price of £446,796 the SDLT would be £35,743.68.

Hove conveyancing solicitors should ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Hove

New build site

The potential pitfalls of owning a leasehold property should be of serious concern for leasehold home buyers. There are numerous technical issues that could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, such as:

  • absent freeholders
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
  • ground rent multipliers
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Hove will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • dealing with landlords
  • share of freehold complexity
  • insurance reinstatement covenants

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Hove?

Building site

The average sale price of Hove new build properties is £576,579. 12 new build homes were purchased in Hove last year.

Purchasing a new build property is more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a Hove conveyancing solicitor needs to be conscious of local Hove factors and must check a range of issues, including dealing with fast exchange timeframes and dealing with incomplete service connection agreements.

Quittance Conveyancing deliver a specialist assessment of the legal title of the property, paying close attention to issues like the home's future marketability and sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

When acting for the buyer of a home in Hove, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home is in one of Hove's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by certain restrictions. These restrictions could include restrictions on the removal of chimneys, restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights or general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Hove

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is simpler than when purchasing. The buyer must carry out a detailed legal assessment on the legal title of your home. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Hove acting for the vendor essentially just responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could put your home sale at risk?

Homes can face numerous problems (e.g. a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme) that have the capacity to protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

Don't bury your head as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues. Instead, you should get legal advice and tackle it proactively.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is much more technical compared to a freehold house.

Hove conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, including collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any required deed of covenant.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contact a conveyancer as soon as is practicable to help mitigate leasehold delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You can contact a local Hove conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Hove conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Goodlaw Solicitors, 6 The Drive, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3JA
  • Laura Garcia Navarrete, Curtis House, 34 Third Avenue, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2PD
  • Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP, 7, The Drive, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3JS
  • Cavendish Legal Group Limited, 61 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2BP
  • Coole Bevis LLP, 79 Church Road, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 2BB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Hove

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a better interest rate. There are also a number of other reasons to remortgage, such as the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or releasing capital to pay off other debts.

You can appreciate the benefits of a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Hove, minimising the time taken to complete the conveyancing. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

To ensure that the lender's capital is protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent 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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