Updated: October 12, 2018

Kempston conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Kempston

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your Kempston conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

Are Kempston conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Kempston who offer services on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote sets out what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Kempston cost?

Conveyancing fees in Kempston will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a flood plain search, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For standard conveyancing transactions, 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 considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Kempston

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of English property law. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, it is still the duty of a buyer's solicitor to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The conveyancing solicitor in Kempston will make recommendations after making their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This article examines those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Kempston where greater expertise is helpful.

Your Kempston conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Birmingham Midshires or a less common lender such as Paratus AMC, before you choose a Kempston conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted panel of firms.

In this case, the lender will likely require a second firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's fees. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Neglecting to check your conveyancer's lender panel status can mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all lenders.

Searches (Bedford Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of public bodies by Kempston conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your new home.

Lenders typically also require conveyancing searches to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

Your solicitor will tell you if your chosen lender requires any more searches, for example a radon gas search or a disadvantaged area search.

The approximate delivery time for property searches ordered from Bedford Borough Council is 10 weeks. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor also obtains office copies from HMLR, helping to identify any planning issues, such as the breach of a restrictive covenant or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Bedford Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Kempston, 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. E.g. for an average Valuation Band B house in Kempston, the council tax would be £1,379 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Kempston will inform a purchaser of the home's tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £1,034.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if an occupier is an apprentice school leaver or YTS trainee.

Band Bedford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,182
B £1,379
C £1,576
D £1,773
E £2,167
F £2,561
G £2,955
H £3,546

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Northgate House
59-77 Sheep St
Northampton
NN1 2LL
Northamptonshire

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.

Stamp Duty on Kempston properties

After a residential property sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

With some exceptions, if you purchase a property over the £125k threshold you will have to pay stamp duty.

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

See stamp duty examples for homes in Bedfordshire:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £301,650 £5,082.50
Average price (detached) £491,611 £14,580.55
Average new build £386,445 £9,322.25

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Kempston

As from Nov 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second home in the form of a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £301,650 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £24,132.00. .

Kempston conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Kempston

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold home if you are unaware of the implications can be costly. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • exponential ground rents
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced conveyancer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Kempston will consider potential leasehold issues, for example absent freeholders, reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old) and reserve funds.

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Kempston?

New build building site

The average value of new build properties in Kempston is £386,445, according to local information gathered by HM Land Registry. 805 brand new properties were purchased in Kempston last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Kempston must be aware of local considerations and new build's additional complexities, e.g. confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity), handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC, LABC New Home Warranty and CRL.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers are specialists in meeting short developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas in Bedfordshire

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Kempston, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the property is in one of Kempston's conservation areas. If it is, the property could be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include restrictions on the use of PVC windows, general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications or restrictions on the erection of outbuildings.

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Kempston's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Kempston

The legal process for a sale of a home is less complicated than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancer carries out a detailed investigation on the property and its legal title, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Kempston acting for the vendor effectively just collects all documents and information relating to the property and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

Factors that could delay or endanger your sale

Common obstacles, like having a defective lease, can potentially hinder your home move.

Don't shy away from finding a solution as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues. The best course of action is to seek out professional help, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution promptly.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is quite a lot more complicated than for a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Kempston will also perform extra work, and this could include requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related delays sooner, it is strongly advised that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the vendor of the same home?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Kempston to undertake your conveyancing, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Kempston conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Tollers LLP, 148 Bedford Road, Kempston, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK42 8BH

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Kempston

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a more attractive interest rate. There are a number of other reasons to remortgage, for example the existing lender having refused a payment holiday, or releasing capital to pay off other debts.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Kempston can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is important that your property lawyer can act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are moving to a fixed-rate mortgage with Bradford & Bingley or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Monmouthshire Building Society, 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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