Updated: October 12, 2018

Knebworth conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Knebworth

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid your Knebworth conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Knebworth conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Knebworth work on a price per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden costs. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the 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. These include costs like ID checks or Land Registry fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Knebworth cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Knebworth will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Knebworth

As a key part of the conveyancing for a home purchase, the Knebworth conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the property's title and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender.

The buyer's solicitor will make recommendations following their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The content below considers the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Knebworth where greater expertise is critical.

Your Knebworth conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like Topaz Finance or a large lender such as Barclays Bank, before appointing a Knebworth conveyancing solicitor it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a restricted group of law firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will require a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's costs. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Your property transaction could be threatened by failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (North Hertfordshire District Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are carried out by Knebworth conveyancing solicitors to unearth planning, development and environmental issues that might possibly impact how much your house or flat will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Chancel repair liability - some Knebworth property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specific searches, such as a radon gas search or a commons registration search, may also be referred to depending on the contents of the standard searches.

The estimated processing time for searches supplied by North Hertfordshire District Council is 6 weeks. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Planning issues

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will apply for official entries from HM Land Registry, helping to evidence any planning issues. These issues could include a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

North Hertfordshire District Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by North Hertfordshire District Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, a residential property in the North Hertfordshire District Council area in Valuation Band C would pay £1,538 per annum.

Knebworth conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,153.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or properties awaiting grant of probate. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assess council tax bandings for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band North Hertfordshire District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,153
B £1,346
C £1,538
D £1,730
E £2,115
F £2,499
G £2,884
H £3,460

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

To appeal contact:

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

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a subsequent reduction.

Stamp Duty on Knebworth properties

Stamp duty works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value house. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

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

See SDLT examples for properties in Knebworth:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £476,152 £13,807.60
Average price (detached) £865,004 £33,250.20
Average new build £645,000 £22,250.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Knebworth

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k. If you already own another residence you will be subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Knebworth for the average price of £476,152 the SDLT would be £38,092.16.

Knebworth conveyancing solicitors will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Knebworth

New build site

Buying a leasehold property can be complex, compared to purchasing a freehold property. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
  • exponential ground rents
  • costly and undisclosed major works
Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by a lawyer lacking in specialist knowledge, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Knebworth will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. unexpired lease terms, service charges and whether they have been collected and reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old).

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Knebworth?

New build building site

Based on HM Land Registry data, the average price for Knebworth new build homes is £645,000. 2 brand new homes were purchased in Knebworth last year.

Acquiring a new build requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Knebworth must be mindful of local factors and should consider a range of factors, like helping with mortgage offer extension terms and verifying rights of easements.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an independent view of the legal status of the property, whilst being mindful of factors like the home's subsequent resaleability and potential freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you are going to buy a thatched cottage or a Tudor home, if the house is in a protected conservation area, any planned alterations to the house might not be permitted by North Hertfordshire District Council.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions could include restrictions on the addition of boundary walls, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or restrictions on joinery colour choices.

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Knebworth

The conveyancing process on a house sale is less demanding than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will carry out detailed due diligence into the property, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Knebworth acting for the seller essentially just collects any required paperwork and answers the buyer's questions .

What could jeopardise the sale process?

Homes can face numerous possible difficulties (such as excessive ground rent or not being insurable) which may protract the sale process.

It is better not to hide from the issue in the hope that any issues won't be spotted. Get advice, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is significantly more time-consuming in comparison with a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Knebworth must undertake additional tasks, which could include collating all relevant freeholder information, through to a common parts fire risk assessment.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

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

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Knebworth

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people usually remortgage their home to secure a better rate of interest.

Homeowners would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Knebworth, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing the rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer handling your remortgage is also able to act for your chosen mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are moving to a cashback mortgage with Barclays Bank or to a long-term fixed mortgage with Virgin Money, 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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