Updated: October 12, 2018

Lancashire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Lancashire

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Lancashire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Our solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

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

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Lancashire cost in total?

While conveyancing fees in Lancashire 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 additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Lancashire

Lancashire's fortunes were built on cotton when its cities and mill towns were booming in the Industrial Revolution, and dominating global trade. Outside the urban areas the landscape is diverse, stretching from coastal areas around Blackpool and Morecambe in the west, to extensive moorland and upland landscape in the Pennines to the east. A quarter of the county's land area is designated green belt.

As well as the major conurbations of Greater Manchester, popular towns include Preston, Accrington and Lancaster. Villages on the Fylde coast and in the Ribble Valley offer rural living with accessibility to motorway and other transport links.

Conveyancing for buyers

The conveyancing for a property buyer will need a conveyancing solicitor in Lancashire to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from lost title deeds to factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. subsidence).

The buyer's lawyer will report their findings back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), offer pragmatic solutions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below examines the kinds of property that may be of concern to people who need conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire for a purchase.

Your Lancashire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Barclays Bank or a financial institution such as the Earl Shilton Building Society, before selecting a Lancashire conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

Most banks and building societies will only work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of legal practices. If your conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require a second legal firm to act in their interests.

The buyer will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Failing to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status can mean significant delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all banks and other lenders.

Preston City Council searches and other searches

Property searches are carried out by Lancashire conveyancing solicitors to identify problems that might potentially undermine how much the property you are purchasing will be worth. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
Environmental searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be told if your mortgage lender needs any further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a more detailed plan search.

The approximate turnaround time for Local Authority searches delivered by Preston City Council is 3 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer also retrieves the Title Register from HM Land Registry, helping to evidence any planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Preston City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Lancashire will pay to Preston City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance the occupier of a Band E residential property in the Preston City Council area would pay annual council tax of £2,264.

Lancashire conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,698.

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 an occupier is a student nurse. More recently-constructed homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax banding.

Band Preston City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,235
B £1,441
C £1,647
D £1,852
E £2,264
F £2,676
G £3,087
H £3,705
Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
104 Lancaster Rd

Owners can ask for their property to be reassessed. The band could be revised up as well as down.

Stamp Duty on Lancashire properties

It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

If the purchase price of the home you intend to buy is over the £125,000 threshold, you must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

With Quittance you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Lancashire:

  Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £167,869 £857.38
Average price (detached) £293,407 £4,670.35
Average new build £108,013 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Lancashire

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% SDLT surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second home was bought for £167,869 then the stamp duty total will be £8,393.45.

Conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Lancashire

New build site

It is estimated that over 100,000 homeowners in the UK have leases with unreasonable conditions. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • reversionary interests
  • onerous clauses in the lease
  • exponential ground rents
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a lawyer with limited leasehold experience, could have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Lancashire will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • dealing with freeholders
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • landlord/tenant disputes

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease with Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Lancashire?

Building site

Based on HM Land Registry information, 83 brand new homes have been bought in Lancashire in 2018 so far. The average cost of a new build property in Lancashire is £216,029.

The legal work for buying a new build is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Lancashire must be conscious of local Lancashire factors and will need to investigate several key factors, e.g. dealing with fast exchange timeframes and checking that any contracts allow for future 'common parts' maintenance.

Quittance Conveyancing deliver an expert appraisal of the property's legal status, with a close eye on concerns like the home's subsequent resaleability and excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Lancashire

Whether you are a fan of Edwardian, Victorian or Tudor-style architecture, moving to a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your house.

These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include restrictions on the use of PVC windows, restrictions on joinery colour choices or restrictions on the erection of outbuildings.

If a property is in breach, the local council can instruct the owner to 'undo' the recent changes, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Lancashire

The legal work involved in a house sale usually requires less work than when purchasing. For a house purchase, the burden lies entirely with the buyer to verify that the title of the property is not legally defective.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire acting for the person selling need only answer the buyer's questions.

Why do sales fall through?

A home will often come with a series of challenges (such as not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area or not having appropriate warranties) that might draw out a purchase for several weeks.

It is better not to hide from the issue and hope any such problems will go away - get legal advice instead and deal with it as quickly as possible.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is a great deal more protracted than for a freehold property.

Leasehold complexity involves additional legal work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Lancashire. This can involve sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement or any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

It is highly recommended that the vendor contact a conveyancer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused problems.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a Lancashire property, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Lancashire to carry out your legal work.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Lancashire

Benefitting from a lower interest rate to reduce monthly expenses is the main reason that homeowners decide to switch lenders. There are other reasons, for example switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Lancashire will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is critical that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so no matter whether you are switching to a variable-rate with the Halifax or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Bank of Ireland, we 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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