Updated: October 12, 2018

Lancaster conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Lancaster

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Lancaster conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Lancaster conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster will work on an hourly rate. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote will explain what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

In addition to the legal fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as telegraphic transfer fees or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Lancaster solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Though conveyancing fees in Lancaster will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Lancaster

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of English property law. Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, this rule no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Lancaster will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The content below discusses the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster where additional expertise is necessary.

Your Lancaster conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are a wide range of mortgage providers, from a less common lender like the Dudley Building Society, to a major lender such as the HSBC. Before instructing a Lancaster conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is critical that you make sure that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies only accept a restricted group of law firms.

Should this be the case, the lender will likely require an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this substitute lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Not checking the lender panel membership of your lawyer could result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Residential Property Searches (Lancashire County Council)

Searches are submitted by Lancaster conveyancing solicitors to expose any broader issues that could possibly compromise the value of your house or flat.

Lenders also need certain searches to be applied for. These include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchplanning and development details from Lancashire County Council records
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Environmental searchdescribes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Lancaster properties for local parish repairs.

Further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a contaminated land report, may also be referred to in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

Lancashire County Council has a usual delivery time of 6 weeks for property searches. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of any potential issues, such as the title plan showing only very general boundaries or restrictions that limit alterations.

Lancashire County Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various factors e.g. the size and layout of the property and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, for an average Valuation Band - residential property in Lancaster, the amount due would be - per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Lancaster will inform the buyer of the home's tax 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 -.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or properties awaiting grant of probate.

-

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, - council tax challenges were made. {{MIISSING-VAR}} resulted in a reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Mitre House
Church St
Lancaster
LA1 1HG
Lancashire

Stamp Duty on Lancaster properties

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

If you are buying a property in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then stamp duty is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

Quittance Conveyancing ensure that the critical SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in Lancaster:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £174,408 £988.16
Average price (detached) £282,709 £4,135.45
Average new build £229,071 £2,081.42
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second property. E.g. if a second property was bought for £174,408 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £8,720.40. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Lancaster

Since the budget announcement in Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Lancaster conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Lancaster

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property can be complex, compared to buying a freehold property. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, such as exponential ground rents and marriage value issues.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancer who has only ever dealt with freehold purchases, could have serious financial consequences.

If you intend to buy a property with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Lancaster will consider potential leasehold issues, for example reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old), reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder and ground rents and service charges.

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Lancaster?

New build building site

The average cost of new builds in Lancaster is £294,965. 3 new build houses and flats have been bought in Lancaster in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in Lancaster needs to be conscious of local Lancaster factors and must look into numerous things, such as dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an impartial view of the legal title of the house or flat, whilst being mindful of considerations like the home's future mortgageability and excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Lancashire Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the house you are going to buy is in a conservation area in Lancaster. If it is, the house will be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the addition of boundary walls, to general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

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

Parts of Lancaster lie within a Lancaster LPA-governed conservation area. Conservation areas in Lancaster include Borwick, Over Kellet and Halton. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Lancaster's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Lancaster

The legal side of a house sale is much simpler than for a purchase. When a house or flat changes hands, the onus lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the legal title of the property is legally sound.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster acting for the seller need only answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What could put a property sale at risk?

Issues, such as restrictive covenants or a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme, might derail a sale.

Don't bury your head and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice, instead talk to a professional, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution proactively.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat is much more complex than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional legal work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster, such as obtaining all relevant freeholder information or details of any deed of variation.

You should plan to instruct a solicitor as soon as an estate agent is chosen to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. Sourcing managing agent information can take weeks or even months.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, SRA rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Lancaster to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Lancaster conveyancing solicitor directory

  • BBP Legal Limited, 22 Sun Street, Lancaster, LA1 1ER
  • Clarkson Hirst Solicitors Limited, 73 Church Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1ET
  • Holdens Solicitors, 2 Castle Hill, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YR
  • Harrison Drury & Co Ltd, 21 Castle Hill, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YN
  • Oglethorpe Sturton & Gillibrand LLP, 16 Castle Park, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YG

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Lancaster

The main reason people remortgage a home is to lower their monthly repayments. There are a number of other reasons to consider remortgaging, including the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Lancaster can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer will represent both you and your new lender to confirm the parties' interests are protected and the HM Land Registry is notified of the lender's charge over the property.

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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