Updated: October 12, 2018

Leek conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Leek

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to your Leek conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Leek conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Leek will work on a price per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden costs. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as indemnity insurance or Land Registry fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Leek cost?

Conveyancing fees in Leek should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Leek

The conveyancing for a property buyer will need the conveyancing solicitor in Leek to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors are technical problems relating to the property title and factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. a flying freehold).

The buyer's lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, deal with any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following examines elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Leek requiring a deeper level of knowledge.

Your Leek conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a Leek conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, the Harpenden Building Society or any other lender.

A lot of mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal practices. If your solicitor is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably require a different legal firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to confirm the lender panel membership of your solicitor could mean serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all lenders.

Searches (Staffordshire Moorlands District Council)

Searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Leek conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the home you want to buy. They include:

  • Local Authority search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Leek properties for local parish repairs.

You will be notified if your lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a ground stability report.

The estimated lead time for Residential property searches from Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is 7 weeks, so quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be sourced from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This will help to expose any potential issues. These issues could include discrepancies with the filed plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Council Tax

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council calculate your council tax based on various factors including the property's whereabouts and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance the occupier of a Valuation Band E residential property in the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council area would pay annual council tax of £2,043.

A conveyancing solicitor in Leek will inform the buyer 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,532.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. New build homes are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a band.

Band Staffordshire Moorlands District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,114
B £1,300
C £1,485
D £1,671
E £2,043
F £2,414
G £2,785
H £3,342

Are you paying too much?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Blackburn House
Old Hall St

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a subsequent reduction.

Stamp Duty on Leek properties

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay SDLT. After a house sale has completed, the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

Quittance's case management system integrates with online SDLT filing systems to ensure that the SDLT is paid quickly and accurately.

See examples for average Leek properties:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £174,224 £984.48
Average price (detached) £287,510 £4,375.50
Average new build £160,755 £715.10
If you already own another property you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Leek for the average price of £174,224 the SDLT would be £8,711.20.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Leek

Since 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on properties valued over £300,000.

Leek conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Leek

New build site

It can be costly to buy a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the implications. The many potential traps awaiting the unsuspecting buyer include:

  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • spiralling ground rents
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
Misguided leasehold advice, from a property lawyer with only freehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Leek will consider potential leasehold issues, including share of freehold complexity, ground rents and service charges and reviewing the lease itself.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Leek?

Building site

The average value of Leek new build properties is £160,755. 11 new builds were purchased in Leek last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Leek needs to be conscious of local issues and the extra complexities associated with new build, such as working to tight developer deadlines, verifying rights of easements and registering ownership with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, LABC New Home Warranty and Foundation.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial appraisal of the property's legal status, paying close attention to issues ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Conservation areas in Staffordshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the residential property you are intending to buy is in a conservation area in Leek. If it is, the house will be affected by specific constraints. These building controls, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include anything from restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls, to restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes.

If a property is in breach, you could be instructed by the local council to return the home to its earlier condition, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Parts of Leek are within a conservation area governed by the Staffordshire Moorlands local planning authority (LPA). Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Leek's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Leek

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is much easier than for a purchase. For a house purchase, the responsibility lies with the purchaser to establish that the property is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in Leek acting for the person selling for the most part just answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

How to minimise the risk of your sale falling through

Frequently occurring issues, such as not having appropriate warranties, can significantly derail the sale process.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems - get advice, face the issues head on, and find a solution proactively.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is quite a lot more protracted compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Leek must usually carry out further legal work. This can involve contacting the landlord for the freeholder pack, through to reserve fund details.

In order to resolve any leasehold issues faster, it is recommended that the seller instruct a solicitor as soon as possible, and preferably before marketing the property,.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

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

Local Leek conveyancing solicitor directory

  • A H Brooks Solicitors Limited, Derby House, Derby Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6JG
  • Roger Brooks & Co, 17 Russell Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5JF
  • Tinsdills Limited, 10 Derby Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5AW
  • Bowcock & Pursaill LLP, 54 St Edward Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5DJ
  • Amy Walklate Family Law Limited, Maryville, Hartington Street, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5PD

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Leek

Benefitting from a better rate to reduce monthly expenses is the main reason that people change lenders. There are other reasons, such as funding a one-off purchase, or getting onto a longer fixed-rate term.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Leek, minimising the time taken to complete the conveyancing. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage should also be able to act for the new lender. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major UK lenders' panels. So whether you are switching to an offset mortgage with the Co-operative Bank or to a capped-rate mortgage with the Furness Building Society, we can assist.

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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