Updated: October 12, 2018

Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Leighton Buzzard

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Leighton Buzzard conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

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

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like bankruptcy checks or office copies and title plans.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Leighton Buzzard cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Leighton Buzzard should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. 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 average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Leighton Buzzard

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this principle no longer applies. However, it is still the duty of a buyer's solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

A Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitor will give advice after making their enquiries, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below provides useful advice for people who want conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard for a purchase.

Your Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are around 100 UK lenders, from a niche mortgage lender like the Harpenden Building Society, to a large lender such as Bradford & Bingley. Before you choose a Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is essential that you check that they are on the approved panel of your lender.

Many banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of firms. If your solicitor cannot act for your lender, the lender will require a second law firm to act in their interests.

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

Your property purchase could be jeopardised by failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Central Bedfordshire Council searches and other searches

Property searches are enquiries made of government bodies by Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitors to give details about the property being purchased.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Buyers will be informed if your mortgage lender insists on any more searches, for example a more detailed flood report or a ground stability report.

The estimated processing time for property searches obtained from Central Bedfordshire Council is 10 weeks, so quicker regulated searches will be advisable.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will also order office copies from HMLR, assisting with the identification of planning issues, for example that a restrictive covenant has been breached or errors on the title plan.

Central Bedfordshire Council Council Tax

Central Bedfordshire Council calculate your council tax based on a variety of factors that include the size of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For instance a home in the Central Bedfordshire Council area in Valuation Band B would pay £1,459 per annum.

Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are notified.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,094.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or where the property is uninhabitable. Homes constructed after 1991 are assigned a band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Central Bedfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,251
B £1,459
C £1,668
D £1,876
E £2,293
F £2,710
G £3,127
H £3,752

Could you be overpaying?

In 2016/17, 60 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 saw a reduction. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

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

Stamp Duty on Leighton Buzzard properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) fines those who delay in completing and returning it. If you are buying a property that costs over £125,000, then you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use legal case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) as quickly as possible.

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Leighton Buzzard:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £324,636 £6,231.80
Average price (detached) £482,886 £14,144.30
Average new build £348,380 £7,419.00
Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers must pay a 3% surcharge. So if a second home was bought for £324,636 then the SDLT total will be £25,970.88.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Leighton Buzzard

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard should confirm the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Leighton Buzzard

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat can be challenging when compared to purchasing a freehold home. Doubling ground rents, absent freeholders and marriage value issues are among the many common complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced solicitor, could have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a property with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Leighton Buzzard will consider potential leasehold issues, such as understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases, absent freeholders and current-year service charge estimates.

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Leighton Buzzard?

New build building site

According to data sourced by HM Land Registry, 8 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Leighton Buzzard in 2018 so far. The average cost of new builds in Leighton Buzzard is £371,244.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Leighton Buzzard needs to be conscious of Leighton Buzzard-specific factors and new build-specific issues, like dealing with fast exchange timeframes, administering Help to Buy purchases and registering ownership with warranty providers, including NHBC, Advantage and Checkmate.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver a specialist assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, looking out for factors ranging from unfair leasehold conditions to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Conservation areas in Bedfordshire

Whether you are looking for a rural setting or Georgian architecture, buying in a conservation area can ensure that the street's unique character is protected. However, conservation area conditions will affect your residential property.

These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include anything from restrictions on joinery colour choices, to restrictions on the use of PVC windows.

If a property is in breach, the local authority could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Leighton Buzzard.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Leighton Buzzard

Conveyancing for a property sale is less complicated than when buying. When buying, the responsibility is solely on the buyer to make sure that the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard acting for the seller need only answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

How to help your sale go through

Obstacles, such as a boundary dispute or having a defective lease, can prolong a sale if not dealt with promptly.

It is best not to procrastinate as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues - a better course of action will be to talk to a professional, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution proactively.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is much more complicated in comparison with a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Leighton Buzzard must carry out extra work, such as requesting all relevant freeholder information or any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

A seller should plan to instruct a lawyer as soon as possible to reduce leasehold-related delays.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a Leighton Buzzard property, and a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side, you may wish to contact a law firm in Leighton Buzzard to carry out your legal work.

Local Leighton Buzzard conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Austin & Carnley, Albion Chambers, High Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1DP
  • Reeds Solicitors Ltd, 12 High Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1EA
  • Sequence (UK) Ltd, Cumbria House, 16-20 Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1GN
  • Franklins Law, Church House, 11 Church Square, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1AE
  • GC&A Limited, Bridge House, Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1EB

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Leighton Buzzard

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners usually remortgage a home to secure a better rate of interest.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Leighton Buzzard can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can also act for the new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are switching to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Bank of Scotland or to a two-year discount with the Barnsley 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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