Updated: October 12, 2018

Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Letchworth Garden City

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid your Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Letchworth Garden City who work on an hourly rate. Your quote explains what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

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

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Letchworth Garden City solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing fees in Letchworth Garden City will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a flood plain search, may be needed.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. 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 Letchworth Garden City

Purchase conveyancing requires the Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from a defective title (e.g. missing rights) to factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. solar panel leases).

The buyer's lawyer will report their findings back to the purchaser and their lender, solve outstanding issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The content below examines those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Letchworth Garden City needing specialist legal knowledge.

Your Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before instructing a Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they are approved by your chosen lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the HSBC, Scottish Widows or any other lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

Under these circumstances, the lender will probably need a second firm to act in their interests, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Setbacks can be caused by failing to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor mortgage lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (North Hertfordshire District Council)

Property searches are submitted by Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitors to identify issues that might possibly reduce the value of your home.

Searches are primarily carried out to meet lender requirements. These will include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

You will be informed if your lender needs any further searches, such as a tin mining search or a more detailed plan search.

The estimated delivery time for Residential property searches ordered from North Hertfordshire District Council is 6 weeks. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will request office copies from HM Land Registry. This will help to highlight any potential issues, such as limits on the development of the property or errors on the title plan.

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. E.g. a home in the North Hertfordshire District Council area in Band C would pay £1,538 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Letchworth Garden City will inform the purchaser of the home's council tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,153.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or for spouses of students who are not British.

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?

In the financial year 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made. 10 resulted in 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

Stamp Duty on Letchworth Garden City properties

The current Stamp Duty Land Tax threshold is £125,000. Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical property buyer. Usually, however, the form is completed by the conveyancing solicitor to avoid penalties or delays.

With Quittance Conveyancing 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 examples for typical properties in Letchworth Garden City:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £386,892 £9,344.60
Average price (detached) £660,981 £23,049.05
Average new build £373,596 £8,679.80
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second home in the form of a higher rate of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £386,892 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £30,951.36. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Letchworth Garden City

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Letchworth Garden City will confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Letchworth Garden City

New build site

It can be risky to purchase a leasehold property without knowing what you are getting into. The numerous common problems awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser could include:

  • restrictions on the use of the property
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
  • increasing ground rents
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with little specialist experience, could have serious financial implications.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Letchworth Garden City will consider possible leasehold issues, such as annual statements of account and budgets for service charges, unexpired lease terms and dealing with freeholders.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Letchworth Garden City?

House under construction

The average cost of a new build in Letchworth Garden City is £373,596, based on statistics published by the Land Registry. 32 new build properties were purchased in Letchworth Garden City last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Letchworth Garden City needs to be conscious of both local factors and the added complexities associated with new build, like verifying rights of easements and helping with mortgage offer extension terms.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an accurate and truly independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, with a close eye on concerns like the home's subsequent mortgageability and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, buying in 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.

Called Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • Restrictions on the use of cladding
  • Restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Letchworth Garden City

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is more straightforward than for a property purchase. When buying, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to make sure that the house or flat does not have any legal issues.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Letchworth Garden City acting for the person selling for the most part just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What could put a property sale at risk?

Properties will frequently have a series of possible complications (for example having right or way issues (such as being landlocked)) that have the capacity to draw out the conveyancing process for weeks or even months.

Property experts generally advise that sellers handle these issues without delay.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

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

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Letchworth Garden City. This can involve collating an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any unresolved disputes.

It is recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold expert as soon as is practicable to help contain and resolve any delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller of the same property?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

You could contact a local Letchworth Garden City conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Letchworth Garden City

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people will usually remortgage a home to secure a preferential rate.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Letchworth Garden City, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work must also be able to act on behalf of your chosen bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major UK lenders. So whether you are moving to a cashback mortgage with Lloyds Bank or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Coventry Building Society, 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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