Updated: October 12, 2018

Lewes conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Lewes

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid conveyancing solicitors in Lewes for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Lewes conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Lewes carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote sets out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like telegraphic transfer fees or Land Registry fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Lewes cost?

Conveyancing fees in Lewes will be the same as anywhere else in the country. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Lewes

The conveyancing for a home purchase needs the conveyancing solicitor in Lewes to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from a defective title (e.g. missing rights) to issues impacting on the future saleability of the home.

The property lawyer will report their findings back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, help with resolving any problems and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This part of the article examines those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Lewes where a deeper understanding of the legal technicalities is critical.

Your Lewes conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Paratus AMC, the Co-operative Bank or any other lender, before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Lewes it is paramount that you confirm that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender.

A lot of banks and building societies only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of legal firms. If your solicitor cannot act for your chosen lender, the lender will need a different law firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternative solicitor's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Major delays can occur if you fail to check your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Property Searches (Lewes District Council)

Residential property searches are submitted by Lewes conveyancing solicitors to identify any wider issues that could impact the value of the property you are buying. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Purchasers will be told if your chosen lender wants any further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a contaminated land report.

Lewes District Council has an estimated delivery time of 20 weeks for Residential property searches. A local search provider will be able to provide this information faster.

Planning permissions

Official Entries will also be obtained from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any potential issues. These issues could include that a restrictive covenant has been breached or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Lewes District Council Council Tax

Lewes District Council calculate your council tax based on a number of factors e.g. the square footage of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991 (or 2003 in Wales). E.g. the occupier of a Valuation Band C residential property in the Lewes District Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,728.

Lewes conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's tax band as soon as they are notified.

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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,296.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where the property is occupied solely by students.

Band Lewes District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,296
B £1,512
C £1,728
D £1,944
E £2,376
F £2,808
G £3,240
H £3,889

Are you paying too much?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Annes House
2 St. Annes Rd
Eastbourne
BN21 3LG
East Sussex

From April 2016 to March 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Lewes properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

Stamp duty will almost always need to be paid if the residential property being purchased is valued at over £125,000.

Quittance Conveyancing use smart case management systems to ensure that mistakes are not made on the Stamp Duty Land Tax process.

See SDLT examples for homes in Lewes:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £387,614 £9,380.70
Average price (detached) £518,971 £15,948.55
Average new build £498,741 £14,937.05
Following a change in April 2016, a 3% stamp duty surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. For example, if a property owner bought a second home in Lewes for the average price of £387,614 the stamp duty would be £31,009.12.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Lewes

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

Lewes conveyancing solicitors will confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Lewes

New build site

Over 100,000 property owners in the UK face property leases with unreasonable terms. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser include doubling ground rents and sinking fund issues.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Lewes will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • flats with varying lease terms

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - You can call our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Lewes?

House being built

The average sale price of a new build in Lewes is £498,741. 11 new build houses and flats have been bought in Lewes in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Lewes must be well-versed in Lewes-specific issues and new build's additional complexities, e.g. dealing with incomplete service connection agreements and handling reservation fees.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team are experts in helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

East Sussex Conservation areas

Whether you are going to buy a thatched cottage or a period townhouse, if the property is in a designated conservation area, any planned alterations to the property may not be allowed by the local authority.

These restrictions can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

Barcombe, Ringmer and Wivelsfield are among the conservation areas in Lewes. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Lewes.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Lewes

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat usually requires less work than for a purchase. With a purchase, the burden lies entirely with the buyer to ensure that the title of the property can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Lewes acting for the vendor need only answer the buyer's questions.

How to help your sale go through

Common obstacles, like having previously suffered from a flood event or not being registered at the Land Registry, can actually jeopardise your move.

It is usually a good idea that vendors address these issues immediately.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more involved than it is for a freehold home.

Lewes conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, such as getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

So as to resolve any leasehold-related delays sooner, it is strongly advised that you instruct a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor in a single transaction?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Lewes to undertake your conveyancing, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Lewes conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Astburys, Lewes House, 32 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2LU
  • Chrismas Ogden Solicitors Limited, Howard Cottage, Broomans Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2LT
  • Lewes Smith Solicitors & Property Lawyers, Albion House, Albion Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NF
  • Adams & Remers LLP, Trinity House, School Hill, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NN
  • Lawson Lewis Blakers Ltd, Suite 4, Sackville House, Brooks Close, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2FZ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Lewes

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners will usually remortgage a home to secure a preferential rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Lewes 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 rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

To ensure that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent both you and the new lender.

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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