Updated: October 12, 2018

Lewisham conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Lewisham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Lewisham for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Lewisham conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Lewisham who will work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out all fees and disbursements 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. These include costs like local authority searches or ID checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Lewisham solicitor conveyancing fees be?

While conveyancing fees in Lewisham will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. 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 substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Lewisham

The London Borough of Lewisham is in south London, forms part of Inner London. The borough is divided into 18 wards, including Lewisham, Catford, Blackheath, Brockley New Cross and Perry Green. Lewisham is an important transport hub for South London and has one of the largest commercial areas in south east London.

Ongoing and future planned regeneration of the area includes new residential developments and this, coupled with transport links through the Docklands Light Railway, should create a buoyant property market.

Conveyancing for purchasers

The legal work for a home purchase will need a Lewisham conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from problems with the property's title (e.g. adverse possession) to factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. proximity to mining works).

The buyer's lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), iron out any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This section considers the aspects of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Lewisham that warrant specialist knowledge.

Your Lewisham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers have many lenders available, from a large lender such as the Co-operative Bank, to a less common lender like Capital Home Loans. Before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Lewisham, you must confirm that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

Some mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a selected list (their 'panel') of legal practices that meet stringent standards. If a solicitor can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably need an alternative firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Setbacks can arise if you do not confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Lewisham Borough Council)

Searches are applied for by Lewisham conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any broader issues that might possibly compromise how much your property will be worth.

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

You will be informed if your mortgage lender needs any more searches, e.g. a radon gas search or a more detailed plan search.

Homebuyers should expect to wait around 5 weeks for conveyancing searches supplied by The London Borough of Lewisham, so personal (as opposed to official) searches will be faster.

Planning searches

Office copies will also be applied for from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of any issues, such as a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

London Borough of Lewisham Council Tax

London Borough of Lewisham calculate your council tax based on a number of factors that include the location of the property and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. E.g. for an average Tax Band C property in Lewisham, the council tax would be £1,332.

Lewisham conveyancing solicitors 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 £999.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or properties awaiting grant of probate. A property constructed after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band London Borough of Lewisham Tax (2018)
A £999
B £1,165
C £1,332
D £1,498
E £1,831
F £2,164
G £2,497
H £2,996

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

From April 2016 to March 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, and 20 saw a reduction. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

Stamp Duty on Lewisham properties

Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

If the purchase price of your new home is over the £125k threshold (excluding 'chattels' or 'fixtures and fittings'), the Stamp Duty Land Tax becomes chargeable.

Quittance Conveyancing use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for average property in Lewisham:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £481,772 £14,088.60
Average price (detached) £1,181,880 £61,938.00
Average new build £480,509 £14,025.45

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Lewisham

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers must pay a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £481,772 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £38,541.76. .

Lewisham conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Lewisham

New build site

It is not recommended to purchase a leasehold home if you don't know what you are getting into. There are many legal issues that may be lying in wait for an uninformed buyer, such as leases with fewer than 80 years to run, unreasonable ground rents and absent freeholders.

Misguided leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to buy a house or flat with a lease, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Lewisham will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. leases approaching 80 years remaining, current-year service charge estimates and reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old).

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Call Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Lewisham?

Building site

Based on local data compiled by the Land Registry, the average price for Lewisham new build properties is £480,509. 5 new build houses and flats have been bought in Lewisham in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Lewisham conveyancing solicitor needs to be aware of local Lewisham issues and must look into numerous things, including working to tight developer deadlines and verifying rights of access.

Our conveyancing team are experts in working to developer exchange timeframes and new build purchases.

Conservation areas in Leicestershire

When carrying out the legal work for a home in Lewisham, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the property is in one of Lewisham's conservation areas. If it is, the home will be affected by specific restrictions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include a range of factors from restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property, to restrictions on the style and height of boundary walls.

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

Conservation areas in Lewisham include Jews Walk, Deptford Creekside and Ladywell. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Lewisham's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Lewisham

Conveyancing for a property sale is less complicated than for a property purchase. For a house purchase, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to confirm that the property they are purchasing is not legally defective.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Lewisham acting for the person selling just answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What proactive steps can you take to minimise the risk of your sale falling through?

Common hurdles, such as having right or way issues (such as being landlocked), might slow or frustrate a sale if left unresolved.

It is best not to procrastinate as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems - a better course of action will be to get professional advice and tackle it proactively.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more difficult compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Lewisham will also perform extra work, which could include sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a common parts fire risk assessment.

It is highly recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to help contain and resolve any delays.

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

SRA regulations ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a home in Lewisham, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could contact a local Lewisham conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

Local Lewisham conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Graceland Solicitors Limited, 315 Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 6NL
  • Francis Solicitors Limited, 171 Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 6AA
  • Beverley Morris & Co., 62 Lewisham High Street, London, London, SE13 5JH
  • Jein Solicitors, Jein Buildings, 3 - 5 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London, SE13 5LD
  • Simon Bethel Solicitors Limited, 58-60 Lewisham High Street, London, SE13 5JH

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Lewisham

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, including releasing equity, or fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate. The main reason, however, is to secure a better rate of interest.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Lewisham can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancing team are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are moving to an interest-only mortgage with Britannia or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Manchester Building Society, we 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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