Conveyancing in London
Conveyancing is the legal process a solicitor follows to ensures the proper transfer of property from one owner to another. If you need a solicitor for conveyancing in London, we can help you with fast & proactive conveyancing from a national panel of conveyancing specialists.
We have years of experience helping homemovers in London and throughout across the UK handle their sale, purchase, buy-to-let, Help to Buy, Right to Buy, shared ownership, new build, leasehold, lease extensions, remortgage and transfer of equity.
How much does London conveyancing cost?
Conveyancing costs are separated into solicitors fees, and disbursements which are costs incurred on your behalf - such as Stamp Duty and HMLR registration fees.
Your conveyancing solicitor will work on a fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden fees. If, for whatever reason, your house sale or purchase does not go ahead, you are covered by a No Sale, No Fee guarantee.
In this article:
Buying a property in London
The capital of England, London is a vibrant, multicultural metropolis known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and a thriving arts scene. It's home to countless attractions like the British Museum, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace. With a myriad of shopping destinations from Oxford Street to boutique-lined King’s Road, London offers a unique shopping experience.
The city is well-connected both nationally and internationally, with an extensive public transportation system, including the London Underground, buses, and trams, and five major airports.
London is an employment mecca, with world class finance, creative industry, and tech sectors. It is also known for its excellent educational facilities, including globally renowned universities such as University College London (UCL) and Imperial College.
With its multicultural lifestyle and countless opportunities, London boasts a population of approximately 9 million.
London house prices
Updated December 2023See all properties sold in London
What do London conveyancing solicitors do?
During a property purchase, your conveyancer will handle all the legal elements of the transaction. They will order property searches, raise questions for the seller's solicitor, review the lease (if applicable) and handle post-completion tasks, including HMLR registration.
London conveyancing solicitors would also undertake local searches and checks including for mining hazards, flood risk, and contaminated land.
Are you buying a home with a mortgage?
If you are getting a mortgage, your solicitor will also need to act for your bank or building society.
If your solicitor isn't accepted on your mortgage provider's panel, it may take many weeks longer to complete the purchase.
More than 100 building societies, banks and lenders have approved our chosen partner solicitors. We can help you complete your London transaction without delay.
Our panel solicitors can act for over 100 mortgage lenders
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Council Tax in London (2023/24)
London is in City of Westminster Council.
What will my solicitor do?
Your conveyancing solicitor will handle the legal aspects of your home purchase. This means carrying out comprehensive due diligence on the property, including property searches, raising enquiries of the seller, reviewing contracts and registering your property at HMLR.
London conveyancing solicitors often encounter unique challenges, including legally defective flat conversions, Japanese Knotweed, North London subsidence, short leases, very high value property and unofficial roof terraces - to name but a few.
A specialist London conveyancer will be familiar with London's many idiosyncrasies, helping to speed up your home purchase.
We can also help London buyers with the conveyancing for:
Buy to let investments
If you are buying buy to let property in London, your solicitor will need to carry out additional legal checks and be familiar with speciality buy to let mortgages.
Whether you are planning to be a first-time landlord, or you're looking to broaden and diversify your property portfolio, our panel of experienced buy-to-let conveyancing solicitors will make the process as effortless and straightforward as possible.
The diversity of buyers and seller profiles in London is greater than anywhere else in the UK.
Every month we deal with overseas buyers from the EU, Asia, America and the Middle East. Many are investment buyers or sellers, often transacting with people who are not investors. A good London solicitor will be able to translate and coordinate the varying needs and expectations of London buyers and sellers.
Buying at auction
Auction conveyancing must be completed in a much shorter timeframe than a conventional property purchase. Exchange of contracts must occur as soon as your bid has been accepted. The legal process leading to completion must then be finished within 28 days.
Our panel solicitors are experienced in London auction purchases and can complete all aspects of the conveyancing process. We can also arrange a pre-auction legal check for that added peace of mind before you bid.
Commercial property conveyancing is typically more involved than residential conveyancing, not ;least because commercial units are often sold with sitting tenants (tenants in situ).
We can help buyers and sellers of commercial property in London, including:
- retail or industrial units
- dental practices
- offices and warehouses
- development land
First Time buyers
If you are buying your first home, you will need a solicitor who not only handles the legal aspects of the transaction, but also provides extra support and guidance.
This guidance may involve explaining the home buying process in layman's terms, clearly defining legal jargon, and offering advice on critical decisions. Your solicitor should expect to spend additional time answering questions and alleviating any anxieties you may have.
Your solicitor will play a dual role as both a legal adviser and a guiding hand through the complex process of purchasing a home.
34% of homes in London are leasehold.
Leasehold is more complicated than freehold. There are many more factors that can jeopardise a property sale or purchase, such as:
Many law firms outside London aren't familiar with leasehold. Choosing a London firm for your move will ensure that your solicitor has the requisite leasehold experience.
However desirable, owning a listed building can be an expensive and bureaucratic nightmare - especially if you inherit legal obligations for the property that you were not made aware of during the conveyancing process.
Our panel of solicitors is highly experienced in listed property purchase. They will advise you on your legal obligations, repairs, planning, building consents, mortgages, and they will help you decide whether your chosen listed property is right for you.
New build conveyancing is usually more complicated than conveyancing for properties that have already been built and occupied.
In addition to the standard conveyancing process, if you are buying a new build property 'off-plan', your solicitor will also need to:
- Work within tight deadlines
- Review planning permissions, restrictions, covenants etc.
- be familiar with complex contractual structures
- Advise on ground rents and service charges
- Work within new build mortgage limitations
- Review warranties and guarantees
The conveyancing process for shared ownership involves buying a share in a property from a housing association. While it is a great way to get on the property ladder, shared ownership is subject to strict rules.
Our panel of London solicitors are highly experienced in the shared ownership conveyancing process (including staircasing) and they can complete your purchase for you.
Selling a property in London
When selling a home in London, your conveyancing solicitor will prepare the necessary documentation, including the contract of sale and the various property information forms. They will respond to inquiries from the buyer's solicitor, resolve any potential issues, and handle the mortgage redemption.
Your solicitor will coordinate with all parties including agents, lenders and landlords, ensuring that the transfer of ownership completes without a hitch.
...inspired confidence from the outset... our move went ahead without a hitch!The Good Solicitor Guide
Selling a property in London
When you begin the process to sell a house or flat in London, the solicitor will first compile key documents, including the sale contract and the TA6 and TA10 property information forms, and will help you answer these forms.The lawyer's role involves answering enquiries from the buyer's solicitor, dealing with complications like restrictive covenants and taking charge of the mortgage redemption. Your lawyer will communicate effectively with the other parties, including estate agents and banks or building societies, ensuring that the sale of your home completes without a hitch.
Does conveyancing take longer when selling a leasehold flat?
It can take considerably longer to carry out the conveyancing on leasehold properties.
The buyer's conveyancer will need to review several additional documents as well as the managing agent information. Sellers must request this information from the landlord or managing agent. To avoid delays, you or your solicitor should apply for this information as early as possible - ideally before you have find a buyer.
Latest Bank of England base rate now at 5.00% (5 December, 2023)
Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal title of a property from one person to another. Although the title (ownership) of the property does not change hands when remortgaging, the lender or the lender's interest in the property does.
It is, therefore, still necessary for a solicitor to check the title and legal standing of the property. This is to ensure that the property offers sufficient security for the lender and to formally register the new interest.
To avoid delays, it's critical that your solicitor can act for your chosen lender. You will need to check your chosen solicitor is an approved member of your lender's legal panel before you instruct your solicitor.
Transferring of equity
Whether you are gifting a property, buying out another part owner, or Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning, transferring equity in a residential property can be complicated.
A conveyancing solicitor specialising in equity transfers can advise you on the right approach, handle the legal work for the transfer, register the new owners and handle Stamp Duty formalities.
How much does conveyancing cost in London?
When comparing solicitors' fees, conveyancing quotes may include several unfamiliar terms and concepts:
These legal fees are paid to your solicitor for the tasks they complete for you. The conveyancing quote will set out the legal fees (inc. VAT) to be paid when the conveyancing transaction completes.
Disbursements are third-party expenses incurred during the purchase, sale or other conveyancing transaction. Third-party disbursements include Local authority searches, Stamp Duty or a British waterways search.
Check the quote for hidden costs
Some solicitors' quotes include extra costs in their terms and conditions, leading to a total cost that's much higher than the initial quote. If you are comparing quotes, double-check for additional fees or charges.
Why choose Quittance?
If you are buying, selling, remortgaging or transferring equity in a property in London, our solicitor panel can help make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.
- No Move, No Fee Guarantee
- Fixed fee conveyancing service
- London experts
- CQS-accredited panel solicitors
Fixed fees from £415 inc VATGet a Conveyancing Quote
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.