Updated: October 12, 2018

Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Lowestoft

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Lowestoft conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Lowestoft work on an hourly rate, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or landlord's notice fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Lowestoft cost in total?

Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance. 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 Lowestoft

The conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat will require the Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues are problems with the property's title (e.g. adverse possession) and commonhold issues affecting the mortgageability of the property.

The purchaser's solicitor will feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer and their lender, make practical suggestions and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The content below examines the kinds of property that may be of concern to buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Lowestoft.

Your Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are taking out a mortgage from GE Money Home Lending, the Co-operative Bank or any other lender, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Lowestoft it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms that pass strict standards.

If this is the case, the lender will probably require a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's fees. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Your home move could be put at risk by failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all mortgage providers.

Searches (Waveney District Council)

Searches will be applied for by Lowestoft conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any wider issues that might reduce how much the property you are buying will be worth.

Lenders also need residential property searches to be carried out. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any grants available
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

More specific searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a more detailed plan search, may also be advised in the standard search results.

Homebuyers could experience a delay of up to 5 weeks for LA searches delivered by Waveney District Council, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Planning documents

Office copies will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any potential issues. Examples of these include errors on the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

Waveney District Council Council Tax

Waveney District Council calculate your council tax based on a number of factors such as the location of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. E.g. for an average Band D house in Lowestoft, the council tax would be £1,664.

Conveyancing solicitors in Lowestoft will inform the purchaser of the property's tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,248.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if the resident is living in long term residential care. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Waveney District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,110
B £1,295
C £1,479
D £1,664
E £2,034
F £2,404
G £2,774
H £3,329

Can I challenge my council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Rosebery Court
Central Avenue
St. Andrews Business Park
Norwich
NR7 0HS
Norfolk

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request.

Stamp Duty on Lowestoft properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HM Revenue & Customs fines those who delay in completing and returning it. SDLT is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to HM Revenue & Customs. It is due on properties bought for over £125,000.

HM Revenue & Customs complications and objections are avoided using the latest integrated case management system.

See examples for typical Lowestoft properties:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £187,414 £1,248.28
Average price (detached) £254,512 £2,725.60
Average new build £207,988 £1,659.76
Following the autumn budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay a higher rate of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £187,414 then the SDLT total will be £9,370.70.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Lowestoft

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Lowestoft should confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Lowestoft

New build site

It can be risky to purchase a leasehold house or flat without knowing what you are getting into. The many potential problems awaiting the unsuspecting buyer include onerous clauses in the lease, increasing ground rents and reversionary interests.

Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Lowestoft will address aspects of leasehold, for example :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • external decorations

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Call Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Lowestoft?

House under construction

The average sale price of a new build home in Lowestoft is £207,988. 5 new builds have been bought in Lowestoft in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build property requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of local factors and needs to check a range of issues, such as investigating developer incentives and verifying rights of access.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an expert assessment of the property's legal status, whilst being mindful of considerations ranging from the home's subsequent resaleability to an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

Suffolk Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Lowestoft, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the house is in one of Lowestoft's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by specific conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these conditions could include:

  • Restrictions on replacing roof tiles
  • General restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials
  • Limits on side or two-storey extensions

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Lowestoft's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Lowestoft

The legal side of a property sale is much simpler than for a property purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, the responsibility lies with the purchaser to discover whether the property they are purchasing is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in Lowestoft acting for the seller need only answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

How to help your sale go through

A property will frequently have any number of challenges (such as having previously suffered from a flood event) which may frustrate the sale process.

Don't ignore the issue in the hope that any issues won't be spotted - get professional advice and attempt to resolve it ASAP.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more specialised in comparison with a freehold house.

Lowestoft conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, and this could include getting all relevant freeholder information, through to any details of rules covering common parts that are not contained in the lease.

Experienced sellers will appoint a conveyancer as soon as an estate agent is chosen to mitigate (often inevitable) leasehold delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Lowestoft to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Lowestoft conveyancing solicitor directory

  • England & Co, 11 Surrey Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1LJ
  • Fosters Solicitors LLP, 17 Clapham Road South, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1RQ
  • Goodwin Cowley Limited, 3 Regent Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1PA
  • HKB Wiltshires, 13 Surrey Street, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1LJ
  • Lucas & Wyllys, 40 Alexandra Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1PJ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Lowestoft

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, such as wanting a more flexible mortgage, or extending the mortgage term. By far the most common reason, however, is to get a more affordable interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Lowestoft will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

A property lawyer will need to act for both you and the mortgage provider, in order to confirm the lender's investment is secured.

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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