Updated: October 12, 2018

Luton conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Luton

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid conveyancing solicitors in Luton for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Luton conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Luton who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like office copies or bankruptcy checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Luton cost?

While conveyancing fees in Luton will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as transport searches, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Luton

Luton's trade developed around the hat-making industry in the 18th century and by the 1930s, manufacturers were producing up to 70 million hats a year. Car manufacturing has also had an important role in the town's prosperity, and IBC vehicles employs around 1,000 people at its head office and commercial vehicle manufacturing plant in the town.

Situated in Bedfordshire and only 35 miles from London, and with comparatively low property prices, Luton has been hailed as key commuter town.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must reveal any issues concerning their property to the buyer and the estate agent.

It remains, however, the duty of a Luton conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, so that they can report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable), offer pragmatic solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section discusses those residential property types which may involve additional risk for homebuyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Luton.

Your Luton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a Luton conveyancing solicitor, you need to check that they can act on behalf of your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Earl Shilton Building Society, Britannia or any other lender.

Most mortgage lenders only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal practices. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require a second solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The borrower will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

The conveyancing process can be seriously delayed if you fail to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Luton Borough Council)

Property searches will be applied for by Luton conveyancing solicitors to help spot problems that could possibly affect how much your house or flat will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes notices under the Planning, Highways and Public Health Acts
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Environmental search - shows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Luton properties for local parish repairs.

Further searches, such as an HS2 search or a geological search, may also be advised in the initial search results.

Property purchasers can expect a lead time of up to 6 weeks for property searches supplied by Luton Borough Council. Your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning documents

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will apply for an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR. This will help to reveal any issues. Examples of these include that a restrictive covenant has been breached or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

Luton Borough Council Council Tax

Luton Borough Council calculate council tax on Luton homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £2,089.

Conveyancing solicitors in Luton will inform the 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 £1,567.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. The Valuation Office Agency work out council tax bands for newly-constructed property, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Luton Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,139
B £1,329
C £1,519
D £1,709
E £2,089
F £2,469
G £2,848
H £3,418

Are you paying more than you should?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans
AL1 3WZ
Hertfordshire

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

Stamp Duty on Luton properties

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125,000 threshold you will have to pay SDLT. After a residential property sale has exchanged and completed, the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the stamp duty is paid to HMRC.

Quittance Conveyancing's case management system ensures that the critical SDLT1 form is filed online to reduce delays and to avoid late-filing penalties.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in Luton:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £239,730 £2,294.60
Average price (detached) £385,917 £9,295.85
Average new build £147,946 £458.92

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Luton

In 2017, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on homes below £300k. If you own another property or share in a property , anywhere in the world you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Luton for the average price of £239,730 the SDLT would be £11,986.50.

Luton conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Luton

New build site

Over 100,000 property owners in the UK have property leases with unreasonable lease conditions. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed buyer can include sinking fund issues and ground rent multipliers.

Incomplete leasehold information, delivered by an inexperienced solicitor, could have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to purchase a property with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Luton will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old)
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • dealing with freeholders
  • leaseholder/freeholder disputes
  • service charge retentions

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Luton?

Building site

The average sale price of new builds in Luton is £142,487, (HMLR figures). 104 new build houses and flats have been bought in Luton in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Luton must be mindful of Luton-specific issues and the specific issues associated with new build, like checking new build mortgage procedures are followed and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

Our team of conveyancers are specialists in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

Purchasing property in a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your property.

Called Article 4 directions, these building controls can include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on uPVC window frames
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and 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.

Conservation areas in Luton include Rothesay, High Town and Luton South. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Luton.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Luton

The legal side of a sale of a home is more straightforward than for a purchase. The buyer's solicitor must carry out detailed due diligence on the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Luton acting for the seller simply collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What could put the sale of your home at risk?

A house or flat will frequently have potential complications (e.g. not being connected to the water mains) which could protract or even derail the conveyancing process.

It is usually advisable that vendors tackle any such problems head on.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Luton will usually undertake additional legal work, including sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any required deed of covenant.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related difficulties sooner, it is highly recommended that you instruct a conveyancer as early in the process as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market,.

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

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You can contact a local Luton conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Luton

Securing a better rate of interest is usually the main reason why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, including consolidating loan repayments, or the current mortgage deal coming to an end.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Luton, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

It is crucial that your property lawyer can act for your new lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are switching to an interest-only mortgage with the NatWest or to a repayment mortgage with the Chelsea 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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