Updated: October 12, 2018

Maidstone conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Maidstone

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Maidstone conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Maidstone conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Maidstone who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote sets out exactly what you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like Land Registry fees or ID checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Maidstone solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Maidstone should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Maidstone

Maidstone is the county town of Kent and is linked to Rochester and the Thames estuary by the River Medway that runs through the town centre.

Already an attractive and lively market town with good amenities the centre has recently been regenerated and a new bypass is planned to ease congestion.

Situated close to the High Weald and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with excellent schools, Maidstone is popular with young families, keeping the property market buoyant and house prices above average for Kent. Popular Maidstone suburbs include Allington, Bearstead and Weavering.

Conveyancing for buyers

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, the buyer still will need to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

The Maidstone conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, solve outstanding issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The following provides advice for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Maidstone for a purchase.

Your Maidstone conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a financial institution like the Earl Shilton Building Society or a major lender such as RBS, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Maidstone you need to check that they can act for your mortgage lender.

Many lenders only accept a restricted group of legal firms. If a conveyancer can't act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this alternative lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to confirm your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status could mean serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Maidstone Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are carried out by Maidstone conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any pertinent information that could reduce how much your house or flat will be worth.

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

Your conveyancer will notify you if your chosen lender needs any further searches, such as an HS2 search or a contaminated land report.

The estimated delivery time for LA searches supplied by Maidstone Borough Council is 8 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be advisable.

Checking planning permission status

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will obtain office copies from HMLR. This will help to highlight any planning issues, such as rights or restrictions on how the property may be used or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Maidstone Borough Council Council Tax

Maidstone Borough Council calculate your council tax based on various factors such as the number of occupants and the property's value as at 1 April 1991. The occupier of a property in Tax Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,569.

Conveyancing solicitors in Maidstone will inform a buyer 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 £1,177.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Maidstone Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,177
B £1,373
C £1,569
D £1,765
E £2,157
F £2,549
G £2,942
H £3,530

Can I appeal against my band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on Maidstone properties

It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Stamp duty is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland).

Quittance's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing complications are a thing of the past.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in Maidstone:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £326,233 £6,311.65
Average price (detached) £501,593 £15,079.65
Average new build £359,452 £7,972.60

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Maidstone

Since the budget announcement in November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k with reduced rates up to £500,000. If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £326,233 then the stamp duty total will be £26,098.64.

Maidstone conveyancing solicitors will confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Maidstone

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat is not as straightforward as purchasing a freehold property. Doubling ground rents, unfair developer practices and incomplete management company accounts are only some of the many traps lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced conveyancer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a leasehold home, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Maidstone will address aspects of leasehold, e.g. :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • flats in the same block with disparity between their leases
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Maidstone?

New build building site

The average purchase price of new build homes in Maidstone is £367,277. 33 brand new homes have been bought in Maidstone in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Maidstone must be aware of Maidstone-specific issues and should check a range of issues, including investigating developer incentives and negotiating new build contracts.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team are specialists in meeting short developer deadlines and new build purchases.

Conservation areas

Whether you are a fan of Georgian, Edwardian or even Brutalist architecture, moving to a conservation area should mean that the street's character will not drastically alter. However, conservation area constraints will affect your house.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include limitations on skylights, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or restrictions preventing paving over the front garden.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Conservation areas in Maidstone include Maidstone Chillington House, East Farleigh Lower Road and Maidstone Ashford Road. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Maidstone.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Maidstone

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is more straightforward than when buying. The buyer's solicitor will have to go through detailed research on your home, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Maidstone acting for the vendor mostly just answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What could jeopardise the sale of your home?

Issues, such as not having appropriate warranties or complexities where there is a 'share of freehold', could hinder your move.

In most cases, it is recommended for sellers to address these issues immediately.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat is much more technical than for a freehold property.

Leasehold complexity involves additional legal work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Maidstone, such as obtaining the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any consents for alterations.

It is strongly advised that you instruct a property lawyer as soon as possible, and potentially before going on the market, to reduce leasehold-related delays.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both parties. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You could contact a local Maidstone conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Maidstone conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Gullands, 16 Mill Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6XT
  • Burroughs, Alliance House, 38 King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1BS
  • Gill Turner Tucker, Colman House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1JE
  • Daniel Francis Solicitors, 5a Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 8RL
  • Maidstone House, Maidstone Borough Council, Maidstone House, King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6JQ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Maidstone

People remortgage their home for a number of reasons, including the existing lender having refused a payment holiday, or releasing capital to pay off other debts. The main reason, however, is to secure a lower interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Maidstone will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work should also be able to act for the new lender. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So no matter whether you are moving to a tracker with the Halifax or to a capped-rate mortgage with the Yorkshire Bank, 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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