Updated: October 12, 2018

Manchester conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Manchester

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Manchester conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Manchester conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Manchester who work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will explain what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Land Registry fees or office copies and title plans.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Manchester cost in total?

Manchester conveyancing solicitor fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a mining search, may be needed.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. 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 Manchester

The main city within the Greater Manchester area, Manchester is a thriving, bustling, centre for business. Manchester became the first city in the UK to acquire a modern light rail tram system when it opened its Metrolink, which extends out from the city into neighbouring suburbs and towns. Latest figures show that almost 38 million commuter journeys were made in a 12-month period.

Although a busy centre, with a number of museums, art galleries and music venues, Manchester has easy access to the attractive rural areas of Cheshire, the Pennines and the Peak District.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

It is, however, still the duty of the Manchester conveyancing solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, offer pragmatic solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The content below discusses those residential property types that may carry risks for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Manchester.

Your Manchester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like the Tipton & Coseley Building Society or a large lender such as Barclays Bank, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Manchester you need to check that they can act for your chosen lender.

Quite a few mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted group of legal practices. If your conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require a second solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this alternate lawyer's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Not checking the lender panel membership of your lawyer can mean serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Manchester City Council)

Searches are carried out by Manchester conveyancing solicitors to help spot any broader issues that might potentially affect how much the property you are purchasing will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your chosen lender needs any further searches, such as a highways search or a geological search.

Manchester City Council has an estimated delivery time of 5 weeks for searches, so personal (as opposed to official) searches will be faster.

Planning searches

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will apply for an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HM Land Registry, assisting with the identification of any potential issues, such as errors on the title plan or right of access issues.

Manchester City Council Council Tax

Manchester City Council calculate council tax on Manchester homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. for an average Tax Band D home in Manchester, the amount of council tax would be £1,567 per year.

Manchester conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,175.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or for foreign language students. Property constructed after 1991 is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band Manchester City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,045
B £1,219
C £1,393
D £1,567
E £1,915
F £2,263
G £2,611
H £3,134

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
53 Manchester One
Portland Street
M1 3LD

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Manchester properties

Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their conveyancing solicitor to do it for them.

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price of the house if it exceeds £125,000.

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

This table sets out stamp duty for average property in Manchester:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £193,209 £1,364.18
Average price (detached) £330,878 £6,543.90
Average new build £217,833 £1,856.66

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Manchester

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second property. Therefore, if a homeowner in Manchester bought a second property for the average price of £193,209 the SDLT would be £9,660.45.

Conveyancing solicitors in Manchester should ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Manchester

New build site

The potential risks of owning a leasehold property should be a worry for leasehold property purchasers. The numerous common problems awaiting the unsuspecting buyer can include reversionary interests and doubling ground rents.

Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

If you are planning to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Manchester will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • ground rents and service charges
  • dealing with landlords
  • type of leasehold (i.e. flat/shared ownership/long leasehold house)

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Manchester?

New build building site

The average cost of a new build in Manchester is £186,871, according to HMLR. 15 new build homes have been bought in Manchester in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Manchester needs to be conscious of regional considerations and the extra complexities associated with new build, e.g. dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and verifying rights of access.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an independent assessment of the legal title of the property, looking out for factors ranging from the home's future resaleability to sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the house you are buying is in one of Manchester's conservation areas. If it is, the property could be affected by specific conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls could include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

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

Conservation areas in Manchester include Whalley Range, Crumpsall Lane and George Street. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Manchester.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Manchester

The legal work involved in a property sale is less complicated than when buying. When buying, the obligation lies with the purchaser to make sure that the legal title of the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Manchester acting for the vendor need only respond to enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

What could put the sale process at risk?

Common obstacles, like being situated on a flood plain, might hinder the sale conveyancing process.

Property experts will almost always recommend that sellers handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is significantly more protracted than for a freehold house.

Manchester conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve requesting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any required deed of covenant.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is strongly advised that you contact a property lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as possible, and preferably before going on the market,.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, SRA rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a home in Manchester, and a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Manchester to carry out your legal work.

Local Manchester conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Nexus Solicitors Limited, Carlton House, 16-18 Albert Square, Manchester, Lancashire, M2 5PE
  • Addleshaw Goddard LLP, One St Peter's Square, Manchester, Lancashire, M2 3DE
  • Arthur Chapman Limited, The Lexicon, Mount Street, Manchester, Lancashire, M2 5FA
  • Athena Solicitors LLP, Gregs Buildings, 1 Booth Street, Manchester, Lancashire, M2 4DU
  • BB Legal Limited, 20 Kennedy Street, Manchester, M2 4BY

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Manchester

Although people consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people will generally remortgage their home to secure a lower interest rate.

You would typically benefit from a better rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Manchester, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage must also be able to act on behalf of your chosen mortgage lender. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels, so whether you are moving to a fixed-rate mortgage with Santander or to a long-term fixed mortgage with Virgin Money, our remortgage team can assist.

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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