Updated: October 12, 2018

Medway conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Medway

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your Medway conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Medway conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancers work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Medway who will work on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will explain all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as property searches or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Medway cost?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Medway will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Medway

Medway is a conurbation and unitary authority in Kent, comprising the towns of Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Strood and Rainham. It is one of the boroughs included in the Thames Gateway development scheme. Medway takes its name from the river Medway, which flows through the region.

Over half the borough is rural and includes parts of the North Kent Marshes, an environmentally significant wetlands region with several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Other areas of conservation include Ranscombe Farm on chalk grassland and woodland between Strood and Cuxton, with rare woodland flowers and orchids.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was the legal principle of English property law. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim no longer applies. However, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to investigate their intended purchase.

A Medway conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice once their enquiries are complete, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The content below discusses those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Medway that necessitate specialist knowledge.

Your Medway conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Earl Shilton Building Society, the Co-operative Bank or any other lender, before appointing a Medway conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender.

Many mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted group of solicitors or licensed conveyancers. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your chosen lender, the lender will need a second law firm to act in their interests.

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

Major delays can result from failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can act for all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Medway Council)

Searches are carried out by Medway conveyancing solicitors to help identify issues that could possibly reduce how much the property you are buying is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - covers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
  • Chancel repair liability - insurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your mortgage lender wants any more searches, such as a highways search or an energy search.

The estimated processing time for LA searches provided by Medway Council is 5 weeks, so it will be worth using a faster private search company.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer. This will help to reveal any potential issues. These issues could include outbuildings missing from the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

Medway Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Medway Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, the occupier of a Tax Band C property in the Medway Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,444.

Conveyancing solicitors in Medway will inform the buyer of the property's band once 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 £1,083.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. Homes built after 1991 are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Medway Council Tax (2018)
A £1,083
B £1,263
C £1,444
D £1,624
E £1,985
F £2,346
G £2,707
H £3,249

Is your new home in the wrong band?

To challenge your banding contact:

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

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made. 10 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Medway properties

Stamp duty works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value home. The purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the stamp duty is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the complex SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

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

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £258,205 £2,910.25
Average price (detached) £406,061 £10,303.05
Average new build £288,202 £4,410.10
Following a change in April 2016, a higher rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. E.g. if a second home was bought for £258,205 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £20,656.40. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Medway

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Medway should ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Medway

New build site

It can be costly to buy a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the implications. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • unfair developer practices
  • marriage value issues
  • unreasonable ground rents
Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in Medway will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • checking the lease itself
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • residents? management company

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Medway?

House under construction

According to HMLR information, the average value of Medway new build homes is £248,034. 14 new build properties have been bought in Medway in 2018 so far.

The legal side of acquiring a new build property requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Medway must be conscious of Medway-specific issues and must check numerous things, including dealing with delays associated with off-plan and ensuring that the contract is in the buyer's favour.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an accurate and truly impartial assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, with a close eye on factors like the home's subsequent mortgageability and an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

Conservation areas

If you are planning to purchase a residential property in one of Medway's conservation areas, the property must not breach any conservation area restrictions. These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes.

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

Conservation areas in Medway include Upper Bush, Pembroke and New Road. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Medway's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Medway

The legal process for a sale of a home usually requires less work than for a property purchase. The purchaser does detailed research on the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Medway acting for the seller mostly just collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

What could jeopardise a property sale?

Common issues, like not having suitable right of way or complexities where there is a 'share of freehold', can seriously threaten the sale conveyancing process.

Don't bury your head, trusting that the issue won't be discovered. Instead, you should seek out professional help and work to resolve it as soon as you can.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold property is much more specialised compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Medway must usually carry out further legal work, and this could include getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as possible to speed up the handling of the legal work.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both parties.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Medway to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Medway

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to save money with a lower rate. There are also any number of other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals, for example fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or consolidating loan repayments.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Medway can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage lender to certify the interests of the lender are protected.

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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