Updated: October 12, 2018

Middlesex conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Middlesex

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

How are Middlesex conveyancing fees calculated?

We work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Middlesex who work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like identity verification checks or HMLR fees.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Middlesex solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Middlesex will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee 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 Middlesex

In carrying out the legal work for a property buyer, the Middlesex conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the title of the property and report back to the buyer and the lender.

The buyer's lawyer will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This article considers those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Middlesex that warrant specialist knowledge.

Your Middlesex conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a Middlesex conveyancing solicitor, you need to check that they are approved by your chosen lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Whistletree, Santander or any other lender.

The majority of banks and building societies are only happy to work with a restricted group of solicitors or licensed conveyancers. If your solicitor cannot act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Not checking the lender panel status of your property lawyer can mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all mortgage providers.

Barnet Borough Council searches and other searches

Searches will be applied for by Middlesex conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any significant issues that might compromise how much your house or flat will be worth. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Drainage & Water searchconfirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
Environmental searchshows risks within 500 metres of the property, such as toxic chemicals in the land
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Middlesex properties for local parish repairs.

Your lawyer will notify you if your lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. a tin mining search or an energy search.

The average lead time for Residential property searches from the London Borough of Barnet is 15 weeks, so faster personal (as opposed to official) searches will be recommended.

Checking planning status

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will obtain the Title Register from HMLR. This will help to identify any potential issues, for example a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or right of access issues.

London Borough of Barnet Council Tax

As a homeowner in Middlesex, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. For example, for an average Band D property in Middlesex, the amount payable would be £1,484.

A conveyancing solicitor in Middlesex will inform the buyer of the home's tax band once 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 £1,113.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or for spouses of students who are not British.

Band London Borough of Barnet Tax (2018)
A £989
B £1,154
C £1,319
D £1,484
E £1,813
F £2,143
G £2,473
H £2,967

Can I appeal against my band?

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
3rd Floor Aspect Gate 166 College Rd

Stamp Duty on Middlesex properties

Stamp duty is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000. SDLT is paid to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

Quittance Conveyancing is able to administer the stamp duty process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See SDLT examples for homes in Hertfordshire:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £464,646 £13,232.30
Average price (detached) £792,852 £29,642.60
Average new build £437,651 £11,882.55
If you already own another home or share in a home you will be subject to a higher SDLT rate of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £464,646 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £37,171.68. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Middlesex

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas.

Middlesex conveyancing solicitors will ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Middlesex

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold property without knowing what you are getting into. The many potential complications lying in wait for an uninformed buyer include undisclosed major works, ground rent multipliers and onerous clauses in the lease.

Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a leasehold home, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Middlesex will consider possible leasehold issues, for example reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old), dealing with freeholders and managing agents and service charges.

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Middlesex?

New build building site

The average cost of Middlesex new build property is £437,651. 53 new build houses and flats have been bought in Middlesex in 2018 so far.

Acquiring a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Middlesex conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of both region-specific issues and also should check a range of issues, like handling deposits and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our conveyancing team are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Middlesex Conservation areas

If you are buying a home in a conservation area in Middlesex, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls, restrictions on the addition of cladding or limitations on new outbuildings.

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

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Middlesex.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Middlesex

The legal process for a house sale is normally less troublesome than for a purchase. The buyer will have to carry out a detailed legal assessment into the property and its legal title. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Middlesex acting for the vendor mostly just gathers information relating to the property and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What proactive steps can you take to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

Homes can be burdened by any number of problems (e.g. having a flying freehold or not having a building regulations completion certificate) that can derail your home move.

Property experts almost always advise that sellers tackle any such problems head on.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is much more complex than for a freehold house.

Middlesex conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, for example asking for a comprehensive pack of information, through to details of planned major works.

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

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

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Middlesex, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Middlesex to carry out your legal work.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Middlesex

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a lower interest rate is primarily why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing funds to help pay for home improvements.

Homeowners would typically benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Middlesex. They will work to reduce the processing time of the conveyancing. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to securing the rate you want.

Your property lawyer must also be able to act on behalf of your chosen lender. Our conveyancers are on the panel for all major lenders, so whether you are changing to a flexible mortgage with the Nationwide Building Society or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Swansea Building Society, 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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