Updated: October 12, 2018

Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Milton Keynes

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Milton Keynes conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes who offer services on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will explain what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as landlord's notice fees or bankruptcy checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Milton Keynes cost?

While conveyancing fees in Milton Keynes will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a mining search, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Milton Keynes

Formally designated as a new town on 23 January 1967, Milton Keynes lies about 45 miles north-west of London. Planted with over 22 million trees and shrubs (around 100 for every resident) 40% of the city is green space, and was dubbed 'capital of shrubs' by the Guardian newspaper.

Above-average economic growth means Milton Keynes is ranked as one of the most attractive places for business outside London, with an increase of 18.2% in the number of jobs in a 10-year period.

Attracted by good career prospects, the population of Milton Keynes is significantly younger and more culturally diverse than the national average, making this a lively, interesting place to live.

Conveyancing for home buyers

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Milton Keynes to carry out due diligence on the property, make their "report on title", deal with any legal problems and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This section of the article discusses those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes where specialist conveyancing skills may be helpful.

Your Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before appointing a Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitor, it is paramount that you confirm that they are approved by your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the HSBC, the Darlington Building Society or any other lender.

Quite a few lenders will only accept a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The home buyer will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Not checking your property lawyer's lender panel status can result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Milton Keynes Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') will be applied for by Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitors to help identify issues that might potentially compromise how much the property you are buying is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
  • Environmental search - describes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Milton Keynes properties for local parish repairs.

Your conveyancer will make you aware if your mortgage lender requires any more searches, such as a highways search or a mining search.

Milton Keynes Council has a typical turnaround time of 14 weeks for LA searches. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Planning issues

Your conveyancing solicitor will request the Title Register from HMLR, assisting with the identification of any potential issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or restrictions that limit alterations.

Milton Keynes Council Council Tax

Milton Keynes Council calculate your council tax based on a number of criteria that include the size and layout of the property and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, a property in the Milton Keynes Council area in Tax Band B would pay £1,301 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in Milton Keynes will inform the buyer of the property's 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 £976.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or properties awaiting grant of probate.

Band Milton Keynes Council Tax (2018)
A £1,115
B £1,301
C £1,487
D £1,673
E £2,044
F £2,416
G £2,788
H £3,345

Is your new home in the wrong band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Northgate House
59-77 Sheep St
Northampton
NN1 2LL
Northamptonshire

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

Stamp Duty on Milton Keynes properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Stamp duty will need to be paid by the buyer on properties sold for more than £125k.

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

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Milton Keynes:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £295,332 £4,766.60
Average price (detached) £441,338 £12,066.90
Average new build £344,394 £7,219.70

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Milton Keynes

Since 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300k. Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Milton Keynes for the average price of £295,332 the SDLT would be £23,626.56.

Conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Milton Keynes

New build site

The risks of buying a leasehold property in England or Wales are well documented. Doubling ground rents, sub-letting restrictions and unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder are among the many traps awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser.

Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Milton Keynes will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. managing agent or landlord enquiries, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and flats in the same block with disparity between their leases.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Milton Keynes?

New build site

25 new builds have been bought in Milton Keynes in 2018 so far, according to data compiled by Her Majesty's Land Registry. The average cost of Milton Keynes new build properties is £267,552.

Acquiring a new build home is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Milton Keynes must be conscious of local considerations and will consider a range of issues, e.g. squaring developer incentives with lenders and investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property.

With our new build team, you will get an accurate and truly impartial assessment of the property's legal status, whilst being mindful of concerns like the home's subsequent mortgageability and likely freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas

When acting for the buyer of a home in Milton Keynes, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the home is in one of Milton Keynes's conservation areas. If it is, the home could be affected by certain restrictions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions may include:

  • A prohibition on the removal of chimneys
  • Restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property
  • A prohibition on side or two-storey extensions

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a garden fence or gate.

Stony Stratford, Sherington and North Crawley are among the conservation areas in Milton Keynes. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Milton Keynes's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Milton Keynes

The conveyancing process on a house sale is generally simpler than when buying. The buyer must carry out a comprehensive legal review on the property, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes acting for the vendor just collects any required paperwork and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

What could go wrong?

Common obstacles, like issues with neighbours' rights over the property, can potentially endanger your move.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues - speak to an expert, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as soon as you can.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is quite a lot more technical than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Milton Keynes, which could include obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement or any details of rules covering common parts that are not contained in the lease.

It is strongly advised that the seller instructs a leasehold expert as soon as possible to ensure any legal complexity is correctly handled.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

SRA regulations restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both parties.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Milton Keynes, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Milton Keynes to handle your legal work.

Local Milton Keynes conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cartwright King Limited, Suite 364, Silbury Court West, Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2AF
  • Dass Legal Solutions (Mk) Law Ltd, Gloucester House, 399 Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 2AH
  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors Ltd, Acorn House, 381 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 3HP
  • Dwf LLP, 3rd Floor, Exchange House, 494 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 2EA
  • Franklins Solicitors LLP, Silbury Court, Silbury Boulevard, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 2LY

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Milton Keynes

By far the most common reason people remortgage their home is to benefit from a lower interest rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include the current mortgage deal coming to an end, or borrowing more to help pay for an extension.

Homeowners would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Milton Keynes, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to a fixed-rate mortgage with the NatWest or to a repayment mortgage with the Leeds Building Society, we 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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