Updated: October 12, 2018

Morpeth conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Morpeth

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay conveyancing solicitors in Morpeth for handling the legal work for your move.

Are Morpeth conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Morpeth will work on a cost per hour basis. Some conveyancers will complete the work for a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote will explain what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to the legal 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. These include costs like landlord's notice fees or bankruptcy checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total Morpeth solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing fees in Morpeth will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Morpeth

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a fundamental principle of English property law. This principle no longer applies, however, the buyer still will need to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

The Morpeth conveyancing solicitor will give advice following their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following section examines those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Morpeth that require specialist knowledge.

Your Morpeth conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Holmesdale Building Society, Lloyds Bank or any other lender, before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Morpeth you need to check that they can act for your mortgage lender.

Quite a few lenders will only work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of firms that meet stringent standards. If a solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely require a second legal firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs and significant delays to your move could occur.

Serious delays can result from failing to check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Northumberland County Council searches

Property searches are submitted by Morpeth conveyancing solicitors to unearth any significant issues that might reduce how much the property you intend to buy will be 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 - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Morpeth properties for local parish repairs.

Your conveyancer will make you aware if your chosen lender insists on any more searches, e.g. a highways search or a more detailed environmental report.

The average delivery time for searches supplied by Northumberland County Council is 8 weeks. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any planning issues, for example discrepancies with the filed plan or limits on the development of the property.

Northumberland County Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Northumberland County Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, a property in the Northumberland County Council area in Valuation Band B would pay £1,421 per annum.

Morpeth conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's tax band once they are made aware.

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 £1,066.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the resident is living in long term residential care.

Band Northumberland County Council Tax (2018)
A £1,218
B £1,421
C £1,624
D £1,827
E £2,233
F £2,640
G £3,046
H £3,655

Are you paying too much?

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. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Eagle Star House
Regent Centre
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE3 3TW
Tyne and Wear

Stamp Duty on Morpeth properties

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

The current SDLT threshold for residential properties is £125,000.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance use state-of-the-art case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

See SDLT examples for properties in Morpeth:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £216,803 £1,836.06
Average price (detached) £303,486 £5,174.30
Average new build £231,704 £2,134.08
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a higher rate of 3%, even if the property is not let out. So if a second home was bought for £216,803 then the stamp duty total will be £10,840.15.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Morpeth

Since November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Morpeth conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Morpeth

New build site

It can be costly to buy a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the facts. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be awaiting an uninformed buyer, including exponential ground rents and freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders.

Misguided leasehold advice, from a solicitor with little specialist experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Morpeth will address aspects of leasehold, e.g. absent freeholders, reviewing the lease and landlord/tenant disputes.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Morpeth?

New build site

The average purchase price of Morpeth new build property is £286,947. 22 new build houses and flats have been bought in Morpeth in 2018 so far.

The legal work for buying a new build is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Morpeth conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of local issues and will need to report to clients on a number of issues, including dealing with delays associated with off-plan and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

With our new build team, you will get a specialist assessment of the legal status of the property, with close attention paid to issues ranging from the home's subsequent mortgageability to an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure development.

Northumberland Conservation areas

Whether you are a fan of Georgian, Edwardian or even Brutalist architecture, buying in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area conditions will affect your residential property.

These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, may include:

  • Restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, railings or fences
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the installation of VELUX windows

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing wall render or paint.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Morpeth.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Morpeth

The legal work involved in a property sale usually requires less work than when purchasing. For a house purchase, the onus lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the legal title of the property is legally sound.

Conversely, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Morpeth acting for the person selling need only respond to the buyer's solicitor's questions.

How to improve the odds of your sale going through

Obstacles, such as a boundary dispute or not having full title, might jeopardise your home move.

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

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Morpeth will also need to carry out additional work, including contacting the landlord for management company information, through to insurance details.

It is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold-specialist lawyer as early as possible to avoid undue delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

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

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Morpeth to carry out your legal work, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Morpeth conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Carr & Co Solicitors (N.e.) Limited, 2 Fountain House, New Market, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1LA
  • Brumell & Sample Limited, 15 Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1NX
  • David Auld & Co, 22a Newgate Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1BA
  • O'Neill Richmonds Law Firm Ltd, 25a Bridge Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1PE
  • R.a.w. Clark & Co, 35 Newgate Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1AT

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Morpeth

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, people usually remortgage to save money with a lower rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Morpeth will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and the new lender to certify the lender's interests 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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