Updated: October 12, 2018

North London conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in North London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay your North London conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are North London conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in North London who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will explain exactly what you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as Stamp Duty or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in North London cost?

While conveyancing fees in North London will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

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

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in North London

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of English property law. Since 2013, this maxim no longer applies, however, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

The North London conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, offer practical solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section discusses the property types that carry additional risk for people searching for conveyancing solicitors in North London for a purchase.

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Your North London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, the Darlington Building Society or any other lender, before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in North London it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms that have achieved certain benchmarks.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different solicitor firm to carry out the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

The conveyancing process could be put at risk by failing to check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Searches (Wandsworth Borough Council)

Searches are enquiries made of public bodies by North London conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your planned purchase. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there is a Tree Preservation Order at the property
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - some North London property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, for example a radon gas search or a geological search.

The estimated lead time for property searches obtained from the London Borough of Wandsworth is 4 weeks. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be obtained from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose potential planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

London Borough of Wandsworth Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by London Borough of Wandsworth on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, for an average Band D house in North London, the council tax would be £723 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in North London will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £542.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable.

Band London Borough of Wandsworth Tax (2018)
A £482
B £562
C £642
D £723
E £883
F £1,044
G £1,204
H £1,445

Could I be overpaying council tax?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
1 Francis Grove
London
SW19 4DT

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on North London properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay stamp duty.

Quittance's legal case management system integrates with online tax return system to ensure that the stamp duty is settled quickly and accurately.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in London:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £1,028,020 £46,552.00
Average price (detached) £1,209,120 £64,662.00
Average new build £854,797 £32,739.85
Following the autumn budget statement, second home buyers must pay a surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second property was bought for £1,028,020 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £133,642.60. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in North London

Since 11/17, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on properties valued over £300k.

North London conveyancing solicitors will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in North London

New build site

The drawbacks associated with purchasing a leasehold property are a source of anxiety for buyers of leasehold property. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser include:

  • reversionary interests
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
  • increasing ground rents
Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced conveyancing solicitor's failure to give good leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a property with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in North London will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. share of freehold complexity, any recent demands for service charges and ground rent and checking the lease itself.

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in North London?

House being built

According to data sourced by the Land Registry, 450 newly-constructed homes have been bought in North London in 2018 so far. The average purchase price of North London new build properties is £449,784.

Purchasing a new build is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in North London needs to be aware of local North London considerations and needs to consider a range of factors, such as handling equity loan schemes and confirming Section 38 agreements.

Quittance Conveyancing deliver an impartial assessment of the legal status of the property, whilst being mindful of considerations ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to sharply increasing ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

When acting for the buyer of a home in North London, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the house is in one of North London's conservation areas. If it is, the property is affected by constraints. These constraints can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing windows
  • Restrictions preventing the addition of new access
  • Restrictions on side or two-storey extensions

If a property is in breach, the local council could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the previous owner carried out the alterations.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in North London

The legal work involved in a property sale is much simpler than when purchasing. When property changes hands, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is on the buyer to discover whether the legal title of the property can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in North London acting for the current owner need only respond to questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What might you do to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

A home will often come with legal problems (for example issues with neighbours' rights over the property) that might prevent the conveyancing process from completing.

Don't bury your head in the sand, hoping the issue will fix itself. Instead, get advice and tackle it as early as possible.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more technical than for a freehold property.

North London conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, which could include sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

In order to resolve any leasehold problems faster, it is strongly advised that the seller instruct a solicitor as soon as possible.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

CLC-regulated conveyancers can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in North London to carry out your conveyancing, if a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in North London

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, people will usually remortgage to save money with a lower rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in North London will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

To make sure that the lender's interests are safeguarded, a property lawyer will act for both you and your new bank or building society.

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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