Updated: October 12, 2018

North West London conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in North West London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in North West London for the legal work involved in moving home.

How are North West London conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in North West London who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

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 managing agent information or local authority searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in North West London cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in North West London will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, such as transport searches, may be needed.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden fees. For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, 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 North West London

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property.

It remains, however, the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in North West London to make enquiries about the property, report back to the buyer and the lender, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This part of the article gives assistance for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in North West London.

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Your North West London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a North West London conveyancing solicitor, you need to check that they are approved by your mortgage lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Santander, the Dudley Building Society or any other lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some lenders will only work with a select panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria.

Under these circumstances, the lender will probably need an alternative firm to act in their interests, and you will be expected to pay this substitute solicitor's fees. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Major delays can be caused by failing to check your solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all banks and building societies.

Residential Property Searches (City of Westminster Council)

Property searches will be applied for by North West London conveyancing solicitors in order to identify issues that could possibly affect how much the property you intend to buy is worth.

Searches are carried out primarily to satisfy lender requirements, usually including the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Your lawyer will notify you if your mortgage lender insists on any additional searches, such as a Crossrail search or a more detailed environmental report.

The approximate delivery time for LA searches obtained from City of Westminster Council is 5 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Checking planning permission status

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will get the Title Register from the Land Registry. This helps to find any planning issues, for example restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

City of Westminster Council Council Tax

City of Westminster Council calculate council tax on North West London homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. a home in the City of Westminster Council area in Band E would pay £868 per annum.

A conveyancing solicitor in North West London will inform a buyer of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £651.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or where an occupation is prohibited by law such as a compulsory purchase order.

Band City of Westminster Council Tax (2018)
A £474
B £553
C £632
D £711
E £868
F £1,026
G £1,184
H £1,421

Can I dispute my band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 20 council tax challenges were made, and 10 resulted in a reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5BU

Stamp Duty on North West London properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the buyer's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

If you are buying a house in England,Wales or Northern Ireland then stamp duty is payable on properties over £125k. In Scotland, the threshold is £145k.

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

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for properties in London:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £880,307 £34,015.35
Average price (detached) £711,410 £25,570.50
Average new build £449,784 £12,489.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in North West London

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300,000. If you already own another property you will be subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in North West London for the average price of £880,307 the SDLT would be £70,424.56.

North West London conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in North West London

New build site

It is risky to purchase a leasehold home if you are unaware of the implications. There are numerous technical issues that could be lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • spiralling ground rents
  • excessive freehold premiums
Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancing solicitor with little specialist experience, could have serious financial implications.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a expert conveyancing solicitor in North West London will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • reviewing the lease
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • dealing with landlords
  • residents? management company

Make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in North West London?

House under construction

450 new build properties have been bought in North West London in 2018 so far, based on data published by Her Majesty's Land Registry. The average value of new builds in North West London is £449,784.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in North West London must be familiar with North West London-specific factors and the added complexities of new build, such as dealing with fast exchange timeframes and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our conveyancing team specialise in meeting short developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

London Conservation areas

When acting for the buyer of a home in North West London, a conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property is in one of North West London's conservation areas. If it is, the property could be affected by certain constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include:

  • Restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls
  • Restrictions on the installation of skylights
  • Limits on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

The local planning authority 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 North West London.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in North West London

The legal work involved in a house sale is less complicated than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor carries out a detailed legal assessment into the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in North West London acting for the seller, however, simply answers the buyer's questions.

What can vendors do to minimise the risk of your sale falling through?

A house or flat will often come with legal problems (e.g. excessive service charges or not being connected to the water mains) which could prevent a sale from completing on time.

You shouldn't ignore this, waiting to see if the problem is discovered, instead seek out professional help, face the issues head on, and find a solution as early as possible.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is significantly more time-consuming than for a freehold property.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in North West London must undertake additional legal work, such as collating all relevant freeholder information, through to any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

It is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a leasehold expert as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to speed up the handling of the legal work.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a home in North West London, and we are doing the legal work for the other side, you may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in North West London to undertake your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in North West London

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners generally remortgage to save money with a lower rate.

You should be able to enjoy a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in North West London. They will work to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

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

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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