Updated: October 12, 2018

Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Northamptonshire

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Northamptonshire conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

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 managing agent fees or HMLR fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Northamptonshire cost in total?

Northamptonshire conveyancing fees will not vary. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a flooding search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees 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 Northamptonshire

Purchase conveyancing requires the conveyancing solicitor in Northamptonshire to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors are a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) and the mortgageability of the property itself.

The buyer's property lawyer will feed the results of their enquiries back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, assist in resolving any issues and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The following section discusses those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire necessitating specialist legal knowledge.

Your Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to a broad selection of mortgage lenders, from a niche mortgage lender like the Market Harborough Building Society, to a large lender such as Sainsbury's Bank. Before you choose a Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, you need to check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Some banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of legal firms. If your solicitor is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably require a different law firm to act in their interests.

The borrower will then have to cover this alternative lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Delays can arise if you do not confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all banks and other lenders.

Northampton Borough Council searches

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your new home. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Chancel repair liability - some Northamptonshire property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

More specific searches, such as a highways authority search or an agricultural search, may also be recommended subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

Northampton Borough Council has an approximate lead time of 4 weeks for searches. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning permissions

Official Entries will also be applied for from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer. This will help to reveal any potential issues, for example discrepancies with the filed plan or restrictions that limit alterations.

Northampton Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a variety of factors such as the number of occupants aged over 18 and the property's value as at 1 April 1991. For instance for an average Tax Band D residential property in Northamptonshire, the amount payable would be £1,694 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire will inform a purchaser of the property's band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,270.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band Northampton Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,129
B £1,317
C £1,505
D £1,694
E £2,070
F £2,446
G £2,823
H £3,387

Is it possible to appeal?

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

Stamp Duty on Northamptonshire properties

Stamp duty works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value residential property. It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance's case management system integrates with online SDLT filing systems to ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is settled quickly.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Northamptonshire:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £234,186 £2,183.72
Average price (detached) £336,782 £6,839.10
Average new build £411,800 £10,590.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Northamptonshire

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas. Following a change in April 2016, an SDLT surcharge of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. So if a second home was bought for £234,186 then the stamp duty total will be £11,709.30.

Conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire should confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Northamptonshire

New build site

It can be risky to purchase a leasehold house or flat if you are unaware of the facts. Doubling ground rents, excessive freehold premiums and unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder are but a few of the many traps awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser.

Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Northamptonshire will consider possible leasehold issues, e.g. leaseholder/freeholder disputes, service charge records from the last three years and reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old).

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Northamptonshire?

House under construction

According to HMLR data, 78 new build homes have been bought in Northamptonshire in 2018 so far. The average value of Northamptonshire new build properties is £315,078.

Buying a new build is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitor should be mindful of local factors and must check numerous things, like investigating developer incentives and confirming right of way over drains and sewers.

Our new build conveyancing team are specialists in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Northamptonshire

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, moving into a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your residential property.

These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, can include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the removal of chimneys, to general restrictions governing unsympathetic additions or modifications.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Northamptonshire's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Northamptonshire

The conveyancing process on a house sale is simpler than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancer does a thorough legal appraisal into the property's title and other legal aspects, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire acting for the seller just collects any required paperwork and answers the buyer's questions .

Factors that could delay or endanger a property sale

Properties can be burdened by a series of potential complications (such as a dispute with a neighbour or parking issues or disputes) that have the capacity to threaten the completion of a sale.

Don't bury your head in the sand, hoping the issue will fix itself. The best course of action is to seek out professional help and tackle it promptly.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are not common) is significantly more complicated compared to a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Northamptonshire will need to conduct extra work, which could include collating all relevant freeholder information, through to the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

It is recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold expert as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to speed up the handling of the legal work.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You can contact a local Northamptonshire conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if we are acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Northamptonshire

The most common reason people remortgage a home is to save money with a lower rate. Other reasons to think about remortgaging include consolidating debts, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Northamptonshire will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing the rate you want.

To ensure 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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