Updated: October 12, 2018

Northfleet conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Northfleet

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay conveyancing solicitors in Northfleet for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Are Northfleet conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Northfleet who work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like telegraphic transfer fees or local authority searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Northfleet cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Northfleet will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, specific extra searches, such as a mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. 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 Northfleet

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

A conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, offer pragmatic solutions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section of the article provides invaluable advice for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Northfleet.

Your Northfleet conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to a broad selection of mortgage lenders, from a large lender such as the Co-operative Bank, to a niche lender like the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society. Before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet, it is very important that you make sure that they can act for your chosen lender.

Many mortgage lenders only accept a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of firms. If your conveyancer cannot act for your chosen lender, the lender will need a different firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's costs, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your conveyancer could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all banks and building societies.

Searches (Gravesham Borough Council)

Searches will be applied for by Northfleet conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that might potentially undermine how much the property you are purchasing is worth.

Lenders will also require certain searches to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Further searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a more detailed environmental report, may also be referred to following the initial searches.

Purchasers will have to endure a wait of approximately 9 weeks for property searches supplied by Gravesham Borough Council, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Checking planning permission status

Office copies will also be ordered from the Land Registry by the homebuyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose potential planning issues. Examples of these include errors on the title plan or restrictive covenants governing the use of the property.

Gravesham Borough Council Council Tax

Gravesham Borough Council calculate your council tax based on various criteria such as the location of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. For instance the occupier of a Band B residential property in the Gravesham Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,314.

A conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band once they are themselves notified.

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 £985.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assign bandings for newly-constructed property, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Gravesham Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,126
B £1,314
C £1,501
D £1,689
E £2,064
F £2,440
G £2,815
H £3,378

What to do if you suspect your new home is incorrectly valued

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

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 Northfleet properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HM Revenue & Customs fines those who delay in completing and returning it. Stamp Duty Land Tax is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000.

Quittance's state-of-the-art case management system are fully integrated with HM Revenue & Customs's electronic filing systems.

See table below for SDLT examples for homes in Kent:

  Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £322,404 £6,120.20
Average price (detached) £488,556 £14,427.80
Average new build £393,745 £9,687.25

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Northfleet

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a higher SDLT rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Northfleet for the average price of £322,404 the SDLT would be £25,792.32.

Northfleet conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Northfleet

New build site

The potential risks associated with purchasing a leasehold property in the UK are well known. Increasing ground rents, unfair clauses in the lease and unfair developer practices are among the frequent complications lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced property lawyer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet will consider possible leasehold issues, including :

  • checking the lease itself
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • alterations since the lease was granted
  • unexpired lease terms

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Northfleet?

House being built

According to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry, 137 brand new properties have been bought in Northfleet in 2018 so far. The average value of new build property in Northfleet is £382,701.

Acquiring a new build property is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet should be aware of local factors and must consider a range of factors, including dealing with lender conditions and investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property.

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

Kent Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a residential property in one of Northfleet's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these building controls may include:

  • Restrictions on the use of cladding
  • Restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Northfleet.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Northfleet

The conveyancing process on a sale of a house or flat is less demanding than when purchasing. When property changes hands, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to satisfy themselves that the title of the property they are buying is legally sound.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in Northfleet acting for the vendor just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What could go wrong?

Properties can be burdened by a series of potential complications (such as an issue with noisy neighbours or having a defective lease) which could prolong the conveyancing process for weeks.

It is generally recommended that sellers handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is quite a lot more time-consuming than it is for a freehold home.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Northfleet must undertake extra work, including getting an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of any required license to assign.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as possible.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You can contact a property solicitor firm in Northfleet to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Northfleet

Saving money on a better rate is generally why homeowners opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, including funding a one-off purchase, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate.

You will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Northfleet. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

It is critical that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can act on behalf of your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are switching to a 95% mortgage with the HSBC or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Skipton 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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