Updated: October 12, 2018

Northumberland conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Northumberland

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Northumberland conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote explains all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like TT fees or bankruptcy searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Northumberland cost?

While conveyancing fees in Northumberland will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as a commons registration search, may be necessary.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. 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 Northumberland

As a key part of the legal work for a property purchase, a Northumberland conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the title of the property and feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer.

The purchaser's solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, iron out any legal issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This article sets out useful advice for buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland.

Your Northumberland conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Tesco Bank or a less common lender such as the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society, before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Northumberland it is essential that you check that they can act on behalf of your mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer 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 list (referred to as a 'panel') of legal practices.

If this is the case, the lender will require a different law firm to carry out the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's costs. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Failing to check the lender panel membership of your conveyancing lawyer could result in serious delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Northumberland County Council)

Residential property searches are applied for by Northumberland conveyancing solicitors to expose any wider issues that could compromise the value of your home.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

More specific searches, such as a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report, may also be referred to subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

The average lead time for property searches delivered by Northumberland County Council is 8 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning permissions

Office copies will also be obtained from HM Land Registry by the homebuyer's conveyancing solicitor, helping to evidence any issues, for example the breach of a restrictive covenant or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

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 house in the Northumberland County Council area in Band B would pay £1,421 per annum.

Northumberland conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,066.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is occupied solely by students.

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

Can I dispute my band?

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. To challenge your banding contact:

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

Stamp Duty on Northumberland properties

Stamp duty will almost always need to be paid if the house being purchased is valued at over £125k. Given the complexity of the SDLT1 tax return form, only an experienced conveyancer would attempt to complete and file this with HMRC without a conveyancing solicitor's help.

Quittance's case management system ensures that the critical SDLT1 form is filed online to reduce delays and to avoid late-filing penalties.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for property in Northumberland:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £195,922 £1,418.44
Average price (detached) £307,187 £5,359.35
Average new build £233,800 £2,176.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Northumberland

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a higher SDLT rate of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Northumberland bought a second property for the average price of £195,922 the SDLT would be £9,796.10.

Conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Northumberland

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property if you are unaware of the facts can be fraught with risk. Unreasonable ground rents, marriage value issues and sinking fund issues are only some of the many potential difficulties lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer.

Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced lawyer's misguided leasehold advice.

A expert conveyancing solicitor in Northumberland will consider possible leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • absent freeholders
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • sinking funds

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Northumberland?

New build building site

The average value of new build homes in Northumberland is £266,274, based on data published by the Land Registry. 37 brand new properties have been bought in Northumberland in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Northumberland must be familiar with Northumberland-specific considerations and the added complexities associated with new build, like checking new build mortgage procedures are followed and verifying rights of easements.

Our new build conveyancing team are experts in helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the home you are planning to buy is in one of Northumberland's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by certain building controls. These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Restrictions on the addition of a porch
  • Possible restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

If a property is in breach, the local authority can instruct the owner to 'undo' the recent changes, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Conservation areas in Northumberland include Chatton, Humshaugh and Shotley. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Northumberland's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Northumberland

The legal side of a property sale is much easier than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will have to go through extensive due diligence on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland acting for the seller effectively just answers the buyer's questions.

What could jeopardise the sale of your property?

Obstacles, such as being situated on an unadopted road, can seriously delay the sale conveyancing process.

It is better not to hide from the issue, trusting that the issue won't be discovered. The best course of action is to seek out professional help and tackle it promptly.

Recommended reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is much more involved than it is for a freehold home.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Northumberland, and this could include sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

Estate agents are right to recommend that sellers appoint a conveyancer as soon as possible, ideally before putting the property on the market, to mitigate (often inevitable) leasehold delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller of the same home?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a Northumberland home, and a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you can contact a local Northumberland conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Northumberland

People remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, including wanting a more flexible mortgage, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder. By far the most common reason, however, is to get a more attractive interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Northumberland will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major UK lenders, so whether you are moving to a fixed-rate mortgage with the HSBC or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Yorkshire Bank, our remortgage specialists can help.

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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