Updated: October 12, 2018

Northwood conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Northwood

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay to your Northwood conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

How are Northwood conveyancing fees calculated?

We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Northwood who carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote explains exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

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. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or identity verification checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Northwood cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Northwood will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For standard conveyancing transactions, 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 delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Northwood

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The conveyancing solicitor in Northwood will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, help with resolving any problems and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The content below discusses the types of residential property which may be of interest to people who need conveyancing solicitors in Northwood for a purchase.

Your Northwood conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to a broad selection of mortgage lenders, from a financial institution like the Chelsea Building Society, to a large lender such as TSB. Before you choose a Northwood conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is critical that you make sure that they can act for your lender.

Many mortgage lenders only accept a select panel of firms that meet stringent criteria. If your solicitor is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will require an alternative firm to act in their interests.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Not checking the lender panel membership of your property solicitor could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all lenders.

Hillingdon Borough Council searches

Property searches are enquiries made of government bodies by Northwood conveyancing solicitors to provide information about your new home.

Searches are primarily performed to satisfy the conditions of the lender, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, for example a highways authority search or a contaminated land report.

The typical turnaround time for Local Authority searches provided by The London Borough of Hillingdon is 8 weeks, so your solicitor will instead order faster regulated searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of any potential issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or right of access issues.

London Borough of Hillingdon Council Tax

London Borough of Hillingdon calculate council tax on Northwood homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For example, for an average Band B property in Northwood, the council tax would be £1,094 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Northwood will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are 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 £821.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment.

Band London Borough of Hillingdon Tax (2018)
A £938
B £1,094
C £1,251
D £1,407
E £1,720
F £2,033
G £2,345
H £2,814

Does anyone ever challenge their valuation?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
3rd Floor Aspect Gate 166 College Rd
Harrow
HA1 1BH

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.

Stamp Duty on Northwood properties

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k. Submitting the SDLT1 form to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

Quittance Conveyancing ensure that the convoluted SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

See examples for local properties:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £810,312 £30,515.60
Average price (detached) £1,265,940 £70,344.00
Average new build £797,000 £29,850.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Northwood

In 2017, the Government announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% stamp duty surcharge, even if the property is not let out. Therefore, if a homeowner in Northwood bought a second home for the average price of £810,312 the SDLT would be £64,824.96.

Northwood conveyancing solicitors should ensure the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Northwood

New build site

The pitfalls associated with buying a leasehold property remain of serious concern. The many potential complications lying in wait for an uninformed buyer include:

  • marriage value issues
  • ground rent multipliers
  • sinking fund issues
Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Northwood will consider potential leasehold issues, such as dealing with freeholders, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and unexpired lease terms.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Northwood?

House under construction

5 brand new properties were purchased in Northwood last year, based on data from the Land Registry. The average cost of new builds in Northwood is £797,000.

Buying a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Northwood conveyancing solicitor must be conscious of local Northwood factors and will need to investigate several key factors, such as helping with mortgage offer extension terms and ensuring that the contract is in the buyer's favour.

Our expert new build team provide an expert appraisal of the legal status of the property, whilst being mindful of factors like onerous leasehold conditions and potential freehold acquisition traps.

London Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the house you are purchasing is in a conservation area in Northwood. If it is, the house could be affected by specific constraints. These conditions can include restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or restrictions on the use of external insulation.

If a property is in breach, you could be ordered by the local planning authority to return the home to its earlier condition, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Northwood

Conveyancing for a property sale is less demanding than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancer needs to carry out extensive research on the home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Northwood acting for the seller mostly just collects all documents and information relating to the property and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What factors could threaten your sale?

Properties can be burdened by challenges (for example having a defective lease or a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme) that can derail the sale process.

It is best not to procrastinate as solicitors are trained to unearth any such issues. Instead, you should talk to a professional, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution at the earliest stage.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is much more specialised compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Northwood will also need to carry out additional work, which could include liaising with the management company to obtain the most recent annual service charge accounts, through to details of any disputes with the current leaseholder.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold property, it is recommended that you instruct a solicitor as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both sides?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a property in Northwood, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side, you could contact a property solicitor firm in Northwood to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Northwood

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a better rate is generally why homeowners remortgage. There are other reasons, including moving to an offset mortgage, or consolidating loan repayments.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Northwood can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

In order to certify that the mortgage provider's interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent both you and your 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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