Updated: October 12, 2018

Orpington conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Orpington

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

Are Orpington conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Orpington work on a fees per hour basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Our conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis, with no hidden costs. Your quote explains what fees 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 need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Land Registry fees or leasehold information packs.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Orpington cost?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Orpington will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a flood plain search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Orpington

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was the legal principle of English property law. This principle no longer applies, however, a purchaser must still investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Orpington will give advice once their enquiries are complete, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section of the article offers invaluable advice for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Orpington.

Your Orpington conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a major lender like Bank of Ireland or a niche lender such as Topaz Finance, before instructing a Orpington conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal practices that meet stringent standards.

In this case, the lender will likely require an alternative law firm to complete the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this second solicitor's fees. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Failing to check your property lawyer's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all lenders.

Property Searches (Bromley Borough Council)

Searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Orpington conveyancing solicitors to identify information and potential issues affecting your new home.

Banks and building societies almost always need conveyancing searches to be purchased. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Environmental searchexposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilityinvolves 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.

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

Buyers can expect to wait roughly 6 weeks for conveyancing searches delivered by The London Borough of Bromley, so your lawyer will advise using faster personal searches.

Planning documents

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from the Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight planning issues. Examples of these include outbuildings missing from the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

London Borough of Bromley Council Tax

London Borough of Bromley calculate your council tax based on a number of criteria which include the size and character of the home and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. The occupier of a property in Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,776.

A conveyancing solicitor in Orpington will inform a 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 £1,332.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative.

Band London Borough of Bromley Tax (2018)
A £968
B £1,130
C £1,291
D £1,453
E £1,776
F £2,098
G £2,421
H £2,905

Can I challenge my council tax band?

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 90 council tax challenges were made, and 20 were approved and the tax was reduced. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd

Stamp Duty on Orpington properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland). After a house sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the SDLT is paid to HMRC.

Quittance ensure that the hard to understand SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

This table sets out stamp duty for average property in Orpington:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £486,404 £14,320.20
Average price (detached) £703,953 £25,197.65
Average new build £347,875 £7,393.75

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Orpington

Since November 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300k. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second property in the form of a higher rate of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £486,404 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £38,912.32. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Orpington should ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Orpington

New build site

The drawbacks of buying a leasehold property are of serious concern for buyers of leasehold property. The many potential complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer include:

  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • sub-letting restrictions
  • doubling ground rents
Misguided leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, can have serious consequences.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Orpington will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements
  • absent freeholders
  • plans to collectively purchase the freehold
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Get in touch with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Orpington?

Building site

The average price for Orpington new build properties is £347,875, (HM Land Registry data). 6 new build properties have been bought in Orpington in 2018 so far.

The legal side of acquiring a new build home is generally more complex than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Orpington must be conscious of local issues and needs to check a range of issues, like dealing with fast exchange timeframes and administering Help to Buy purchases.

Our new build team specialise in meeting short developer deadlines and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

London Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Orpington, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the house is in a conservation area in Orpington. If it is, the house is affected by building controls. These building controls may include:

  • Restrictions on door and window styles
  • Restrictions preventing paving over the front garden
  • A prohibition 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.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Orpington

The conveyancing process on a house sale is less demanding than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor does detailed due diligence on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Orpington acting for the seller essentially just collates requested paperwork (e.g. warranties and certificates) and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

Why do sales fall through?

Common obstacles, like not having appropriate warranties, can actually jeopardise your home move.

It is usually a good idea for vendors to tackle such issues head on.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is significantly more protracted than for a freehold property.

Orpington conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work, including sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of any health and safety assessment for the common parts.

It is strongly advised that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as is practicable to reduce delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor of the same house?

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

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Orpington, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Orpington to carry out your legal work.

Local Orpington conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Thomas Dunton Solicitors, 217-219 High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0NZ
  • Centaur Property Group Limited, Po Box 263, Orpington, Kent, BR6 8ZH
  • Clarkson Wright & Jakes Ltd, Valiant House, 12 Knoll Rise, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0PG
  • Manak Lawyers Limited, 265 & 271a High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0NW
  • T G Baynes Solicitors, Downe House, 303 High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0NJ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Orpington

People remortgage their home for a variety of reasons, such as releasing capital to pay off other debts, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses. By far the most common reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Orpington. They will work to reduce the processing time of the conveyancing. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender to ensure the mortgage provider's interests are protected and the change of lender is recorded at the Land Registry.

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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