Updated: October 12, 2018

Otley conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Otley

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Otley conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Otley conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Otley will work on a cost per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote sets out what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

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 TT fees or Land Registry fees.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Otley solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Otley will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a flooding search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden costs or nasty surprises. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee 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 Otley

There is now an obligation on a seller to disclose any property defects or disputes to the buyer.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a conveyancing solicitor in Otley to carry out due diligence on the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

The content below examines elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Otley where greater expertise is essential.

Your Otley conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you choose a conveyancing solicitor in Otley, it is paramount that you confirm that they are approved by your lender, whether you are taking out a mortgage from Barclays Bank, Precise Mortgages or any other lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of firms that pass strict standards.

If this is the case, the lender will require a different law firm to complete the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this second lawyer's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Failing to check your property solicitor's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can act for all mortgage providers.

Conveyancing Searches (Leeds City Council)

Property searches are applied for by Otley conveyancing solicitors to help spot any wider issues that might possibly have an impact on how much your property will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - reveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
  • Environmental search - exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
  • 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 Otley property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Purchasers will be told if your lender requires any more searches, e.g. a highways search or a mining search.

The estimated turnaround time for LA searches from Leeds City Council is 4 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be obtained from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer, helping to evidence any issues, for example neighbours' rights of access or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Leeds City Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Otley, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. For example, for an average Valuation Band C house in Otley, the amount payable would be £1,399.

Otley conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,049.

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

Band Leeds City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,049
B £1,224
C £1,399
D £1,574
E £1,924
F £2,274
G £2,624
H £3,148

Can I dispute my band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Castle House
31 Lisbon St
Leeds
LS1 4DR
West Yorkshire

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request.

Stamp Duty on Otley properties

The threshold for SDLT for a residential property is £125k. It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance Conveyancing use smart case management systems to ensure that mistakes are not made on the SDLT process.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for typical properties in Otley:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £222,053 £1,941.06
Average price (detached) £325,931 £6,296.55
Average new build £269,997 £3,499.85

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Otley

As from Nov 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000. Higher rates of stamp duty apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of an SDLT surcharge of 3%. So if a second property was bought for £222,053 then the stamp duty total will be £11,102.65.

Conveyancing solicitors in Otley will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Otley

New build site

The potential pitfalls of purchasing a leasehold property should be a worry for leasehold home buyers. Spiralling ground rents, sub-letting restrictions and unreasonable lease extension premiums are but a few of the frequent complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced property lawyer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Otley will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • changes to the terms of the lease
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property thanks to our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Otley?

House under construction

According to Land Registry data, the average price for a new build property in Otley is £269,997. 2 new builds have been bought in Otley in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Otley needs to be conscious of both local issues and the extra complexities of new build, such as dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and ensuring compliance with planning regulations.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are experts in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in West Yorkshire

If you are intending to buy a residential property in one of Otley's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area building controls. Called Article 4 directions, these conditions can include restrictions on the addition of a porch, general restrictions governing unsympathetic additions or modifications or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority can require the new owner to revert the property to its earlier condition, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Otley's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Otley

The conveyancing process on a house sale is more straightforward than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor must carry out extensive research into the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Otley acting for the seller merely answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, like a problematic solar panel lease, can seriously derail your move.

Property specialists will almost always suggest that sellers handle these issues without delay.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is a great deal more protracted than for a freehold property.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Otley must undertake additional tasks. This can involve requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

To reduce leasehold-related delays, it is recommended that the seller instruct a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, SRA regulations ban a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a property in Otley, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side, you could contact a local Otley conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Otley

Homeowners remortgage for a variety of reasons, such as releasing capital, or getting on to a new fixed-rate deal. The main reason, however, is to benefit from a lower interest rate.

You will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Otley, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer handling the remortgage needs to be able to act for your chosen lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to an offset mortgage with the NatWest or to a joint mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, we 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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