Updated: October 12, 2018

Oxfordshire conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Oxfordshire

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay your Oxfordshire conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Oxfordshire conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire work on a price per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote sets out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay 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 third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as local authority searches or indemnity insurance.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Oxfordshire cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Oxfordshire will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a mining search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Oxfordshire

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. This maxim no longer applies, however, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A Oxfordshire conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section of the article sets out advice for buyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire.

Your Oxfordshire conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a financial institution like the Family Building Society or a large lender such as the Co-operative Bank, before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Oxfordshire it is very important that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a select panel of law firms.

If this is the case, the lender will require a second legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Your purchase could be jeopardised by failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Oxford City Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Oxfordshire will pay to Oxford City Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For example, for an average Valuation Band B house in Oxfordshire, the council tax amount would be £1,487 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire will inform a buyer 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 £1,115.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the property is occupied by someone who is seriously mentally impaired. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and given a council tax banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Oxford City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,275
B £1,487
C £1,700
D £1,912
E £2,337
F £2,762
G £3,187
H £3,825

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive
Oxford
OX4 2RU
Oxfordshire

Stamp Duty on Oxfordshire properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

A purchaser will usually need to pay SDLT if the home they are buying is valued at over £125,000.

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

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Oxfordshire:

  Average selling price (February 2018) SDLT
Average price £439,093 £11,954.65
Average price (detached) £587,760 £19,388.00
Average new build £473,250 £13,662.50
Following the autumn statement, second home buyers must pay a higher SDLT rate of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £439,093 then the SDLT total will be £35,127.44.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Oxfordshire

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Oxfordshire

New build site

The drawbacks of buying a leasehold house or flat in the UK are recognised. Exponential ground rents, freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders and overpriced managing agent packs are but a few of the many traps lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a less-experienced solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Oxfordshire will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example :

  • reviewing the lease
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • service charges
  • unexpired lease terms
  • insurance covenants

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will work to ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Oxfordshire?

Building site

The average purchase price of a new build property in Oxfordshire is £406,101. 83 new build houses and flats have been bought in Oxfordshire in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Oxfordshire will need to be aware of both local Oxfordshire factors as well as new build-specific issues, like handling structural guarantees and working to builders' exchange timelines.

Quittance Conveyancing deliver an independent assessment of the legal status of the property, looking out for concerns ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Oxfordshire conservation areas

Moving to a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your house.

Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions may include:

  • Restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, railings or fences
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the installation of VELUX windows

If a property is in breach, the local council could order the owner to pay for the work needed to make the home compliant, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Oxfordshire

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat is generally simpler than for a purchase. The purchaser needs to carry out a thorough legal appraisal on the property and its legal title, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire acting for the seller simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

Obstacles, such as a landlord dispute on a leasehold property or missing planning regulations, might slow or frustrate the sale conveyancing process if ignored.

It is best not to procrastinate and hope the buyer's solicitor won't notice - seek out professional help instead and deal with it as quickly as possible.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is a great deal more time-consuming than for a freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Oxfordshire must carry out additional work, such as getting all relevant freeholder information, through to details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

In order to resolve any leasehold delays faster, it is strongly advised that you instruct a property lawyer as soon as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a Oxfordshire home, and we are carrying out the legal work for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Oxfordshire to handle your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Oxfordshire

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage is simply to get a better rate. Other reasons to consider remortgaging include releasing capital to pay off other debts, or switching from interest-only to repayment.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Oxfordshire will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing your preferred rate.

To confirm that the interests of the lender are protected, a property lawyer will represent both you and the bank or building society.

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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