Updated: October 12, 2018

Plymstock conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Plymstock

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Plymstock conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are Plymstock conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Plymstock who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as bankruptcy checks or managing agent information.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Plymstock cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Plymstock will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, such as utilities searches, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote 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 Plymstock

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a key part of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this maxim no longer applies, however, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

A conveyancing solicitor in Plymstock will give advice following their enquiries, help with resolving any problems and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

This section of the article discusses those residential property types that may be of interest to buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Plymstock.

Your Plymstock conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are taking out a mortgage from Topaz Finance, Lloyds Bank or any other lender, before appointing a Plymstock conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of legal practices.

In this case, the lender will require a different legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second lawyer's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Delays can result from failing to check your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Searches (Plymouth City Council)

Property searches are applied for by Plymstock conveyancing solicitors to expose any pertinent information that might reduce how much the property you are purchasing will be worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes building regulations
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
  • Chancel repair liability - involves 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.

Additional searches, such as a radon gas search or a more detailed plan search, may also be advised depending on the contents of the standard searches.

The estimated lead time for conveyancing searches supplied by Plymouth City Council is 7 weeks. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the purchaser. This will help to highlight any issues. Examples of these include neighbours' rights of access or a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan.

Plymouth City Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Plymstock, 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. The occupier of a property in Valuation Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,743.

Conveyancing solicitors in Plymstock will inform a buyer of the property's band once they are themselves 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 £1,307.

Other discounts and exemptions may 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 where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch.

Band Plymouth City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,162
B £1,355
C £1,549
D £1,743
E £2,130
F £2,517
G £2,904
H £3,485

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
190 Armada Way
Plymouth
PL1 1EG
Devon

In the 2016/17 financial year, 50 council tax challenges were made. 20 were approved and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Plymstock properties

SDLT is a tax payable on all UK properties where the purchase price exceeds £125,000 (£145,000 in Scotland).

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Quittance Conveyancing is able to administer the Stamp Duty Land Tax process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in Devon:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £289,151 £4,457.55
Average price (detached) £405,188 £10,259.40
Average new build £314,092 £5,704.60
Following a change in April 2016, a 3% stamp duty surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Plymstock for the average price of £289,151 the SDLT would be £23,132.08.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Plymstock

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with reduced rates up to £500,000.

Plymstock conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Plymstock

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold home without understanding the implications can be costly. The many potential complications awaiting the unsuspecting buyer include:

  • sub-letting restrictions
  • unreasonable ground rents
  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a property with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Plymstock will consider possible leasehold issues, such as reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old), managing agent or landlord enquiries and service charges for relevant date periods.

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors 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 Plymstock?

Building site

Based on local data compiled by the HM Land Registry, the average purchase price of Plymstock new build homes is £314,092. 103 new build properties have been bought in Plymstock in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build property can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a Plymstock conveyancing solicitor needs to be aware of local Plymstock considerations and should check a range of issues, such as dealing with failures to arrange warranty provider inspections and investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers specialise in new build purchases and working to tight developer deadlines.

Devon Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property you are going to buy is in one of Plymstock's conservation areas. If it is, the home will be affected by certain conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these restrictions may include a wide range of constraints from limits on the use of cladding, to restrictions on the addition of a porch.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Plymstock's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Plymstock

The conveyancing process on a property sale is much easier than for a property purchase. When a house or flat changes hands, the obligation lies entirely with the buyer to confirm that the legal title of the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Plymstock acting for the vendor just answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, like tree preservation orders, have the capacity to prolong the sale process if they are ignored.

Don't bury your head as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems, instead seek out professional help and work to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold property is quite a lot more technical than for a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Plymstock will usually undertake extra work, such as getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any details of rules covering common parts that are not contained in the lease.

In order to resolve any leasehold issues faster, it is highly recommended that the seller instruct a property lawyer as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations ban a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You can contact a local Plymstock conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Plymstock conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Fursdon Knapper, 247 Dean Cross Road, Plymstock, Plymouth, Devon, PL9 7AZ
  • Howard and Over LLP, 254 Dean Cross Road, Plymstock, Plymouth, Devon, PL9 7AZ
  • Wolferstans, 7 Radford Park Road, Plymstock, Devon, PL9 9DG

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Plymstock

The main reason homeowners remortgage a home is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are also a number of other reasons to consider remortgaging, such as switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing capital.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Plymstock, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

It is critical that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can also represent your new lender. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies, so whether you are switching to a variable-rate with Barclays Bank or to a variable-rate mortgage with Virgin Money, Quittance 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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