Updated: October 12, 2018

Pontefract conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Pontefract

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

Do Pontefract conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Pontefract carry out the legal work on a fees per hour basis. We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no unexpected, additional costs. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like bankruptcy checks or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Pontefract solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Although conveyancing fees in Pontefract will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For standard conveyancing transactions, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Pontefract

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of English property law. 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.

The Pontefract conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, help with resolving any problems and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following discusses those types of property that carry additional risk for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Pontefract.

Your Pontefract conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

There are many lenders, from a niche lender like the Furness Building Society, to a major lender such as Santander. Before you appoint a Pontefract conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is critical that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only accept a selected list (their 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

Under these circumstances, the lender will likely require a second legal firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs. This can frustrate or delay the process.

Not checking the lender panel status of your conveyancing lawyer can result in serious delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Residential Property Searches (Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made by Pontefract conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting the home you want to buy. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - exposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - some Pontefract property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Additional searches, such as a highways authority search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be recommended following the initial searches.

Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council has a typical lead time of 3 weeks for searches, so quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Checking planning permission status

Official Entries will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any planning issues. Examples of these include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of criteria which include the layout of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. For instance for an average Band C house in Pontefract, the council tax payable would be £1,413 per year.

Pontefract conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,060.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the resident is living in long term residential care. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) work out bandings for new build homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Wakefield City Metropolitan District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,060
B £1,237
C £1,413
D £1,590
E £1,943
F £2,297
G £2,650
H £3,180

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

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

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed, and a refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band.

Stamp Duty on Pontefract properties

Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

A purchaser will usually need to pay SDLT if the residential property they are buying is valued at over £125k.

Quittance's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the hard to understand SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

See SDLT examples for homes in Pontefract:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £159,506 £690.12
Average price (detached) £230,454 £2,109.08
Average new build £186,781 £1,235.62

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Pontefract

As from Nov 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k. Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second property. So if a second property was bought for £159,506 then the SDLT total will be £7,975.30.

Conveyancing solicitors in Pontefract will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Pontefract

New build site

The potential pitfalls of leasehold property ownership should be of serious concern for leasehold property buyers. Unreasonable ground rents, onerous covenants and absent freeholders are only some of the frequent complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser.

Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Pontefract will consider potential leasehold issues, such as :

  • understanding regional and era-specific nuances of leases
  • annual statements of account and budgets for service charges
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • residents? management company

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact our leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Pontefract?

New build building site

According to data gathered by the Land Registry, the average cost of new build properties in Pontefract is £154,486. 10 new build homes have been bought in Pontefract in 2018 so far.

Purchasing a new build home requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Pontefract conveyancing solicitor should be aware of local issues and will need to investigate several key factors, e.g. handling structural guarantees and investigating road and drainage issues.

Our highly qualified new build team are experts in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and meeting short developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in West Yorkshire

Whether you are a fan of Edwardian, Victorian or Tudor-style architecture, buying in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your residential property.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these constraints can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing roof tiles
  • General restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials
  • Limits on side or two-storey extensions

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Pontefract

The legal process for a property sale is more straightforward than when purchasing. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will carry out detailed research on your home, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Pontefract acting for the vendor mostly just collates information and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

What should you do to reduce the risk of an abortive sale?

Obstacles, like having a defective lease or a problem with the roof, can seriously jeopardise a transaction if they are ignored.

Property experts almost always advise that vendors tackle these issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is much more specialised compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Pontefract will also carry out additional work. This can involve requesting a comprehensive pack of information, through to a copy of the insurance policy schedule.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold expert as soon as possible.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, SRA rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a local Pontefract conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Pontefract conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Hartley & Worstenholme, 10 Gillygate, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1PQ
  • Wright & Co (Pontefract) Limited, Micklegate House, 4 Horsefair, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1PD
  • Ison Harrison Limited, Norwood House, Stuart Road, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1BT
  • Carters Solicitors LLP, 33 Ropergate, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 1LE
  • Heptonstalls Limited, 9-11 Ropergate End, Pontefract, West Yokshire, WF8 1JU

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Pontefract

Saving money on a lower rate is usually why homeowners decide to switch lenders. There are other reasons, including releasing funds to help pay for home improvements, or the current mortgage deal coming to an end.

You can enjoy the benefits of a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Pontefract. They will work to reduce the processing time of the conveyancing. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is critical that your property lawyer can act for your new mortgage provider. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies, so no matter whether you are switching to a 95% mortgage with the Halifax or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Barnsley Building Society, we can assist.

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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