Updated: October 12, 2018

Portishead conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Portishead

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay your Portishead conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are Portishead conveyancing fees calculated?

Our solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Portishead who will work on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote explains exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as ID checks or property searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Portishead cost?

While conveyancing fees in Portishead will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flooding search, may be needed.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. 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 Portishead

The conveyancing for a home purchase will require the conveyancing solicitor in Portishead to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from problems with the property's title to issues impacting on the future saleability of the home.

The buyer's solicitor will report their findings back to the purchaser and their mortgage lender, solve outstanding issues and register the title in the new owner's name.

This section examines the kinds of property that carry additional risk for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Portishead.

Your Portishead conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a conveyancing solicitor in Portishead, you must confirm that they can act for your lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, Atom Bank or any other lender.

Some lenders will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal practices. If a solicitor is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will need an alternative legal firm to complete the legal work.

The buyer will then have to cover this substitute lawyer's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Neglecting to check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status could result in serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all lenders.

Residential Property Searches (North Somerset Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are submitted by Portishead conveyancing solicitors to help identify planning, development and environmental issues that might possibly affect the value of your house or flat. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - covers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
  • 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 - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Portishead properties for local parish repairs.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your mortgage lender requires any further searches, for example a tin mining search or a mining search.

The approximate delivery time for searches delivered by North Somerset Council is 4 weeks, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning issues

Official Entries will also be obtained by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight potential planning issues, for example neighbours' rights of access or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

North Somerset Council Council Tax

North Somerset Council calculate council tax on Portishead homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Band E, for example, would owe annual council tax of £2,037.

Portishead conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the property's tax band as soon as they are 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 £1,528.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is occupied by someone who is seriously mentally impaired.

Band North Somerset Council Tax (2018)
A £1,111
B £1,296
C £1,481
D £1,667
E £2,037
F £2,407
G £2,778
H £3,333

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

In the financial year 2016/17, 60 council tax challenges were made, and 30 saw a subsequent reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4th Floor
Temple Gate

Stamp Duty on Portishead properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

The current stamp duty threshold for residential properties is £125,000.

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

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Somerset:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £257,597 £2,879.85
Average price (detached) £369,065 £8,453.25
Average new build £269,284 £3,464.20
Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers have had to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £257,597 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £20,607.76. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Portishead

Since the budget announcement in 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k.

Portishead conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Portishead

New build site

Over 100,000 homeowners in the UK are trapped in leases with unreasonable lease clauses. Unreasonable ground rents, undisclosed major works and restrictions on the use of the property are but a few of the many potential difficulties lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced property lawyer, could lead to serious consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Portishead will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charges
  • dealing with freeholders and managing agents
  • unexpired lease terms

Ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Portishead?

House being built

According to Land Registry information, the average purchase price of new build property in Portishead is £269,284. 40 new build houses and flats have been bought in Portishead in 2018 so far.

The legal side of purchasing a new build is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Portishead needs to be conscious of local Portishead factors and should check numerous things, such as handling deposits and spotting incomplete agreements for roads and sewers.

Our highly qualified new build conveyancing team are experts in working to developer exchange timeframes and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Conservation areas in Somerset

If you are planning to buy a home in a conservation area in Portishead, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include restrictions on the use of PVC windows, restrictions on the addition of cladding or restrictions on the erection of outbuildings.

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority can instruct the owner to 'undo' the recent changes, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Portishead

The legal process for a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than when purchasing. When buying, the onus lies with the purchaser to validate that the house or flat is legally sound.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Portishead acting for the seller only need to answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

Why do sales fall through?

Common issues, like not being insurable or having a defective lease, might threaten your home move if not dealt with promptly.

It is generally recommended that vendors handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.


Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more complex than it is for a freehold home.

Portishead conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, which could include obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any required deed of covenant.

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold expert as early in the process as possible, and ideally before going on the market,.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could contact a law firm in Portishead to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

Local Portishead conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Gordon Dadds Group Solicitors Limited, Combe House, Combe Road, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 6BJ
  • Star Legal Limited, 11 Cabstand, Portishead, North Somerset, BS20 7HW
  • Wards Solicitors, 2 Harbour Road, Portishead, Bristol, North Somerset, BS20 7EL
  • Wards Solicitors LLP, 2 Harbour Road, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7EL

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Portishead

Homeowners remortgage for a variety of reasons, for example wanting to borrow more, or moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate. The main reason, however, is to get a more affordable interest rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Portishead will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

The property lawyer conducting the legal work needs to be able to act for your chosen mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are changing to a variable-rate with the Halifax or to a long-term fixed mortgage with Birmingham Midshires, 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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