Updated: October 12, 2018

Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Richmond Upon Thames

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames who will work on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote sets out exactly what you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process. These include costs like managing agent information or property searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Richmond Upon Thames cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Richmond Upon Thames will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, specific extra searches, such as transport searches, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Richmond Upon Thames

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller should disclose defects or disputes.

It remains, however, the duty of a conveyancing solicitor in Richmond Upon Thames to make enquiries about the property, report back to the buyer and the lender, make practical suggestions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section considers those types of property that involve additional hazards for homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames.

Your Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are getting a mortgage from the Holmesdale Building Society, TSB or any other lender, before you choose a Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders will only work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of legal firms.

Under these circumstances, the lender will need a second firm to carry out the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your property lawyer could jeopardise the sale.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor lenders.

Property Searches (Richmond upon Thames Borough Council)

Searches are applied for by Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitors to unearth any pertinent information that might impact the value of your house or flat.

Mortgagees will also require property searches to be carried out. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any grants available
  • 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 - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • 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.

You will be told if your lender insists on any further searches, e.g. a more detailed flood report or a ground stability report.

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames has an estimated lead time of 4 weeks for conveyancing searches, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will apply for office copies from HM Land Registry. This will help to expose potential planning issues, such as restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Richmond Upon Thames will pay to London Borough of Richmond upon Thames will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. the occupier of a Band D home in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames area would pay annual council tax of £1,707.

Conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band once they are themselves 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 £1,280.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band London Borough of Richmond upon Thames Tax (2018)
A £1,138
B £1,328
C £1,517
D £1,707
E £2,086
F £2,466
G £2,845
H £3,414

Could I be overpaying council tax?

Owners can apply for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
1 Francis Grove
SW19 4DT

Stamp Duty on Richmond Upon Thames properties

SDLT is paid to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay SDLT on the purchase price of the residential property if it exceeds £125,000.

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

This table sets out stamp duty for property in Richmond Upon Thames:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £769,805 £28,490.25
Average price (detached) £1,660,470 £113,006.40
Average new build £583,714 £19,185.70

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Richmond Upon Thames

Since 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000. If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay a surcharge of 3%. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second property in Richmond Upon Thames for the average price of £769,805 the stamp duty would be £61,584.40.

Conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames should ensure the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Richmond Upon Thames

New build site

The risks associated with leasehold property ownership are a worry for purchasers of leasehold houses or flats. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed buyer include:

  • incomplete management company accounts
  • reversionary interests
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
  • exponential ground rents
Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Richmond Upon Thames will consider possible leasehold issues, such as :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • service charges and whether they have been collected
  • landlord/tenant disputes
  • notices served on the freeholder

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Richmond Upon Thames?

New build site

Based on local data compiled by the Land Registry, the average sale price of Richmond Upon Thames new build homes is £583,714. 14 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Richmond Upon Thames in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Richmond Upon Thames must be mindful of both local Richmond Upon Thames considerations as well as new build-specific issues, including handling the uncertainties of buying off plan and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an impartial assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, whilst being mindful of considerations ranging from the home's future mortgageability to an assessment of other risks, such as future local development.

London Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Richmond Upon Thames, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the property is in one of Richmond Upon Thames's conservation areas. If it is, the property will be affected by certain conditions. These conditions, called Article 4 Directions, may include a wide range of constraints from restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch, to restrictions on the use of cladding.

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

Conservation areas in Richmond Upon Thames include Christ Church Road, Thorne Passage and Amyand Park Road. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Richmond Upon Thames.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Richmond Upon Thames

Conveyancing for a house sale is generally simpler than when buying. When a house or flat changes hands, the responsibility is on the buyer to make sure that the property is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames acting for the vendor need only respond to the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

A house or flat can face issues (e.g. chancel repair liability or Japanese Knotweed) which may derail your move.

It is usually a good idea that sellers address such issues immediately.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (houses are rarely leasehold) is significantly more difficult compared to a freehold house.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Richmond Upon Thames must carry out additional legal work, which could include requesting an up-to-date service charge statement or a copy of the lease.

It is strongly advised that you instruct a property lawyer as early as possible to reduce the impact of any leasehold-caused issues.

What if you are already acting for the other side?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You could contact a local Richmond Upon Thames conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Richmond Upon Thames

Reducing monthly repayments by finding a better rate of interest is usually the main reason why people remortgage. There are other reasons, including fixing the mortgage on a new discounted rate, or borrowing more to help pay for an extension.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Richmond Upon Thames will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

The property lawyer will act for both you and your new lender to certify the lender's investment is secured.

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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