Updated: October 12, 2018

Rochester conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Rochester

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Rochester conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Rochester conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Rochester work on a fees per hour basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the solicitor's 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 local authority searches or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Rochester cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Rochester will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a flooding search, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden fees. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Rochester

Purchase conveyancing will need a conveyancing solicitor in Rochester to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from defective property title (e.g. the title is subject to an estate contract) to problems affecting the mortgageability (e.g. mixed-use issues).

The conveyancer will report their findings back to the purchaser and their lender, deal with any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

The following section discusses the kinds of residential property that may be of interest to buyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Rochester.

Your Rochester conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Bank of Ireland or a niche lender such as Ulster Bank, before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Rochester it is vital that you check that they can represent your chosen lender.

Quite a few mortgage lenders only accept a restricted panel of legal firms. If a solicitor can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will probably require a different law firm to act in their interests.

You will then have to cover this second lawyer's fees and significant delays to your move could occur.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your lawyer could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all banks and building societies.

Conveyancing Searches (Medway Council)

Searches are carried out by Rochester conveyancing solicitors to help spot problems that might possibly compromise how much your house or flat is worth. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchplanning and development details from Medway Council records
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Drainage & Water searchidentifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Additional searches, such as a radon gas search or a Forestry Commission search, may also be advised in the standard searches.

The average lead time for Local Authority searches obtained from Medway Council is 5 weeks, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight planning issues, for example restrictions that limit alterations or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Medway Council Council Tax

Medway Council calculate council tax on Rochester homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. the occupier of a Band C property in the Medway Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,444.

Conveyancing solicitors in Rochester will inform a purchaser of the property'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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,083.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or where the property is occupied solely by students. New build properties are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a council tax band.

Band Medway Council Tax (2018)
A £1,083
B £1,263
C £1,444
D £1,624
E £1,985
F £2,346
G £2,707
H £3,249

Can I challenge my council tax band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 40 council tax challenges were made, and 10 saw a subsequent reduction. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

Stamp Duty on Rochester properties

Stamp duty is paid to HMRC by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

With some exceptions, if you buy a property over the £125,000 threshold you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Quittance Conveyancing use smart case management systems to make sure that mistakes are not made on the Stamp Duty Land Tax process.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for average property in Rochester:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £289,512 £4,475.60
Average price (detached) £430,508 £11,525.40
Average new build £234,778 £2,195.56
If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. E.g. if a second home was bought for £289,512 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £23,160.96. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Rochester

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Rochester should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Rochester

New build site

The risks associated with buying a leasehold property in the UK are under increasing media scrutiny. The many potential traps lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser include undisclosed major works and ground rent multipliers.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a solicitor with little specialist experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Rochester will consider potential leasehold issues, for example reviewing the lease, dealing with freeholders and managing agents and service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements.

Our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Rochester?

House under construction

The average price for Rochester new build properties is £228,663, (sce: HM Land Registry). 7 new build homes have been bought in Rochester in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Rochester needs to be conscious of both local considerations and the complications associated with new build, like squaring developer incentives with lenders and checking planning conditions have been fulfilled.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, scrutinising contract considerations like the home's future mortgageability and exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Kent Conservation areas

Whether you enjoy a rural setting or Regency architecture, buying in a conservation area can ensure that the local neighbourhood is protected from drastic alterations. However, conservation area building controls will affect your property.

These building controls can include restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or restrictions on the use of external insulation.

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

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Rochester.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Rochester

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is less demanding than when purchasing. The purchaser must carry out a full legal review into the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Rochester acting for the seller, however, merely collates information and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

Factors that could delay or endanger your sale

Hurdles, like excessive ground rent, can potentially frustrate your move if not dealt with promptly.

Property specialists will usually suggest that sellers handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is much more time-consuming than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Rochester will need to conduct extra work, including getting an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any consents for alterations.

You should plan to instruct a lawyer as soon as is practicable to mitigate predictable leasehold delays.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

SRA rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase. A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both parties.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Rochester to carry out your conveyancing, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Rochester

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners will generally remortgage a home to secure a better rate of interest.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Rochester will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing your preferred rate.

It is vital that the property lawyer undertaking the legal work can act for your new lender. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are moving to a 100% mortgage with the HSBC or to a variable-rate mortgage with the Buckinghamshire Building Society, our remortgage team 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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