Updated: October 12, 2018

Romford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Romford

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to your Romford conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are Romford conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Romford who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf. These include costs like local authority searches or office copies and title plans.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Romford solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Romford will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden fees. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Romford

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller is obliged to reveal any property defects or disputes to the buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the conveyancing solicitor in Romford to carry out due diligence on the property, report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, help with resolving any problems and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The content below considers elements of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Romford where additional expertise is needed.

Your Romford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a less common lender like DB UK Bank or a large lender such as the Nationwide Building Society, before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Romford it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Your solicitor 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 (known as a 'panel') of firms.

Under these circumstances, the lender will require a second solicitor firm to act in their interests, and you will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Major delays can occur if you fail to check your property solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are on the panel of all lenders.

Searches (Havering Borough Council)

Property searches are applied for by Romford conveyancing solicitors to expose issues that could reduce how much your property will be worth.

Mortgagees also need to see searches (as set out in the CML Handbook) to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes rail schemes
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - identifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Romford properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

More pertinent searches, such as a radon gas search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be recommended in the standard searches.

Buyers can expect a lead time of approximately 7 weeks for property searches from the London Borough of Havering, so your solicitor will instead apply for quicker personal searches.

Planning issues

Office copies will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find potential planning issues. Examples of these include the breach of a restrictive covenant or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

London Borough of Havering Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by London Borough of Havering on property value and the number of people living in the property. E.g. for an average Band E property in Romford, the amount of council tax due would be £2,027 per year.

Romford conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,520.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or properties awaiting grant of probate. The Valuation Office Agency assess council tax bandings for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band London Borough of Havering Tax (2018)
A £1,105
B £1,290
C £1,474
D £1,658
E £2,027
F £2,395
G £2,763
H £3,316

Can I challenge my council tax band?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
10th Floor
Crown House
Linton Rd
Barking
IG11 8HJ
Essex

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request. Councils prefer that this be done within six months of buying a property.

Stamp Duty on Romford properties

Completing the SDLT1 form yourself is complicated and not for the inexperienced.

If a property is valued at over £125,000, the property buyer usually must pay SDLT.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Romford:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £380,054 £9,002.70
Average price (detached) £538,282 £16,914.10
Average new build £96,286 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Romford

In 11/17, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on homes below £300k. If you already own another property or share in a property you will be subject to a higher rate of 3%. So if a second home was bought for £380,054 then the stamp duty total will be £30,404.32.

Conveyancing solicitors in Romford will ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Romford

New build site

It can be risky to purchase a leasehold home without being aware of the facts. Spiralling ground rents, absent freeholders and unreasonable lease extension premiums are only some of the many traps lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer.

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

If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Romford will consider potential leasehold issues, including :

  • reviewing the lease
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • dealing with freeholders
  • unexpired lease terms

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Romford?

Building site

15 brand new properties have been bought in Romford in 2018 so far, based on statistics published by HM Land Registry. The average purchase price of new build property in Romford is £96,286.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Romford must be aware of both local Romford issues as well as new build-specific issues, like confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity) and working to tight developer deadlines.

Our new build conveyancing team are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and new build purchases.

London Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the residential property you are buying is in a conservation area in Romford. If it is, the home could be affected by specific constraints. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include anything from restrictions on the addition of a porch, to restrictions on the display of advertisements.

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

The Havering local planning authority has assigned conservation area-status to parts of Romford. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Romford.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Romford

The legal process for a sale of a home is much simpler than when purchasing. The purchaser must carry out a comprehensive legal review into the property, whilst conveyancing solicitors in Romford acting for the seller merely answers the buyer's questions.

What factors could threaten your sale?

A property can face possible issues (e.g. issues with neighbours' rights over the property) that have the capacity to delay the conveyancing process for weeks or even months.

Property experts will usually advise to sellers that they face such issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold property is a great deal more involved compared to a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional work on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Romford, and this could include obtaining all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of the lease.

It is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as possible, and potentially before marketing the property, to avoid undue delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a Romford home, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Romford to undertake your conveyancing.

Local Romford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Edwards Duthie, Central Library, St Edmunds Way, Romford, RM1 3AR
  • F Barnes Solicitors Limited, 3rd Floor, 1-5 High Street, Romford, Essex, RM1 1JU
  • HSH Solicitors, 98-102 North Street, Romford, Essex, RM1 1DA
  • Hunt and Hunt LLP, Blackburn House, 22-26 Eastern Road, Romford, Essex, RM1 3LT

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Romford

Although people consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, homeowners generally remortgage a home to get a lower interest rate.

Homeowners would typically benefit from a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Romford, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises anticipated, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

So that they can confirm that the interests of the lender are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent both you and the new lender.

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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