Updated: October 12, 2018

Royston conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Royston

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay conveyancing solicitors in Royston for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Royston conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Royston work on a cost per hour basis, and others on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee') basis. We work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your conveyancing quote will explain what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Royston cost in total?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Royston will not vary. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, such as transport searches, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Royston

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller should disclose defects or disputes to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

That said, it remains the responsibility of the Royston conveyancing solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property, report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, offer practical solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This article sets out assistance for homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Royston.

Your Royston conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Homebuyers can select from a wide range of mortgage providers, from a less common mortgage lender like the Dudley Building Society, to a large lender such as the Yorkshire Building Society. Before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in Royston, whoever you choose, you must confirm that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your mortgage lender.

Some lenders are only happy to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal firms that meet strict criteria. If a solicitor can't act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need an alternative firm to complete the legal work.

The buyer will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your solicitor could result in significant delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (North Hertfordshire District Council)

Searches are submitted by Royston conveyancing solicitors to unearth issues that might possibly compromise the value of the property you intend to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
Environmental searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Royston properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Further searches, such as a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report, may also be recommended subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

The average lead time for Residential property searches provided by North Hertfordshire District Council is 6 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer also retrieves an 'Official Copy of the Title Register' from HMLR. This will help to reveal any planning issues, such as errors on the title plan or limits on the development of the property.

North Hertfordshire District Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Royston will pay to North Hertfordshire District Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. The occupier of a property in Tax Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,538.

Conveyancing solicitors in Royston will inform the buyer of the home's council 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,153.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where an occupation is prohibited by law such as a compulsory purchase order. Newer properties are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a band.

Band North Hertfordshire District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,153
B £1,346
C £1,538
D £1,730
E £2,115
F £2,499
G £2,884
H £3,460

Are you paying more than you should?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Eastbrook
Shaftesbury Rd
Cambridge
CB2 8DU
Cambridgeshire

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 Royston properties

The normal process is for the conveyancing solicitor to complete the stamp duty administration. Buyers can complete the SDLT1 themselves but it is not recommended due to the complexity of the form.

The threshold for Stamp Duty Land Tax for a house is £125k.

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

See stamp duty examples for properties in Royston:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £399,936 £9,996.80
Average price (detached) £587,585 £19,379.25
Average new build £363,368 £8,168.40

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Royston

Since November 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on residential properties valued over £300k. If you are buying a second home for more than £40,000 then you will have to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Royston for the average price of £399,936 the SDLT would be £31,994.88.

Conveyancing solicitors in Royston should confirm the right amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Royston

New build site

It is not recommended to purchase a leasehold property without understanding the implications. The numerous common problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser can include:

  • unfair developer practices
  • unreasonable ground rents
  • sinking fund issues
  • onerous covenants
Poor leasehold guidance, from a conveyancer with limited leasehold experience, could have serious financial implications.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Royston will address aspects of leasehold, including service charges and whether they have been collected, unexpired lease terms and dealing with freeholders.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Royston?

House being built

According to data compiled by HMLR, the average cost of Royston new build property is £363,368. 68 brand new properties were purchased in Royston last year.

The legal work for purchasing a new build property requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Royston conveyancing solicitor must be mindful of both region-specific issues and also should check numerous things, including ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and confirming Section 38 agreements.

Our expert new build team provide a specialist assessment of the legal title of the property, whilst being mindful of factors ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to potential freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Royston, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the home is in one of Royston's conservation areas. If it is, the home is affected by constraints. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, may include a range of factors from restrictions on replacing roof tiles, to general restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications.

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

The North Hertfordshire local planning authority has assigned conservation area-status to parts of Royston. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Royston.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Royston

The legal process for a house sale is simpler than when buying. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor carries out a comprehensive legal review on your home. In contrast, conveyancing solicitors in Royston acting for the vendor merely answers the purchaser's enquiries.

What could jeopardise your sale?

Common issues, like not being insurable, can significantly threaten the conveyancing process.

Property experts usually advise that vendors tackle these issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more protracted than for a freehold property.

Conveyancing solicitors in Royston will also carry out additional work, which could include obtaining all relevant freeholder information, through to any details of rules covering common parts that are not contained in the lease.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is strongly advised that the seller instructs a property lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as is practicable.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both sides.

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

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Royston

The most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a more attractive interest rate. There are other reasons to think about remortgaging, for example funding a one-off purchase, or moving to an offset mortgage.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Royston will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

To make sure that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer will represent both you and the mortgage provider.

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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