Updated: October 12, 2018

Scarborough conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Scarborough

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough for the legal work involved in moving home.

Do Scarborough conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains all fees and other costs you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as local authority searches or office copies and title plans.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Scarborough cost?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Scarborough will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. As examples, council search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. 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 Scarborough

As a key part of the conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat, the Scarborough conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the title of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

Following their enquiries the conveyancer will make recommendations and will solve outstanding issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The content below examines those areas of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough that necessitate specialised skills.

Your Scarborough conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like Bradford & Bingley or a niche mortgage lender such as the Swansea Building Society, before you choose a Scarborough conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your lender.

Most mortgage lenders will only work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms that meet strict criteria. If a conveyancer is not on the panel of your lender, the lender will need an alternative firm to act in their interests.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternative solicitor's fees, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status can mean serious delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage providers.

Conveyancing Searches (Scarborough Borough Council)

Property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Scarborough conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the property being purchased.

Mortgagees typically also require residential property searches to be applied for. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchcovers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
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 water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Chancel repair liabilityinvolves 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.

Additional searches, such as a highways search or an agricultural search, may also be advised subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

The average delivery time for searches delivered by Scarborough Borough Council is 7 weeks, so your conveyancer will instead use a quicker local search agent.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will obtain office copies from HM Land Registry. This helps to find any potential issues. Examples of these include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Scarborough Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Scarborough will pay to Scarborough Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For instance for an average Band C property in Scarborough, the amount payable would be £1,601 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough will inform the purchaser of the home's tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,201.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or properties awaiting grant of probate. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assign council tax bandings for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Scarborough Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,201
B £1,401
C £1,601
D £1,801
E £2,201
F £2,602
G £3,002
H £3,602

What to do if you suspect your new home is incorrectly valued

In the financial year 2016/17, 40 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 resulted in a reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unit 1 Station Business Park
Holgate Park Drive
YO26 4GB
North Yorkshire

Stamp Duty on Scarborough properties

Submitting the SDLT1 form to HM Revenue & Customs is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their conveyancing solicitor to do it for them.

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

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

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

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £175,091 £1,001.82
Average price (detached) £261,739 £3,086.95
Average new build £185,100 £1,202.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Scarborough

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. Following a change in April 2016, a higher rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. E.g. if a second home was bought for £175,091 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £8,754.55. .

Conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough should confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Scarborough

New build site

Buying a leasehold house or flat without being aware of the facts can be fraught with risk. There are many legal issues that may be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
  • increasing ground rents
  • undisclosed major works
Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a leasehold property, a good conveyancing solicitor in Scarborough will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • notices served on the freeholder

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will work to ensure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Scarborough?

Building site

Based on local Land Registry statistics, the average sale price of Scarborough new build properties is £174,761. 9 new build houses and flats have been bought in Scarborough in 2018 so far.

The legal work for buying a new build home is frequently more involved than other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Scarborough must be conscious of Scarborough-specific factors and should check a range of issues, such as working to tight developer deadlines and checking that any contracts allow for future 'common parts' maintenance.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an impartial view of the legal title of the house or apartment, whilst being mindful of concerns ranging from onerous leasehold conditions to excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

North Yorkshire Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the house you are buying is in a conservation area in Scarborough. If it is, the property will be affected by certain restrictions. These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include a range of factors from restrictions on the use of PVC or aluminium windows, to restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes.

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a new garden wall.

Snainton, Reighton and Folkton are among the conservation areas in Scarborough. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Scarborough.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Scarborough

The legal side of a house sale is simpler than when buying. For a house purchase, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to confirm that the title of the property is not legally defective.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough acting for the current owner for the most part just answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What could put your sale at risk?

Common hurdles, such as tree preservation orders or a problematic solar panel lease, might slow or frustrate the sale conveyancing process if they are ignored.

Property specialists will generally recommend that vendors handle these issues without delay.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is a great deal more time-consuming compared to a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Scarborough, including getting all relevant freeholder information, through to a common parts fire risk assessment.

To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that the seller instructs leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as possible.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both sides.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Scarborough to undertake your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Scarborough

The main reason homeowners remortgage is to reduce the monthly repayments. Other reasons to remortgage include moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate, or wanting to borrow more.

Homeowners would typically benefit from a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Scarborough. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

So that they can confirm that the lender's interests are safeguarded, a property lawyer will need to act for both you and the bank or building society.

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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