Updated: October 12, 2018

Sidcup conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Sidcup

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in Sidcup for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Sidcup conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Sidcup will work on a cost per hour basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like HMLR fees or ID checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Sidcup cost in total?

Sidcup conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as utilities searches, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or nasty surprises. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Sidcup

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a key part of English property law. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to investigate their intended purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup will make recommendations after making their enquiries, offer pragmatic solutions and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article provides invaluable advice for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Sidcup.

Your Sidcup conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup, it is critical that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the Ecology Building Society, the Bank of Scotland or any other lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers.

Under these circumstances, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this alternative lawyer's fees. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Not checking your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all mortgage lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Bexley Borough Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made by Sidcup conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting your planned purchase.

Searches are firstly carried out to satisfy the conditions of the lender. These searches include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a disadvantaged area search, may also be referred to in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

The London Borough of Bexley has an approximate turnaround time of 5 weeks for conveyancing searches, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning documents

Office copies will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any planning issues, for example the title plan showing only very general boundaries or neighbours' rights of access.

London Borough of Bexley Council Tax

London Borough of Bexley calculate council tax on Sidcup homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). E.g. for an average Band E home in Sidcup, the amount of council tax would be £1,941.

A conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,456.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or for foreign language students. Homes built after 1991 are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band London Borough of Bexley Tax (2018)
A £1,059
B £1,235
C £1,412
D £1,588
E £1,941
F £2,294
G £2,647
H £3,176

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

From April 2016 to March 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 were upheld and the tax was reduced. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

Stamp Duty on Sidcup properties

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125,000.

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and HMRC fines those who delay in completing and returning it.

Quittance Conveyancing ensure that the complex SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for average properties in Sidcup:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £377,854 £8,892.70
Average price (detached) £687,777 £24,388.85
Average new build £123,816 £0.00
Following the autumn statement, second home buyers must pay a 3% surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Sidcup for the average price of £377,854 the SDLT would be £30,228.32.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Sidcup

In Nov 2017, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties below £300,000.

Sidcup conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Sidcup

New build site

It can be risky to buy a leasehold home if you don't know what you are getting into. The many potential traps lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser include marriage value issues, increasing ground rents and unfair developer practices.

Poor leasehold guidance, from an inexperienced lawyer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you intend to buy a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup will address aspects of leasehold, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • absent freeholders
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Sidcup?

Building site

The average purchase price of Sidcup new build properties is £123,816, (HM Land Registry data). 53 new build houses and flats were purchased in Sidcup last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup must be well-versed in Sidcup-specific considerations and new build's additional complexities, e.g. dealing with delays associated with off-plan and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

Our award-winning new build team specialise in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and working to tight developer deadlines.

London Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Sidcup, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the home is in one of Sidcup's conservation areas. If it is, the home could be affected by specific conditions. These conditions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Restrictions on replacing roof tiles
  • General restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials
  • Limits on side or two-storey extensions

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Sidcup

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is much simpler than when buying. For a house purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to verify that the property's title is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Sidcup acting for the seller for the most part just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, such as Japanese Knotweed, might jeopardise the sale conveyancing process if left unresolved.

In most cases, you should handle any such problems without delay.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is much more protracted than for a freehold property.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Sidcup must carry out extra work, for example sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement or any documents pertaining to a variation of the terms of the lease.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold property, it is strongly advised that the seller instruct a lawyer as early as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller of the same home?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a property in Sidcup, and a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you can contact a property solicitor firm in Sidcup to handle your legal work.

Local Sidcup conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Woolsey Morris & Kennedy, 100 Station Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 7DT
  • Grant Saw Solicitors LLP, 2nd Floor, Roxby House, 20-22 Station Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 7EJ
  • KLR Solicitors Limited, 63a Sidcup High Steet, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6DW
  • Renier Gillies Limited, 25 High Street, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6ED
  • T G Baynes Solicitors, 13 Market Parade, High Street, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6EP

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Sidcup

Homeowners remortgage their home for all sorts of reasons, such as wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or releasing capital to pay off other debts. The main reason, however, is to reduce the monthly repayments.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Sidcup can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

Your property lawyer needs to be able to act for the new mortgage lender. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies, so whether you are moving to a 100% mortgage with Santander or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Buckinghamshire Building Society, we can help.

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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