Updated: October 12, 2018

South East London conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in South East London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your South East London conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

Are South East London conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in South East London who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process. These include costs like indemnity insurance or local authority searches.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in South East London cost?

Conveyancing fees in South East London will not vary. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

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

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in South East London

The legal work for a home purchase will need the South East London conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from defective property title to factors affecting the mortgageability (e.g. subsidence).

The solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer and their mortgage lender, assist in resolving any issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The following section provides advice to assist people who need conveyancing solicitors in South East London for a purchase.


Your South East London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are getting a mortgage from Barclays Bank, the Furness Building Society or any other lender, before you instruct a South East London conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they are approved by your lender.

The majority of lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'lender panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that pass strict standards. If your conveyancer can't act for your lender, the lender will likely require an alternative legal firm to complete the legal work.

The purchaser will usually need to pay this second solicitor's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Delays can arise if you do not check your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Residential Property Searches (City of Westminster Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are applied for by South East London conveyancing solicitors to help spot any significant issues that might possibly affect how much your house or flat will be worth.

Lenders also expect residential property searches to be applied for. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
Environmental searchexposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some South East London 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 more detailed flood report or a contaminated land report, may also be advised in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

City of Westminster Council has a usual delivery time of 5 weeks for LA searches. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries will also be ordered from HM Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to reveal potential planning issues, such as errors on the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

City of Westminster Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in South East London will pay to City of Westminster Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. the occupier of a Band C property in the City of Westminster Council area would pay annual council tax of £632.

South East London conveyancing solicitors will inform a buyer of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

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 £474.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where the property is a hall of residence. The Valuation Office Agency work out council tax bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band City of Westminster Council Tax (2018)
A £474
B £553
C £632
D £711
E £868
F £1,026
G £1,184
H £1,421

Can I appeal against my band?

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue

Stamp Duty on South East London properties

If you are buying a residential property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland then you will usually need to pay stamp duty. After a residential property sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid to HMRC.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance Conveyancing use online case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

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

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £880,307 £34,015.35
Average price (detached) £711,410 £25,570.50
Average new build £449,784 £12,489.20
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT for the purchase of a second home. So if a second home was bought for £880,307 then the SDLT total will be £70,424.56.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in South East London

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers.

Conveyancing solicitors in South East London will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in South East London

New build site

Data suggests that over 100,000 property owners in the UK are trapped by property leases with problematic lease conditions. Numerous technical obstacles may be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, such as unreasonable ground rents, onerous clauses in the lease and overpriced managing agent packs.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from a property lawyer with limited leasehold experience, could have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to buy a house or flat with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in South East London will consider possible leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • managing agent practices
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • missing building regs and planning

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Contact our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in South East London?

New build site

According to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry, 450 new builds have been bought in South East London in 2018 so far. The average cost of new builds in South East London is £449,784.

The legal work for purchasing a new build can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a South East London conveyancing solicitor must be aware of both region-specific considerations and also must consider a range of factors, like handling unreasonable delays and administering Help to Buy purchases.

Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

London Conservation areas

When carrying out the legal work for a home in South East London, a conveyancing solicitor will check if the house is in a conservation area in South East London. If it is, the home will be affected by certain constraints. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in South East London

The legal work involved in a property sale usually requires less work than for a property purchase. With a property purchase, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to make sure that the property they are buying is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in South East London acting for the existing owner need only answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

How to reduce the risk of an abortive sale

Obstacles, like having a defective lease, could threaten a transaction if left unresolved.

It is not recommended that you put off finding a solution, hoping the issue will fix itself. Instead, talk to a professional, square up to the issue(s), and find a solution as soon as you can.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is much more difficult compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in South East London will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as possible, and ideally before going on the market,.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both parties.

You can contact a local South East London conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side.


Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in South East London

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

A good conveyancing solicitor in South East London will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

Your property lawyer needs to be able to act for your preferred bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are panel members of all major banks and building societies, so no matter whether you are changing to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Royal Bank of Scotland or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Dudley Building Society, we 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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