Updated: October 12, 2018

South London conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in South London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in South London for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are South London conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in South London carry out the legal work on an hourly rate, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancers work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no hidden extras. Your quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

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

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as bankruptcy searches or telegraphic transfer fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total South London solicitor conveyancing fees be?

South London conveyancing fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. Calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing fees calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in South London

As a key part of the legal work for the purchase of a house or flat, a South London conveyancing solicitor will examine the draft contract and investigate the property's title and make their "report on title".

The conveyancer will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The content below considers those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in South London where greater expertise is needed.

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Your South London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a less common mortgage lender like the Leeds Building Society, to a large lender such as Halifax. Before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in South London, whoever you choose, it is essential that you check that they can act in the interests of your chosen lender.

A lot of mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms that match certain criteria. If your conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will require a different law firm to carry out the legal work.

The purchaser will be expected to pay this substitute lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to check your lawyer's lender panel status could result in significant delays.

Our solicitors are approved to act for all banks and other lenders.

Residential Property Searches (City of Westminster Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made of public bodies by South London conveyancing solicitors to give details about the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals planning applications, decisions and enforcement notices for planning breaches.
Environmental searchenvironmental issues that could adversely affect the property
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some South London properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Purchasers will be told if your mortgage lender needs any more searches, e.g. an HS2 search or a ground stability report.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of around 5 weeks for property searches from City of Westminster Council. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Planning issues

Official Entries will also be obtained from HM Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any potential issues, for example rights or restrictions on how the property may be used or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

City of Westminster Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by City of Westminster Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Valuation Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £553.

A conveyancing solicitor in South London will inform a buyer of the property's tax band once they are themselves 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 £414.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the resident is living in long term residential care. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and allocated a band by the Valuation Office Agency.

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 dispute my council tax rate?

In the 2016/17 financial year, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 saw a subsequent reduction. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5BU

Stamp Duty on South London properties

If a home is purchased for £125,000 or less, no SDLT is payable. Above this, most homebuyers will need to pay SDLT. After a home sale has exchanged and completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the stamp duty is paid to HMRC.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest integrated case management system means that HMRC filing form rejections are a thing of the past.

See examples for average local properties:

  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

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in South London

In November 2017, it was announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k. If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge. For example, if a homeowner bought a second property in South London for the average price of £880,307 the SDLT would be £70,424.56.

Conveyancing solicitors in South London will confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in South London

New build site

The potential risks associated with leasehold property ownership are a worry for buyers of leasehold property. Numerous legal issues could be awaiting an uninformed buyer, including:

  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • doubling ground rents
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in South London will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including annual statements of account and budgets for service charges, flats with varying lease terms and managing agent practices.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in South London?

House under construction

Based on Land Registry information, 450 new build homes have been bought in South London in 2018 so far. The average cost of South London new builds is £449,784.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in South London will need to be aware of regional issues and the added complexities of new build, including squaring developer incentives with lenders, investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property and working with warranty providers such as NHBC, Premier Guarantee? and ACHI.

Our expert new build team provide an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or flat, scrutinising contract factors like the home's subsequent marketability and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Conservation areas in London

Whether you are going to buy a period cottage or a Victorian terraced house, if the property is in a designated conservation area, any planned modifications to the property may not be accepted by City of Westminster Council.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints could include:

  • Restrictions on the use of cladding
  • Restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of South London's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in South London

The legal work involved in a sale of a house or flat is more straightforward than for a property purchase. The purchaser has to carry out an investigation into the property's title and other legal aspects. Conveyancing solicitors in South London acting for the seller, however, simply collates information and answers the buyer's questions .

Factors that could delay or endanger your property sale

Common hurdles, such as not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area or not being insurable, can easily threaten your home move if not dealt with promptly.

You shouldn't ignore this as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems. Instead, get legal advice and tackle it as quickly as possible.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is a great deal more protracted than for a freehold property.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in South London, such as collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

It is generally a good idea to get a solicitor as soon as possible to reduce leasehold-related delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

SRA rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. A CLC-regulated conveyancer, however, can act for both parties.

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

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in South London

Benefitting from a lower rate to reduce monthly expenses is usually why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example releasing capital, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses.

Homeowners should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in South London, shortening the time the conveyancing takes. 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 on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer will represent both you and the bank or building society to confirm the HM Land Registry is notified of the lender's charge over the property and the lender's capital is protected.

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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