Updated: October 12, 2018

South Ockendon conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in South Ockendon

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in South Ockendon for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do South Ockendon conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in South Ockendon who will work on an hourly-rate basis. Your quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

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 bankruptcy searches or identity verification checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in South Ockendon cost in total?

South Ockendon conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, specific extra searches, such as transport searches, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in South Ockendon

The conveyancing for a homebuyer will require the South Ockendon conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues can range from local planning restrictions to Green Deal repayments affecting the mortgageability of the home.

The buyer's solicitor will report their findings back to the purchaser and their lender, make practical suggestions and register the title in the new owner's name.

This article discusses the types of residential property that involve additional hazards for people who need conveyancing solicitors in South Ockendon for a purchase.

Your South Ockendon conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a conveyancing solicitor in South Ockendon, it is very important that you make sure that they can act for your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, Scottish Widows or any other lender.

A lot of banks and building societies will only work with a restricted panel of legal practices that meet strict selection criteria. If your solicitor cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely require an alternative solicitor firm to act in their interests.

The borrower will be expected to pay this second solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel membership of your property solicitor could mean serious delays.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor banks and other lenders.

Property Searches (Thurrock Council)

Residential property searches are submitted by South Ockendon conveyancing solicitors in order to identify any significant issues that might possibly reduce how much your property is worth.

Mortgagees also usually require residential property searches to be obtained. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - planning and development details from Thurrock Council records
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by South Ockendon properties for local parish repairs.

Your conveyancer will tell you if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a disadvantaged area search.

The approximate delivery time for LA searches supplied by Thurrock Council is 5 weeks. In these circumstances, faster personal searches will be recommended.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor, assisting with the identification of planning issues, such as that a restrictive covenant has been breached or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Thurrock Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Thurrock Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, for an average Band B property in South Ockendon, the council tax would be £1,188.

A conveyancing solicitor in South Ockendon will inform a buyer of the property'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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £891.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or if the property is left empty by someone receiving medical treatment.

Band Thurrock Council Tax (2018)
A £1,018
B £1,188
C £1,358
D £1,527
E £1,867
F £2,206
G £2,545
H £3,054

Is your new home in the wrong band?

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. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
10th Floor
Crown House
Linton Rd
Barking
IG11 8HJ
Essex

Stamp Duty on South Ockendon properties

The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay stamp duty on the purchase price of the house if it exceeds £125k. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance Conveyancing is able to administer the stamp duty process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See examples for typical local properties:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £278,128 £3,906.40
Average price (detached) £429,321 £11,466.05
Average new build £435,328 £11,766.40
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge, even if the home is not rented out. So if a second home was bought for £278,128 then the stamp duty total will be £22,250.24.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in South Ockendon

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers with relief up to £500,000 in some areas.

South Ockendon conveyancing solicitors will confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in South Ockendon

New build site

The potential pitfalls of purchasing a leasehold property remain of serious concern. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, including:

  • onerous clauses in the lease
  • unreasonable managing agent fees
  • absent freeholders
  • unreasonable ground rents
Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced lawyer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a competent conveyancing solicitor in South Ockendon will consider potential leasehold issues, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old)
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • flats with varying lease terms

Our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in South Ockendon?

Building site

Based on Her Majesty's Land Registry data, 12 new builds were purchased in South Ockendon last year. The average value of South Ockendon new build properties is £435,328.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in South Ockendon must be aware of local South Ockendon issues and the added complexities associated with new build, such as confirming building regulation compliance, handling structural guarantees and checking new build warranties with warranty providers such as NHBC, Building Zone and HAPM.

Our new build team specialise in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to tight developer deadlines.

Conservation areas in Essex

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the residential property you are purchasing is in a conservation area in South Ockendon. If it is, the house will be affected by specific building controls. These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in South Ockendon

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat is normally less troublesome than when buying. When buying, caveat-emptor' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to establish that the property they are purchasing is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in South Ockendon acting for the existing owner only need to answer any enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor.

What proactive steps can you take to give yourself the best chances of success?

A home can be burdened by numerous challenges (e.g. issues with neighbours' rights over the property) which may derail the sale process.

Don't put off finding a solution and hope any such problems will go away. The best course of action is to talk to a professional and work to resolve it at the earliest stage.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more complex than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in South Ockendon must carry out extra work, such as requesting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to the memorandum of articles of association (if applicable).

To reduce delays, it is highly recommended that you instruct a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You may wish to contact a law firm in South Ockendon 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 Ockendon

The most common reason people remortgage their home is to get a better interest rate. There are also other reasons to consider remortgaging, for example getting on to a new fixed-rate deal, or releasing capital.

A good conveyancing solicitor in South Ockendon will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for the new lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so no matter whether you are switching to a variable-rate with the Nationwide Building Society or to a repayment mortgage with the Darlington Building Society, Quittance 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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