Updated: October 12, 2018

South West London conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in South West London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in South West London for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

How are South West London conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in South West London who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will explain what you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

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

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like leasehold information packs or Land Registry fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

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

Conveyancing solicitor fees in South West London should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a flooding search, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote 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 West London

The conveyancing for the purchase of a house or flat requires a conveyancing solicitor in South West London to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from defective property title (e.g. grant of reservation of rights) to proximity to mining works affecting the future saleability of the property.

The buyer's solicitor will feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The following examines those parts of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in South West London requiring specialist legal knowledge.

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Your South West London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a South West London conveyancing solicitor, you must confirm that they can act in the interests of your mortgage lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from the Tipton & Coseley Building Society, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or any other lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your mortgage lender, because some lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of law firms that match certain criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will require an alternative firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's fees. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Not checking your solicitor's lender panel status can mean serious delays.

Our solicitors are on the panel of all mortgage lenders.

Property Searches (Wandsworth Borough Council)

Property searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by South West London conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

Your conveyancer will notify you if your mortgage lender requires any more searches, such as a highways authority search or an energy search.

The typical turnaround time for Local Authority searches from the London Borough of Wandsworth is 4 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will also order official entries from HM Land Registry. This will help to expose potential planning issues. These issues could include right of access issues or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

London Borough of Wandsworth Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by London Borough of Wandsworth on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, the occupier of a Valuation Band E residential property in the London Borough of Wandsworth area would pay annual council tax of £883.

South West London conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax band once they are made aware.

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 £662.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band London Borough of Wandsworth Tax (2018)
A £482
B £562
C £642
D £723
E £883
F £1,044
G £1,204
H £1,445

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

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

Valuation Office Agency
2nd Floor
1 Francis Grove
London
SW19 4DT

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on South West London properties

When buying a home, stamp duty will probably need to be paid if the property is valued at over £125k. The purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is correctly calculated and is paid to HMRC. This occurs once the property sale has completed.

With Quittance you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in London:

  Average sale price (February 2018) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £839,875 £31,993.75
Average price (detached) £1,973,730 £150,597.60
Average new build £64,786 £0.00
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a higher rate of 3%, even if the property is not let out. E.g. if a second home was bought for £839,875 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £67,190.00. .

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

Since Nov 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

South West London conveyancing solicitors should confirm their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in South West London

New build site

The risks of purchasing a leasehold flat in the UK are frequently reported in the papers. The many potential problems lying in wait for an uninformed buyer could include ground rent multipliers, onerous covenants and overpriced managing agent packs.

Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced lawyer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to purchase a house or flat with a lease, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in South West London will consider possible leasehold issues, such as share of freehold complexity, possible service charge shortfalls and reviewing the lease.

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team 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 South West London?

New build site

The average purchase price of South West London new build properties is £449,784, according to data sourced by the Land Registry. 450 newly-constructed homes have been bought in South West London in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in South West London must be well-versed in South West London-specific considerations and the added complexities of new build, like checking planning conditions have been fulfilled and ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get a specialist assessment of the property's legal status, scrutinising contract factors like unfair leasehold conditions and an assessment of other risks, such as flood risk.

Conservation areas in London

Whether you are looking for Tudor-style or Edwardian architecture, buying in a street located in a conservation area can ensure the local character is unlikely to change. However, conservation area building controls will affect your residential property.

These building controls could include restrictions on the removal of chimneys, restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights or general restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials.

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

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of South West London's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in South West London

The legal process for a property sale is less complicated than when buying. With a property purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus lies entirely with the buyer to determine whether the property's title is legally sound.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in South West London acting for the vendor effectively just answer the buyer's questions.

What could jeopardise the sale of your property?

Obstacles, such as not being connected to the water mains, can significantly protract your home move if not dealt with promptly.

Don't bury your head in the sand as it is the buyer's solicitor's job to spot problems. Instead, you should seek out professional help and deal with it as early as possible.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is much more difficult than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in South West London will also carry out additional work, including sourcing the freeholder pack, through to a copy of the insurance policy.

It is recommended that the seller instruct a property lawyer as soon as possible to reduce delays associated with leasehold property. Managing agents can take weeks (or months) to respond.

What if you are acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in South West London to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in South West London

Homeowners remortgage for a number of reasons, such as extending the mortgage term, or switching from interest-only to repayment. By far the most common reason, however, is to benefit from a lower interest rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in South West London can reduce the remortgage processing time, 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 key consideration when getting on to the rate you want.

To make sure that the lender's interests are safeguarded, the property lawyer handling your remortgage 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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