Updated: October 12, 2018

Southsea conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southsea

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Southsea for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Southsea conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Southsea work on a cost per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

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 leasehold information packs or HMLR fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Southsea cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Southsea will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, 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 Southsea

As a key part of the conveyancing for a property purchase, the conveyancing solicitor in Southsea will examine the draft contract and investigate the title of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

The buyer's solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, assist in resolving any issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This part of the article discusses elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Southsea where specialist conveyancing skills may be crucial.

Your Southsea conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are taking out a mortgage from Halifax, the Holmesdale Building Society or any other lender, before you select a Southsea conveyancing solicitor it is very important that you make sure that they can act for your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders will only accept a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal firms.

If that is the case, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this substitute solicitor's costs. This can push back the completion date of the purchase.

Failing to confirm the lender panel status of your conveyancing solicitor can result in significant delays.

Our solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Portsmouth City Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions asked of various bodies by Southsea conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Southsea properties for local parish repairs.

You will be told if your mortgage lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report.

Portsmouth City Council has an approximate processing time of 16 weeks for conveyancing searches. Personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore delivered sooner.

Planning permissions

Official Entries will also be applied for from the Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose any issues. Examples of these include rights or restrictions on how the property may be used or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Portsmouth City Council Council Tax

Portsmouth City Council calculate council tax on Southsea homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For example, for an average Band E house in Southsea, the council tax due would be £1,931 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Southsea will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band once 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 £1,448.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or where the property (land) is a boat mooring or caravan pitch. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) work out bands for new homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Portsmouth City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,053
B £1,229
C £1,404
D £1,580
E £1,931
F £2,282
G £2,633
H £3,160

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed, and if the valuation is revised down, they may receive a refund. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Broadlands House
Staplers Rd
Newport
PO30 2HX
Isle of Wight

Stamp Duty on Southsea properties

If your home costs more than £125k then you will have to pay stamp duty. Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC is difficult and time consuming. The majority of purchasers get their conveyancing solicitor to do it for them.

HMRC complications are avoided using the latest case management system.

See examples for typical local properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £234,080 £2,181.60
Average price (detached) £610,842 £20,542.10
Average new build £180,457 £1,109.14
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a 3% stamp duty surcharge. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Southsea for the average price of £234,080 the SDLT would be £11,704.00.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southsea

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

Southsea conveyancing solicitors should confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southsea

New build site

Buying a leasehold home can be challenging when compared to purchasing a freehold home. The many potential traps awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include:

  • doubling ground rents
  • leases with fewer than 80 years to run
  • sinking fund issues
  • restrictions on the use of the property
Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Southsea will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • complaints from neighbours
  • flats in the same block with disparity between their leases

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southsea?

House being built

According to Land Registry data, the average cost of a new build home in Southsea is £60,500. 1 new build homes have been bought in Southsea in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Southsea must be aware of both local factors and the extra complexities of new build, like confirming right of way over drains and sewers, squaring developer incentives with lenders and checking new build warranties with warranty providers such as NHBC Buildmark, Zurich Municipal and BLP.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Hampshire Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a house in one of Southsea's conservation areas, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. These restrictions could include restrictions on painting external walls, restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions or restrictions preventing the addition of new access.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a satellite dish.

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southsea

The legal side of a house sale is normally less troublesome than when purchasing. During the sale of a house or flat, the onus is solely on the buyer to establish that the legal title of the property is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Southsea acting for the existing owner just answer the purchaser's enquiries.

How to reduce the risk of an abortive sale

Obstacles, such as not having permission for alterations when in a conservation area or an issue with noisy neighbours, have the capacity to prolong the conveyancing process.

It is almost always recommended for vendors to address any such problems immediately.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more involved than for a freehold property.

Southsea conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, which could include approaching the managing company for the latest service charge accounts, through to details of common parts management.

To reduce delays, it is highly recommended that you instruct a conveyancer with leasehold experience as early in the process as possible, potentially before putting the property on the market,.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, can act for both sides.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Southsea to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southsea

The most common reason homeowners remortgage a home is to benefit from a lower interest rate. There are other reasons to consider remortgaging, for example wanting a more flexible mortgage, or extending the mortgage term.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate faster with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Southsea. They will work to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can represent your new mortgage lender. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels. So whether you are changing to a lifetime tracker mortgage with Britannia or to a capped-rate mortgage with the Bank of Ireland, 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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