Updated: October 12, 2018

Southwark conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Southwark

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay conveyancing solicitors in Southwark for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Southwark conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Southwark who work on an hourly rate. Your quote explains all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the costs incurred by the solicitor on your behalf, such as TT fees or bankruptcy checks.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Southwark cost?

Southwark conveyancing fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a commons registration search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Southwark

The London Borough of Southwark, forms one of the oldest parts of London.Linked by bridges to the City of London, it includes the vibrant South Bank attractions such as the Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Borough Market, as well as Dulwich, Elephant and Castle and Southwark itself.

Since the 1990s major residential schemes have regenerated the old wharfs and warehouses and this continues with new office developments attracting businesses from the press and publishing and professional services industries.

Conveyancing for home buyers

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, this rule no longer applies. However, a purchaser must still undertake due diligence on the property to be purchased.

The conveyancing solicitor in Southwark will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, deal with any legal issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

This article examines those areas of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Southwark where specialist conveyancing skills may be important.

Your Southwark conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before selecting a Southwark conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender, whether you are getting a mortgage from Lloyds Bank, Ahli United Bank or any other lender.

A lot of lenders are only happy to work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of law firms. If a solicitor can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will require an alternative solicitor firm to act in their interests.

You will be expected to pay this substitute lawyer's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status could mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Property Searches (Southwark Borough Council)

Residential property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Southwark conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your planned purchase. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchexposes issues like road schemes that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchidentifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Chancel repair liabilityinvolves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

You will be told if your chosen lender requires any further searches, for example a radon gas search or a contaminated land report.

Buyers should anticipate a wait of roughly 6 weeks for property searches delivered by The London Borough of Southwark, so your conveyancer will recommend using a faster search agent.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be obtained from HM Land Registry by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor. This will help to highlight any issues. These issues could include right of access issues or discrepancies with the filed plan.

London Borough of Southwark Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by London Borough of Southwark on property value and the number of people living in the property. For instance the occupier of a Band C residential property in the London Borough of Southwark area would pay annual council tax of £1,182.

Southwark conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's tax band as soon as they are 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 £886.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or structural changes or if an occupier is a student nurse.

Band London Borough of Southwark Tax (2018)
A £886
B £1,034
C £1,182
D £1,330
E £1,625
F £1,920
G £2,216
H £2,659

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

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. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Cityside House
40 Adler St
E1 1EE

Stamp Duty on Southwark properties

Stamp duty is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

The current SDLT threshold is £125k.

Quittance will complete the SDLT1 form for you at the point your purchase completes.

See table below for stamp duty examples for homes in Southwark:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £641,398 £22,069.90
Average price (detached) £1,461,550 £89,905.00
Average new build £759,802 £27,990.10
If you own another property you will be subject to a surcharge of 3%. So if a second property was bought for £641,398 then the SDLT total will be £51,311.84.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Southwark

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300k.

Southwark conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Southwark

New build site

The risks associated with owning a leasehold property remain of serious concern. There are numerous technical issues that could be lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser, such as:

  • onerous clauses in the lease
  • costly and undisclosed major works
  • reversionary interests
  • spiralling ground rents
Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A competent conveyancing solicitor in Southwark will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including managing agent or landlord enquiries, reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old) and landlord/tenant disputes.

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Southwark?

Building site

Based on data collated by HMLR, the average sale price of Southwark new build homes is £793,101. 37 new build properties have been bought in Southwark in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build requires specialist knowledge, compared to 'standard conveyancing'. To prevent difficulties arising a Southwark conveyancing solicitor must be aware of Southwark-specific issues and needs to check numerous things, including ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and verifying rights of easements.

Our new build conveyancing team specialise in working to developer exchange timeframes and helping the buyer get the best possible purchase terms.

Conservation areas

Whether you are intending to buy a thatched cottage or a Victorian terraced house, if the house is in a defined conservation area, your plans to develop the house might not be permitted by London Borough of Southwark.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints may include a range of factors from restrictions on the use of external insulation, to restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, railings or fences.

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

Southwark conservation areas include Trinity Church Square SE1, Wilson Grove SE16 and Caroline Gardens SE15. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Southwark's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Southwark

The legal side of a sale of a home is less complicated than for a property purchase. With a purchase, the onus lies entirely with the buyer to discover whether the property they are purchasing can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Southwark acting for the existing owner just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Obstacles, like missing planning permission, can potentially frustrate the sale process if not handled appropriately.

Generally speaking, you should face these issues head on and fix them.

Recommended reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is quite a lot more involved than for a freehold property.

Conveyancing solicitors in Southwark will also perform extra work, such as getting an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any details of any ongoing enfranchisement process.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold house or flat, it is recommended that the seller instruct a property lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Southwark to carry out your conveyancing, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

Local Southwark conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Bae Systems Applied Intelligence Limited, Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, Uk, SE1 0TA
  • Bryan O'Connor & Co, St Margaret's House, 18-20 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TS
  • Crown Prosecution Service London, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS
  • Crown Prosecution Service Strategy Policy & Operations Division, 9th Floor, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London, SE1 9HS
  • Rls Solicitors Limited, Suite 30-33, The Hop Exchange, 24 Southwark Street, London, London, SE1 1TY

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Southwark

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, people usually remortgage a home to get a better interest rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Southwark can reduce the remortgage processing time, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in securing your preferred rate.

It is critical that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can act on behalf of the new lender. Our conveyancing team are panel members of all major banks and building societies. So whether you are switching to a flexible mortgage with the NatWest or to a discounted-rate mortgage with the Coventry Building Society, our remortgage team 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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