Updated: October 12, 2018

St Austell conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in St Austell

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your St Austell conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do St Austell conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in St Austell carry out the legal work on an hourly-rate basis, whereas others work on a fixed fee (or 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee'), with no unexpected, additional costs. Your quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process. These include costs like landlord's notice fees or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in St Austell cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in St Austell should 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 additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no unexpected costs 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 St Austell

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to their estate agent and to the purchaser.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a St Austell conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, make practical suggestions and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following section offers useful advice for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in St Austell for a purchase.

Your St Austell conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Atom Bank, Barclays Bank or any other lender, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in St Austell you need to check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Quite a few lenders are only happy to work with a select group (often referred to as a 'panel') of legal firms. If a conveyancer can't act for your chosen lender, the lender will need an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work.

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

Delays can occur if you fail to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Residential Property Searches (Cornwall Council)

Residential property searches are enquiries made by St Austell conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the property being purchased.

Searches are firstly carried out to satisfy lender requirements. These searches include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

You will be notified if your lender insists on any more searches, for example a more detailed flood report or a geological search.

Cornwall Council has an average processing time of 8 weeks for property searches, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Checking planning permission status

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will also order an Official Copy of the Title Register from the Land Registry, helping to identify any planning issues, such as restrictions that limit alterations or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Cornwall Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various factors such as the size and character of the home and the value of the home as determined by the VOA in 1991. For example, the occupier of a Valuation Band E residential property in the Cornwall Council area would pay annual council tax of £2,166.

A conveyancing solicitor in St Austell will inform a buyer of the home's tax band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,625.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied. A new property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency and allocated a council tax band.

Band Cornwall Council Tax (2018)
A £1,182
B £1,378
C £1,575
D £1,772
E £2,166
F £2,560
G £2,954
H £3,545

Are you paying more than you should?

In the financial year 2016/17, 130 council tax challenges were made. 60 saw a reduction. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Penhaligon House
Trinity St
St. Austell
PL25 5FA

Stamp Duty on St Austell properties

With some exceptions, if you purchase a property over the £125,000 threshold you will have to pay SDLT. Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid to HMRC by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

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

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for typical property in St Austell:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £205,257 £1,605.14
Average price (detached) £264,542 £3,227.10
Average new build £110,290 £0.00

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in St Austell

Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Following a change in April 2016, a higher rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. E.g. if a second property was bought for £205,257 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £10,262.85. .

Conveyancing solicitors in St Austell will confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in St Austell

New build site

The potential pitfalls of owning a leasehold property are of serious concern. The many potential complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser could include spiralling ground rents, marriage value issues and unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder.

Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's erroneous leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in St Austell will consider potential leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • service charges, ground rents and buildings insurance arrangements
  • managing agent practices
  • onerous covenants

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in St Austell?

New build building site

The average purchase price of St Austell new build properties is £110,290, (HM Land Registry data). 5 new build homes have been bought in St Austell in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in St Austell will need to be aware of local issues and the extra complexities of new build, e.g. handling reservation fees and confirming building regulation compliance.

Our highly qualified team of new build conveyancers are specialists in working to tight developer deadlines and representing buyers to achieve the best outcome.

Conservation areas in Cornwall

Whether you are buying a period cottage or a Victorian family home, if the home is in a designated conservation area, any planned modifications to the home may not be accepted by Cornwall Council.

These building controls, called Article 4 Directions, can include restrictions on the removal of chimneys, restrictions on joinery colour choices or restrictions on side or 2 storey extensions.

If a property is in breach, you could be legally required by the local authority to return the home to its earlier condition, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in St Austell.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in St Austell

Conveyancing for a sale of a house or flat usually requires less work than for a property purchase. When a house or flat changes hands, the onus is solely on the buyer to ensure that the house or flat is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in St Austell acting for the existing owner effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

Factors that could delay or endanger the sale of your home

Common hurdles, such as an issue with noisy neighbours or being in an area threatened by local development, can actually jeopardise the conveyancing process if not handled appropriately.

In most cases, it is a good idea for vendors to tackle these issues head on.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

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

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in St Austell will need to conduct additional work, and this could include sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of the lease.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that the seller instructs a conveyancer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a home in St Austell, and a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in St Austell to carry out your legal work.

Local St Austell conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Stephens Scown LLP, 1 High Cross Street, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4AX
  • Charles French & Co Limited, 9a Fore Street, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5PX
  • Coodes LLP, St Austell Business Park, Carclaze, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 4FD

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in St Austell

Homeowners remortgage for a number of reasons, including moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or releasing funds to help kids get on the property ladder. The main reason, however, is to get a more affordable interest rate.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate sooner by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in St Austell, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer will represent both you and your new lender, in order to confirm that the new interest in the property is registered correctly and the lender's interests are safeguarded.

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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