Updated: October 12, 2018

Stafford conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stafford

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Stafford conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Stafford conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Stafford who offer services on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to conveyancing solicitor fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as bankruptcy searches or telegraphic transfer fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Stafford cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Stafford will be the same as anywhere else in the country, the disbursements required can vary. For example, specific extra searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and Local Authority Search fees can vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, 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 your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Stafford

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a key part of English property law. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

The conveyancing solicitor in Stafford will give advice after making their enquiries, make practical suggestions and register the title in the new owner's name.

The following gives assistance for homebuyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Stafford.

Your Stafford conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before choosing a Stafford conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the HSBC, the Holmesdale Building Society or any other lender.

Many mortgage lenders will only accept a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of law firms. If a conveyancer can't act for your lender, the lender will require a different firm to complete the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Our solicitors are approved to act for all mortgage lenders.

Stafford Borough Council searches and other searches

Searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Stafford conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your planned purchase. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchreveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
Environmental searchdescribes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
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 to the local parish for repairs.

You will be told if your chosen lender requires any additional searches, for example an HS2 search or a more detailed plan search.

The estimated delivery time for property searches from Stafford Borough Council is 7 weeks. Your lawyer could instead use faster personal searches.

Finding planning permissions

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get office copies from HMLR. This will help to highlight planning issues, such as restrictions that limit alterations or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

Stafford Borough Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various criteria e.g. the size and layout of the property and the assessed value of the property in April 1991. For example, for an average Valuation Band B home in Stafford, the council tax would be £1,284 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stafford will inform a buyer of the property's band as soon as 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £963.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the home is left unoccupied by a student.

Band Stafford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,101
B £1,284
C £1,468
D £1,651
E £2,018
F £2,385
G £2,752
H £3,303

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

In 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made. 10 were upheld and the tax was reduced. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Blackburn House
Old Hall St

Stamp Duty on Stafford properties

After a home sale has completed, the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid to HMRC.

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It is due on properties bought for over £125,000.

Quittance's integrated conveyancing case management system integrates with electronic filing systems to ensure that the Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid quickly and with minimal fuss.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for average property in Stafford:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £210,271 £1,705.42
Average price (detached) £280,910 £4,045.50
Average new build £287,032 £4,351.60

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stafford

Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. If you are buying a second home for in excess of £40,000 then you will have to pay an SDLT surcharge of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Stafford bought a second property for the average price of £210,271 the SDLT would be £10,513.55.

Stafford conveyancing solicitors will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stafford

New build site

The pitfalls associated with leasehold property ownership are a source of anxiety for purchasers of leasehold houses or flats. The many potential problems awaiting an uninformed buyer can include:

  • reversionary interests
  • increasing ground rents
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • onerous clauses in the lease
Severe consequences can result from a solicitor's misguided leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a leasehold property, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Stafford will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (leases can be 10's or even 100's of years old)
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • dealing with freeholders
  • landlord/tenant disputes

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stafford?

New build site

According to data gathered by Her Majesty's Land Registry, 19 new builds have been bought in Stafford in 2018 so far. The average price for Stafford new build homes is £287,032.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Stafford must be well-versed in local issues and the extra complexities associated with new build, like dealing with lender conditions and handling initial Land Registry registration.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an accurate and truly independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, and in particular factors like problematic leasehold terms and an assessment of other risks, such as contaminated land hazards.

Conservation areas in Staffordshire

Your conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the house you are buying is in a conservation area in Stafford. If it is, the house could be affected by certain conditions. These conditions may include:

  • Limits on the use of non-traditional building materials
  • A ban on uPVC window frames
  • Restrictions on outbuildings and extensions

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

Burton Manor Village, Hilderstone and Ingestre are among the conservation areas in Stafford. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Stafford's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stafford

The legal side of a house sale is much simpler than for a purchase. With a property purchase, the responsibility is on the buyer to establish that the property they are purchasing is not legally defective.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Stafford acting for the current owner need only respond to enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

How to improve the odds of your sale going through

A property will frequently have any number of issues (for example a landlord dispute on a leasehold property or not being connected to the water mains) which may delay the conveyancing process.

Property specialists will usually advise to vendors that they handle these issues without delay.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is much more complicated than for a freehold property.

Stafford conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, such as contacting the landlord for the managing agent pack, through to ensuring that leasehold forms are completed.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is strongly advised that you instruct leasehold-specialist property lawyer as soon as an estate agent is chosen.

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

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA rules ban the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a property in Stafford, and we are carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Stafford to carry out your legal work.

Local Stafford conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Mark Redler Solicitors Limited, 23 Greengate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2HS
  • Pickering & Butters LLP, 19 Greengate Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2LU
  • Ashley James Solicitors Limited, 7 Market Street, Stafford, ST16 2JZ
  • Crown Solicitors Limited, 6 Market Square, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2JN
  • Hand Morgan & Owen, 17 Martin Street, Stafford, Staffordshire, ST16 2LF

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stafford

Benefitting from a better rate to reduce monthly expenses is generally why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, for example getting on to a new fixed-rate deal, or wanting to borrow more.

You will typically be able to benefit from a better rate sooner by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Stafford, reducing the time the conveyancing takes to complete. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

To confirm that the parties' interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will represent both you and your new lender.

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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