Updated: October 12, 2018

Stevenage conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stevenage

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to your Stevenage conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

How are Stevenage conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Stevenage who will work on an hourly rate. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

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 bankruptcy searches or ID checks.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will the total Stevenage solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Stevenage conveyancing solicitor fees 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 (LA) Search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed.

With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. 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 Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Stevenage

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. This principle no longer applies, however, a purchaser must still carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Stevenage will give advice after making their enquiries, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section sets out recommendations for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Stevenage for a purchase.

Your Stevenage conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are getting a mortgage from the HSBC, the Barnsley Building Society or any other lender, before instructing a Stevenage conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they are on the panel of your mortgage lender.

Most banks and building societies only accept a selected list (known as a 'panel') of legal practices. If a solicitor cannot act for your mortgage lender, the lender will need a different legal firm to complete the legal work.

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

Significant delays can result from failing to check your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status.

Our solicitors can perform the conveyancing for all banks and other lenders.

Stevenage Borough Council searches and other searches

Property searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Stevenage conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting your planned purchase. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchcontains information about the property and surrounding area held by Stevenage Borough Council
Environmental searchcovers environmental issues within 500m of the property, including flooding, mining subsidence and the proximity of landfill and contaminated land sites.
Drainage & Water searchcovers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Stevenage properties for local parish repairs.

More pertinent searches, such as a radon gas search or a more detailed plan search, may also be advised following the initial searches.

Stevenage Borough Council has an average lead time of 10 weeks for LA searches, so quicker regulated searches will be advisable.

Finding planning permissions

Your conveyancing solicitor will request the Title Register from HMLR. This will help to identify any issues. Examples of these include outbuildings lying outside the boundary or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Stevenage Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Stevenage, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. For example, for an average Band E house in Stevenage, the amount payable would be £2,064 per year.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stevenage will inform a purchaser of the property's 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 £1,548.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is armed forces accommodation. The Valuation Office Agency assess bands for new build homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Stevenage Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,126
B £1,314
C £1,501
D £1,689
E £2,064
F £2,440
G £2,815
H £3,378

Is it possible to appeal?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Peters House
45 Victoria St
St. Albans

A property owner can also ask for their property to be reassessed.

Stamp Duty on Stevenage properties

If you are buying a home that costs over £125,000, then you will have to pay stamp duty to HMRC. It is the responsibility of the buyer's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

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

This table sets out SDLT for typical property in Stevenage:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £299,625 £4,981.25
Average price (detached) £487,639 £14,381.95
Average new build £379,950 £8,997.50

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stevenage

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k. If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £299,625 then the stamp duty including the surcharge would be £23,970.00. .

Stevenage conveyancing solicitors should confirm the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stevenage

New build site

It is not recommended to buy a leasehold house or flat without being aware of the facts. Unreasonable ground rents, costly and undisclosed major works and unfair clauses in the lease are but a few of the many common complications awaiting the unsuspecting buyer.

Misguided leasehold advice, from a solicitor with limited leasehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Stevenage will address aspects of leasehold, for example :

  • reviewing the lease
  • dealing with landlords
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • leaseholder/freeholder disputes
  • notices served on the freeholder

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stevenage?

New build site

The average purchase price of new builds in Stevenage is £379,950, (Her Majesty's Land Registry data). 2 new build properties have been bought in Stevenage in 2018 so far.

The legal side of purchasing a new build home can be more complex than any other type of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a Stevenage conveyancing solicitor must be aware of local considerations and must look into numerous things, e.g. investigating developer incentives and confirming rights to use pipes and cables (e.g. phone, data, fibre, electricity).

Quittance Conveyancing deliver an expert assessment of the legal title of the property, and in particular concerns ranging from problematic leasehold terms to excessive ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you are buying a thatched cottage or a period townhouse, if the home is in a conservation area, any planned modifications to the home might not be allowed by Stevenage Borough Council.

These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include anything from general restrictions governing the use of unsympathetic materials, to restrictions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch.

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

St Nicholas's and Rectory Lane, Shephall Green and Orchard Road are among the conservation areas in Stevenage. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Stevenage's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stevenage

The legal work involved in a sale of a home usually requires less work than for a purchase. With a purchase, the onus is solely on the buyer to determine whether the legal title of the property is legally sound.

Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Stevenage acting for the existing owner only need to answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

Factors that could delay or endanger the sale of your property

Properties can be burdened by potential complications (for example excessive ground rent) which could prevent a purchase from completing.

It is generally advisable that sellers face any such problems head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat is a great deal more time-consuming than it is for a freehold home.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Stevenage must carry out additional legal work. This can involve collating the latest service charge and ground rent statement or details of any slush fund for property maintenance.

Estate agents are right to recommend that sellers get a solicitor as soon as an estate agent is chosen to mitigate leasehold delays.

What if you are acting for the other side?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA regulations restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You could contact a local Stevenage conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

Local Stevenage conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Abbott Solicitors LLP, Fifth Floor, Swingate House, Danestreete, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1AF
  • Bbw Law LLP, Forum Chambers, The Forum, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1EL
  • David Barney & Co, 31a Queensway, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1DA
  • Reeds Solicitors Ltd, Suite 23, 15 Town Hall Square, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 1BP
  • Noble Solicitors, Suite 6, 3rd Floor, Saffron Ground, Ditchmore Lane, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 3LJ

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stevenage

Homeowners remortgage for all sorts of reasons, for example funding a one-off purchase, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate. The most common reason, however, is simply to get a better rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Stevenage can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.

To certify that the interests of the lender are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and your new 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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