Updated: October 12, 2018

Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Stoke On Trent

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to your Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Are Stoke On Trent conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Stoke On Trent work on an hourly rate, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote will set out all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your property transaction has completed.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as bankruptcy checks or managing agent information.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Stoke On Trent cost?

Stoke On Trent conveyancing fees will not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard sale or purchase, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. There are no hidden fees or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, 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 Stoke On Trent

Famous for its industrial scale potteries, the city of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire was created from a federation of 6 towns in 1910 - Burslem, Hanley, Tunstall, Longton and Fenton and Stoke.

While Stoke is still home to famous brands such as Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, there are around 9,000 other businesses thriving in the city. An independent review in 2016 found Stoke-on-Trent to be among the best cities in the UK to start a business, based on a number of factors including commercial property, energy, virtual offices and transport links.

The area is close to the Staffordshire moorlands and Peak District National Park, and average house prices are 25% below the national average, making it attractive to first-time buyers.

Conveyancing for purchasers

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, it remains the duty of a buyer's legal representative to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

The Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor will make recommendations following their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The content below provides advice to assist people who need conveyancing solicitors in Stoke On Trent for a purchase.

Your Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers have access to around 100 UK lenders, from a niche lender like Ahli United Bank, to a major lender such as the Nationwide Building Society. Before instructing a Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, you must confirm that they can act on behalf of your mortgage lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders are only happy to work with a select panel of law firms.

If that is the case, the lender will likely need a different firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternate solicitor's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status can mean significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can carry out the legal work for all major and minor mortgage providers.

Residential Property Searches (Stoke-on-Trent City Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are applied for by Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitors to unearth problems that could affect the value of the property you intend to buy. They include:

  • Local Authority search - reveals issues like whether the adjoining road and pavement are publicly maintained
  • Drainage & Water search - identifies the location of sewers and water mains, and will confirm whether these are maintained by the local council.
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Stoke On Trent properties for local parish repairs.

Additional searches, such as a tin mining search or an energy search, may also be recommended in the initial search results.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of up to 5 weeks for searches from Stoke-on-Trent City Council. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Planning searches

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will get office copies from the Land Registry. This will help to expose any potential issues, such as discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or restrictions that limit alterations.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various criteria such as the size and character of the property and the value of the property as determined by the VOA in 1991. The occupier of a property in Band B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,193.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stoke On Trent will inform the buyer of the property's band once they are themselves notified.

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 £895.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is occupied by someone who is seriously mentally impaired.

Band Stoke-on-Trent City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,023
B £1,193
C £1,363
D £1,534
E £1,875
F £2,216
G £2,556
H £3,068

Can I challenge the council tax banding?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Blackburn House
Old Hall St
Stoke-On-Trent
ST1 3BS
Staffordshire

In 2016/17, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 20 were upheld and the tax was reduced.

Stamp Duty on Stoke On Trent properties

SDLT will be payable by the purchaser on properties sold for more than £125k in England and Wales. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

Quittance ensure that the convoluted SDLT1 form is completed accurately and without delay.

This table sets out Stamp Duty Land Tax for property in Stoke On Trent:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £116,101 £0.00
Average price (detached) £198,939 £1,478.78
Average new build £206,659 £1,633.18
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second home. Therefore, if a homeowner in Stoke On Trent bought a second home for the average price of £116,101 the SDLT would be £3,483.03.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Stoke On Trent

Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Stoke On Trent should confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Stoke On Trent

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat without knowing what you are getting into can be fraught with risk. Ground rent multipliers, unfair developer practices and onerous clauses in the lease are among the many traps lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with little specialist experience, can have serious consequences.

If you intend to buy a property with a lease, a competent conveyancing solicitor in Stoke On Trent will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as flats with varying lease terms, service charges and sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents.

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Contact Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team today on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Stoke On Trent?

New build building site

The average sale price of Stoke On Trent new build property is £206,659. 12 brand new properties have been bought in Stoke On Trent in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Stoke On Trent will need to be aware of Stoke On Trent-specific issues and new build's added complexities, such as spotting incomplete agreements for roads and sewers, dealing with lender conditions and working with warranty providers, including NHBC, Premier Guarantee? and ACHI/Vantage.

Our conveyancing team are specialists in meeting short developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Conservation areas

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Stoke On Trent, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the house is in one of Stoke On Trent's conservation areas. If it is, the house will be affected by specific constraints. These constraints, called Article 4 Directions, could include:

  • Restrictions on the addition of a porch
  • Possible restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a newly-added dormer window.

Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Stoke On Trent.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Stoke On Trent

The legal process for a property sale is much easier than for a purchase. The purchaser undertakes a detailed investigation on the property. Conveyancing solicitors in Stoke On Trent acting for the seller, however, just gathers together any pertinent information and answers the purchaser's enquiries .

How to give yourself the best chances of success

Frequently occurring issues, such as a problematic solar panel lease or parking issues or disputes, can actually endanger the sale conveyancing process if not dealt with promptly.

It is almost always advisable that sellers face these issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is a great deal more technical than it is for a freehold home.

Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve requesting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to a copy of the building's asbestos survey (if required).

Given the complexities of leasehold property, it is highly recommended that the seller instructs a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

A conveyancer regulated by the CLC can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You could contact a law firm in Stoke On Trent to carry out your legal work, if we are acting for the other side.

Local Stoke On Trent conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Fc Retail Services Limited, Federation House, Station Road, Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, ST4 2SA

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Stoke On Trent

Whilst homeowners consider remortgaging for a range of reasons, homeowners generally remortgage their home to benefit from a lower interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Stoke On Trent can reduce the remortgage processing time, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and possible rate rises on the horizon, fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is vital that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can act on behalf of your new mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are changing to a lifetime tracker mortgage with the HSBC or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Manchester Building Society, our remortgage specialists can help.

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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