Updated: October 12, 2018

Suffolk conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Suffolk

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the costs you pay your Suffolk conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

Do Suffolk conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Suffolk offer services on a fees per hour basis. Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your conveyancing quote explains all fees and disbursements you will need to pay when your sale or purchase completes.

Are there any other costs?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

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 checks or indemnity insurance.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Suffolk cost in total?

Conveyancing fees in Suffolk will be the same as anywhere else in the country. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. For example, additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are absolutely no hidden fees. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Suffolk

As a key part of the conveyancing for a homebuyer, a Suffolk conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence on the tenure and investigate the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and report back to the purchaser and the mortgage lender (if applicable).

After making their enquiries the solicitor will offer professional advice and will find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following considers the aspects of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Suffolk where specialist conveyancing skills may be essential.

Your Suffolk conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether you are getting a mortgage from Paragon, TSB or any other lender, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Suffolk it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some lenders will only work with a restricted group of legal firms.

If this is the case, the lender will need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's costs. This means the transaction could be delayed.

Your home move could be threatened by failing to confirm your lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Property Searches (Mid Suffolk District Council)

Residential property searches are applied for by Suffolk conveyancing solicitors to expose problems that could reduce the value of the property you are purchasing.

Lenders typically also require searches to be purchased. Required searches will include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - contains information about the property and surrounding area held by Mid Suffolk District Council
  • Environmental search - identifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
  • Drainage & Water search - confirms who is responsible for the upkeep of the water pipes and drainage that serve the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Suffolk properties for local parish repairs.

Homebuyers will be made aware if your mortgage lender needs any more searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a more detailed environmental report.

The typical delivery time for conveyancing searches delivered by Mid Suffolk District Council is 20 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Planning documents

The conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer will source official entries from HM Land Registry, helping to identify planning issues. These issues could include a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

Mid Suffolk District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Suffolk, 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. E.g. for an average Band B house in Suffolk, the amount payable would be £1,295 per year.

Suffolk conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the property's tax 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £971.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or for foreign language students.

Band Mid Suffolk District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,110
B £1,295
C £1,479
D £1,664
E £2,034
F £2,404
G £2,774
H £3,329

Can you challenge the council tax bracket?

From April 2016 to March 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made. 20 saw a subsequent reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
St. Clare House
Greyfriars
Ipswich
IP1 1LR
Suffolk

Stamp Duty on Suffolk properties

Steep fines await those who miss the stamp duty payment deadline. SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k.

Quittance is able to administer the SDLT process faster and more efficiently than ever, using integrated online systems.

See examples for typical local properties:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £268,046 £3,402.30
Average price (detached) £370,365 £8,518.25
Average new build £282,873 £4,143.65

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Suffolk

Relief is available on home purchases below £300,000 for first-time buyers. Following a change in April 2016, a higher SDLT rate of 3% is applied for purchases of additional property. For example, if a homeowner bought a second home in Suffolk for the average price of £268,046 the SDLT would be £21,443.68.

Suffolk conveyancing solicitors will ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Suffolk

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat is not as straightforward as buying a freehold property. Numerous legal complications could be awaiting the unsuspecting buyer, including:

  • unpaid service charges by the existing leaseholder
  • sub-letting restrictions
  • unfair clauses in the lease
  • increasing ground rents
Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced conveyancer's failure to give good leasehold advice.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold property, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Suffolk will consider potential leasehold issues, e.g. service charges for relevant date periods, the implications of the remaining length of the lease and reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder.

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Suffolk?

House under construction

78 new builds have been bought in Suffolk in 2018 so far, (source: HM Land Registry). The average price for Suffolk new build property is £286,968.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Suffolk must be aware of Suffolk-specific considerations and the extra complexities of new build, like negotiating new build contracts and dealing with lender conditions.

Our award-winning team of conveyancers are specialists in new build purchases and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Conservation areas in Suffolk

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Suffolk, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home is in a conservation area in Suffolk. If it is, the home will be affected by certain conditions. These conditions may include a wide range of constraints from restrictions on the removal or addition of front boundary walls, to restrictions on the use of cladding.

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing wall render or paint.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Suffolk's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Suffolk

Conveyancing for a house sale is normally less troublesome than when buying. The buyer needs to carry out a detailed investigation into the property's title and other legal aspects. Conveyancing solicitors in Suffolk acting for the seller simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

What could put your sale at risk?

A home will frequently have a series of complex issues (e.g. issues with neighbours' rights over the property) that can hinder a sale.

It is best not to procrastinate as it is highly unlikely that the problems won't be picked up. The best course of action is to seek out professional help and work to resolve it at the earliest stage.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more complex than for a freehold house.

Suffolk conveyancing solicitors will also carry out additional work, for example approaching the managing company for a copy of the lease, through to insurance premium details accounts.

It is recommended that the vendor contact a lawyer as soon as is practicable to reduce leasehold-related delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

Conveyancers regulated by the Council for Licenced Conveyancers can act for both sides. However, SRA regulations ban the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase.

You may wish to contact a law firm in Suffolk to undertake your legal work, if a Quittance conveyancer is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Suffolk

Homeowners remortgage their home for all sorts of reasons, for example wanting to borrow more, or wanting a more flexible mortgage. The main reason, however, is to get a more attractive interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Suffolk can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. 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 on to the rate you want.

It is vitally important that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can represent the new lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are moving to a fixed-rate mortgage with the NatWest or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Bank of Ireland, 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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