Updated: October 12, 2018

Swanley conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swanley

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Swanley for handling the legal work for your move.

Are Swanley conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Swanley who carry out the legal work on an hourly rate. Your quote sets out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home, such as managing agent fees or bankruptcy searches.

See: A guide to all conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Swanley cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Swanley will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, e.g. transport searches, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden fees or costs to be paid with Quittance. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Swanley

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this principle no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

The Swanley conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.

The content below discusses elements of the legal process for conveyancing solicitors in Swanley that require specialised skills.

Your Swanley conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you choose a Swanley conveyancing solicitor, it is very important that you make sure that they are approved by your chosen lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Monmouthshire Building Society, NatWest or any other lender.

Quite a few lenders only accept a restricted panel of firms that meet strict selection criteria. If a solicitor is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will likely require an alternative legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternative solicitor's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Long delays can arise if you do not check your solicitor's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can carry out the legal work for all major and minor banks and building societies.

Conveyancing Searches (Sevenoaks District Council)

Residential property searches are carried out by Swanley conveyancing solicitors to expose any wider issues that could have an impact on how much the property you are buying is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority (LA) search - includes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any proposed road schemes within 200m
  • Environmental search - describes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
  • Drainage & Water search - covers the location of water pipes and drains, and reveals if the upkeep for these falls on the owner or local council.
  • Chancel repair liability - describes the insurance to protect against any liability to the local parish for repairs.

You will be notified if your mortgage lender wants any further searches, e.g. a highways search or an agricultural search.

Sevenoaks District Council has a usual lead time of 11 weeks for LA searches. As a result, regulated searches will be faster.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Your conveyancing solicitor will apply for an Official Copy of the Title Register from the Land Registry. This will help to expose any planning issues. These issues could include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or right of access issues.

Sevenoaks District Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of factors which include the location of the property and the value of the property. For example, for an average Band B house in Swanley, the amount due would be £1,381 per year.

A conveyancing solicitor in Swanley will inform the buyer of the home's council tax band after this is confirmed by the searches.

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 £1,036.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or for foreign language students.

Band Sevenoaks District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,184
B £1,381
C £1,579
D £1,776
E £2,170
F £2,565
G £2,960
H £3,552

Could I be overpaying council tax?

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed, and a refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Unicorn House
28 Elmfield Rd
Bromley
BR1 1LR
Kent

Stamp Duty on Swanley properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

If a home is purchased for £125k or less, no stamp duty is payable. Above this, most homebuyers will need to pay stamp duty.

HM Revenue & Customs objections are avoided using the latest legal case management system.

See SDLT examples for properties in Swanley:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £339,626 £6,981.30
Average price (detached) £466,734 £13,336.70
Average new build £347,817 £7,390.85
If you own another property or share in a property you will be subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Swanley for the average price of £339,626 the SDLT would be £27,170.08.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swanley

Since the budget announcement in 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300k with relief up to £500,000 in some areas.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swanley should ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swanley

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property can be challenging when compared to buying a freehold home. The numerous common problems lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser include:

  • doubling ground rents
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
  • incomplete management company accounts
  • absent freeholders
Severe consequences can result from a less-experienced lawyer's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

If you are planning to buy a house or flat with a lease, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Swanley will consider potential leasehold issues, including managing agent or landlord enquiries, reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old) and landlord/tenant disputes.

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Swanley?

House being built

The average price for Swanley new build homes is £347,817. 43 new builds were purchased in Swanley last year.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Swanley must be mindful of local Swanley issues and the specific issues associated with new build, such as working to builders' exchange timelines, handling equity loan schemes and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC, Build Zone and ACHI/Vantage.

Our highly qualified conveyancing team are experts in ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Kent Conservation areas

Whether you are buying a character cottage or a Tudor home, if the property is in a designated conservation area, any planned alterations to the property may not be allowed by the local authority.

Called Article 4 directions, these constraints may include restrictions on the use of PVC or aluminium windows, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property.

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

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

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swanley

The legal side of a house sale is simpler than for a property purchase. During the sale of a house or flat, the obligation lies with the purchaser to confirm that the property they are purchasing is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Swanley acting for the vendor need only answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

What steps can you take to improve the odds of your sale going through?

Homes will often come with a broad spectrum of complex issues (e.g. not being connected to the main sewers) that can threaten a sale.

Property experts almost always advise that vendors tackle any such problems head on.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is a great deal more involved than for a freehold house.

Swanley conveyancing solicitors must usually carry out further legal work, such as sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement, through to details of any consents for alterations.

To reduce delays, it is recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold specialist as early as possible.

What if Quittance is already acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Swanley to undertake your conveyancing, if a Quittance solicitor is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swanley

Although there are many reasons to remortgage, homeowners will generally remortgage to save money with a lower rate.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Swanley will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

It is critical that the property lawyer handling your remortgage can act on behalf of your preferred bank or building society. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are switching to a 95% mortgage with Santander or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Market Harborough Building Society, Quittance 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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