Updated: October 12, 2018

Swanscombe conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swanscombe

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

Do Swanscombe conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Swanscombe offer services on a price per hour basis. Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your house or flat sale completes.

What are disbursements?

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

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like HMLR fees or leasehold information packs.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will conveyancing in Swanscombe cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Swanscombe will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a historic mining search, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For standard conveyancing transactions, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Swanscombe

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was a key part of property law in England and Wales. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim 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 Swanscombe conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice after making their enquiries, deal with any legal problems and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

The content below sets out useful guidance for buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Swanscombe.

Your Swanscombe conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers may choose from many mortgage lenders, from a niche lender like Atom Bank, to a major lender such as the HSBC. Before selecting a Swanscombe conveyancing solicitor, whoever you choose, it is vital that you check that they can act for your mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your mortgage lender, because some mortgage lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted group of legal practices that pass strict selection criteria.

In this case, the lender will probably need an alternative legal firm to act in their interests, and you will usually need to pay this substitute solicitor's costs. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your lawyer can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Residential Property Searches (Dartford Borough Council)

Searches are enquiries made of various authorities by Swanscombe conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchcovers the details of planning applications, decisions and the enforcement of breaches or violations.
Environmental searchidentifies risks within 500 metres of the property, including flooding subsidence. The search will also reveal nearby landfill sites and contaminated land.
Drainage & Water searchidentifies whether the owner or local authority must pay for the maintenance of water mains and sewers
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Swanscombe properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

Further searches, such as a highways authority search or a ground stability report, may also be advised in the standard searches.

The average turnaround time for conveyancing searches delivered by Dartford Borough Council is 4 weeks. As a result, regulated searches will be faster.

Planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find potential planning issues, such as outbuildings missing from the title plan or right of access issues.

Dartford Borough Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Swanscombe will pay to Dartford Borough Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. for an average Tax Band D residential property in Swanscombe, the tax would be £1,689.

Swanscombe conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's council tax 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 £1,266.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or for spouses of students who are not British.

Band Dartford Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,126
B £1,313
C £1,501
D £1,689
E £2,064
F £2,439
G £2,814
H £3,377
Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

The Valuation Office Agency should reassess a property's band on request.

Stamp Duty on Swanscombe properties

Given the complexity of the SDLT1 tax return form, only an experienced home buyer would attempt to complete and file this with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) without a conveyancing solicitor's help.

When buying a home, Stamp Duty Land Tax will probably need to be paid if the property is valued at over £125,000.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the complex SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

See table below for SDLT examples for properties in Kent:

  Average selling price (February 2018) SDLT
Average price £322,404 £6,120.20
Average price (detached) £488,556 £14,427.80
Average new build £393,745 £9,687.25
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a stamp duty surcharge of 3%, even if the home is not rented out. So if a second property was bought for £322,404 then the stamp duty total will be £25,792.32.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swanscombe

In 11/17, the Chancellor announced that first-time buyers would be exempt from paying stamp duty on residential properties below £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swanscombe will ensure their client pays the right amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swanscombe

New build site

It is risky to purchase a leasehold house or flat if you don't know what you are getting into. Increasing ground rents, reversionary interests and costly and undisclosed major works are among the many potential difficulties lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's bad leasehold advice.

A specialist conveyancing solicitor in Swanscombe will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself
  • service charges
  • managing agent practices
  • complaints from neighbours
  • proposed major works (Section 20 notices)

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 Swanscombe?

Building site

137 new build homes have been bought in Swanscombe in 2018 so far, according to HMLR. The average purchase price of new build properties in Swanscombe is £382,701.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Swanscombe will need to be aware of Swanscombe-specific issues and the extra complexities of new build, including helping with mortgage offer extension terms, confirming Section 38 agreements and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Building Zone and AHCI.

Our expert new build team provide an accurate and truly impartial assessment of the legal status of the property, scrutinising contract concerns ranging from the home's subsequent marketability to likely freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in Kent

When carrying out the conveyancing for a purchase in Swanscombe, a conveyancing solicitor will need to check whether the home is in a conservation area in Swanscombe. If it is, the property could be affected by certain conditions. These conditions may include a range of factors from restrictions on hard standings at the front of the property, to restrictions preventing the addition of frontal sloping rooflights.

The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as replacing uPVC windows with traditional wooden frames.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Swanscombe's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swanscombe

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is more straightforward than for a purchase. The buyer's conveyancer will have to carry out a thorough investigation into the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Swanscombe acting for the seller effectively just gathers together any pertinent information and answers the buyer's questions .

Why do sales fall through?

Properties can be burdened by a range of legal problems (for example a boundary dispute or not being registered at the Land Registry) which could threaten the completion of a purchase.

In most cases, it is recommended for sellers to tackle these issues head on.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more complicated than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Swanscombe will also need to carry out additional work, which could include sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement, through to the minutes of the last AGM (if there is a management company).

It is highly recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as the decision is made to sell to avoid undue delays.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both sides?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both the buyer and the seller. However, SRA rules ban the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

If you are buying or selling a home in Swanscombe, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could contact a local Swanscombe conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swanscombe

People remortgage their home for a variety of reasons, such as moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or funding a one-off purchase. The most common reason, however, is to secure a lower interest rate.

Homeowners will typically be able to benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Swanscombe, minimising the time taken to complete the conveyancing. With the base rate set at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting the mortgage rate you want.

Your property lawyer needs to be able to act for your chosen mortgage lender. Quittance Conveyancing are on all major lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are switching to a fixed-rate mortgage with the HSBC or to a fixed-rate mortgage with the Skipton Building Society, we 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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