Updated: October 12, 2018

Thatcham conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Thatcham

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Thatcham conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a No Sale, No Fee basis with no unexpected, additional costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham who offer services on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

Besides conveyancing fees, what other costs are there?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also have to cover any 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax or identity verification checks.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will the total Thatcham solicitor conveyancing fees be?

While conveyancing fees in Thatcham will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a Coal Authority search, may be necessary and council search fees will vary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance Conveyancing. 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 average solicitors' fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Thatcham

Caveat emptor, (Latin for "let the buyer beware"), was a fundamental principle of English property law. Following recent changes in the law, this maxim no longer applies. However, the buyer still will need to investigate their intended purchase.

The Thatcham conveyancing solicitor will offer professional advice once their enquiries are complete, offer pragmatic solutions and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This section provides useful advice for buyers who want conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham.

Your Thatcham conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are obtaining a mortgage from Ahli United Bank, the HSBC or any other lender, before selecting a conveyancing solicitor in Thatcham you must confirm that they can act for your mortgage lender.

A lot of lenders will only accept a selected list (known as a 'panel') of firms. If a conveyancer is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will likely require a second firm to complete the legal work.

The home buyer will then have to cover this alternate solicitor's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Your purchase can be seriously delayed if you fail to confirm your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can carry out the legal work for all major and minor lenders.

West Berkshire Council searches and other searches

Searches are enquiries made of public bodies by Thatcham conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting your new home.

Banks and building societies also need conveyancing search packs to be applied for. These include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 Local Land Charge Register and CON29 Enquiry Form
Drainage & Water searchdescribes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
Environmental searchreveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by Thatcham properties for local parish repairs.

You will be made aware if your chosen lender insists on any additional searches, e.g. a Crossrail search or a ground stability report.

The estimated turnaround time for searches obtained from West Berkshire Council is 7 weeks. A private search company will be able to provide this information sooner.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be ordered from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer, assisting with the identification of any planning issues. Examples of these include errors on the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

West Berkshire Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in Thatcham will pay to West Berkshire Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. E.g. a residential property in the West Berkshire Council area in Valuation Band E would pay £2,167 per annum.

Conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham will inform a buyer of the property's 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,625.

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 resident is living in long term residential care. A house or flat constructed after 1991 is assessed and given a band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band West Berkshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,182
B £1,379
C £1,576
D £1,773
E £2,167
F £2,561
G £2,954
H £3,545

Can I challenge my valuation?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Kings Wharf
20-30 Kings Rd

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, of which 10 saw a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Thatcham properties

Steep fines await those who miss the stamp duty payment deadline. The buyer (rather than the seller) will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price of the residential property if it exceeds £125k.

Quittance use the latest case management integration with HMRC to avoid errors and ensure there are no late-filing penalties.

The following table illustrates stamp duty examples for typical properties in Thatcham:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £404,884 £10,244.20
Average price (detached) £525,370 £16,268.50
Average new build £393,520 £9,676.00
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second home in the form of a 3% surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £404,884 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £32,390.72. .

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Thatcham

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

Conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham will ensure the correct calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Thatcham

New build site

The risks associated with owning a leasehold property should be of serious concern for purchasers of leasehold houses or flats. Numerous technical issues may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including:

  • absent freeholders
  • unreasonable lease extension premiums
  • ground rent multipliers
Misguided leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with limited leasehold experience, can have costly, long-term consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Thatcham will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease
  • dealing with landlords
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Call Quittance Conveyancing's specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Thatcham?

New build site

The average value of Thatcham new build properties is £393,520. 23 new build homes were purchased in Thatcham last year.

The legal side of buying a new build property can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Thatcham must be aware of both region-specific factors and also should check numerous things, including ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.

Our new build conveyancing team are specialists in working to developer exchange timeframes and new build purchases.

Berkshire Conservation areas

If you are planning to buy a residential property in one of Thatcham's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area constraints. These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, can include a wide range of constraints from general restrictions governing the use of unsympathetic materials, to limitations on skylights.

If a property is in breach, the local planning authority could order you (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

The local planning authority (LPA) for West Berkshire has designated conservation area status on certain areas of Thatcham. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Thatcham.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Thatcham

The legal process for a sale of a home is less demanding than when purchasing. During the sale of a house or flat, the responsibility lies with the purchaser to make sure that the legal title of the property is mortgageable and free from legal issues.

When selling, conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham acting for the current owner just answer the buyer's questions.

What could put the sale of your property at risk?

A home can be burdened by legal problems (for example not having appropriate warranties) which could delay the conveyancing process for several weeks.

It is almost always recommended that vendors tackle these issues head on.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Selling a leasehold property

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat is much more specialised compared to a freehold house.

Conveyancing solicitors in Thatcham must usually carry out further legal work, including asking for service charge accounts, through to details of historical insurance claims.

It is strongly advised that you instruct a lawyer with leasehold experience as soon as the decision is made to sell to reduce delays.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Thatcham to carry out your conveyancing, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side.

Local Thatcham conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Gardner Leader LLP, Winbolt House, The Broadway, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3HX

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Thatcham

Securing a lower rate is generally why people change lenders. There are other reasons, for example wanting to overpay when the lender refuses, or releasing equity.

Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Thatcham, accelerating the time taken to complete the process. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates uncertain, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing your preferred rate.

To certify that the lender's interests are safeguarded, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and the new lender.

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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