Updated: October 12, 2018

Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Tonbridge

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the amounts you pay to conveyancing solicitors in Tonbridge for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Tonbridge conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Tonbridge offer services on a cost per hour basis, while other property lawyers will work for a fixed fee (known as 'No Move, No Fee'). Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote will set out what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', on top of the conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like office copies and title plans or Land Registry fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Tonbridge cost in total?

Though conveyancing fees in Tonbridge will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance. To calculate your conveyancing fees, 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 Tonbridge

Recent changes to the law mean that a seller must now disclose issues concerning their property to the buyer and the estate agent.

That said, it remains the responsibility of a Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor to make enquiries about the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, offer practical solutions and confirm that the Land Registry's record of the property is updated.

This section of the article discusses those parts of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Tonbridge where specialist conveyancing skills may be useful.

Your Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like the Swansea Building Society or a major lender such as the HSBC, before instructing a conveyancing solicitor in Tonbridge it is critical that you make sure that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

Your conveyancer may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a restricted group of firms.

Under these circumstances, the lender will likely require a second firm to act in their interests, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's costs. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Neglecting to check the lender panel status of your conveyancer can mean serious delays.

Our solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council)

Property searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Tonbridge conveyancing solicitors to give details about the home you want to buy.

These searches include the local authority (LA) search, drainage & water search, environmental search and chancel repair liability.

Further searches, such as an HS2 search or a ground stability report, may also be recommended in the standard search results.

The approximate delivery time for conveyancing searches provided by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is 8 weeks. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Planning searches

Official Entries will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer. This will help to expose potential planning issues. Examples of these include restrictions that limit alterations or the title plan showing only very general boundaries.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Council Tax

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council calculate council tax on Tonbridge homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). For instance for an average Tax Band E house in Tonbridge, the council tax due would be £2,128.

A conveyancing solicitor in Tonbridge will inform a buyer of the home'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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,596.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes or if the property is a 'granny annexe'. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assign bandings for newly-built homes, and where the owner has requested a revaluation.

Band Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,161
B £1,354
C £1,548
D £1,741
E £2,128
F £2,515
G £2,902
H £3,483

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St

A property owner can also apply for their property to be reassessed. A refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band.

Stamp Duty on Tonbridge properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC by completing an SDLT1 form. The form is lengthy and complex.

SDLT is only applicable to homes where the purchase price exceeds £125k.

Quittance Conveyancing's case management software integrates with online tax return system to ensure that the SDLT is paid in full efficiently.

The following table illustrates SDLT examples for average properties in Tonbridge:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £416,666 £10,833.30
Average price (detached) £559,586 £17,979.30
Average new build £262,309 £3,115.45

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Tonbridge

Relief is available on home purchases below £300k for first-time buyers. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in Tonbridge for the average price of £416,666 the SDLT would be £33,333.28.

Tonbridge conveyancing solicitors will confirm their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Tonbridge

New build site

It is risky to purchase a leasehold property if you are unaware of the facts. The many potential complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser include short leases, increasing ground rents and restrictions on the use of the property.

Poor leasehold guidance, from a conveyancer with only freehold experience, could lead to serious consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in Tonbridge will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, for example any recent demands for service charges and ground rent, flats in the same block with disparity between their leases and dealing with freeholders and managing agents.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Tonbridge?

New build building site

12 new build houses and flats have been bought in Tonbridge in 2018 so far, according to data sourced by HMLR. The average purchase price of new build property in Tonbridge is £262,309.

Buying a new build home requires more technical knowledge than 'standard conveyancing'. Therefore a Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor needs to be conscious of local Tonbridge issues and will need to report to clients on a number of issues, like ensuring that new build mortgage conditions are met and negotiating new build contracts.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide an expert appraisal of the legal status of the property, and in particular factors like the home's future marketability and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure plans (e.g. HS2).

Kent Conservation areas

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Tonbridge, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home is in one of Tonbridge's conservation areas. If it is, the house could be affected by specific building controls. Called Article 4 directions, these building controls can include:

  • Possible restrictions on solar panel positioning
  • Restrictions on the use of external insulation
  • Limits on extensions (even if within Permitted Development rights)

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

Parts of Tonbridge lie within a Tonbridge and Malling LPA-governed conservation area. Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in Tonbridge.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Tonbridge

The conveyancing process on a property sale is simpler than when buying. When a house or flat changes hands, the onus lies entirely with the buyer to validate that the house or flat is not legally defective.

With a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Tonbridge acting for the current owner only need to answer the buyer's questions.

What could put a property sale at risk?

Homes will often come with many legal issues (for example a complex 'Green Deal' or parking issues or disputes) that can slow or frustrate your move.

Property experts will generally advise that sellers handle these issues without delay.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold conveyancing for a sale

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat or house is quite a lot more technical than for a freehold property.

Tonbridge conveyancing solicitors will also perform extra work, and this could include applying for the freeholder pack, through to ensuring that leasehold forms are completed.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is highly recommended that you instruct a leasehold expert as soon as possible.

What if Quittance conveyancers are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both sides.

If you are buying or selling a Tonbridge property, and one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side, you can contact a local Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

Local Tonbridge conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Bailey & Cogger, 139 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1DG
  • Berry & Berry LLP, 185 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BX
  • Warners Law LLP, Bank House, Bank Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1BL
  • Sean O'Connor & Co, 54 The Drive, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 2LR

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Tonbridge

Homeowners remortgage their home for a variety of reasons, for example the existing lender having refused a payment holiday, or borrowing more to help pay for an extension. By far the most common reason, however, is to secure a lower interest rate.

You can enjoy the benefits of a lower rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in Tonbridge, working to reduce the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a contributing factor to getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for your preferred mortgage provider. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels. So no matter whether you are switching to a tracker with Santander or to a joint mortgage with Birmingham Midshires, 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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