Updated: October 12, 2018

Torbay conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Torbay

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay conveyancing solicitors in Torbay for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Are Torbay conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden extras, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Torbay who work on an hourly rate. Your conveyancing quote sets out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes the conveyancing solicitor will have to pay to other organisations as part of the house-buying and selling process, such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) or leasehold information packs.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Torbay solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Torbay conveyancing fees should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, there may be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

There are no hidden costs or surprises to be paid with Quittance. For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

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

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Torbay

The borough of Torbay in Devon includes Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The main industry is tourism, although Brixham is a successful fishing port.

Torbay area has a wide range of affordable property available, including starter homes, chalets, family homes and retirement bungalows, plus several new housing developments. A planned regeneration of Torbay's waterfronts will see 500 new homes created including new apartments built on Torquay harbourside, plus new commercial premises in the 3 town centres.

Conveyancing for buyers

The legal work for the purchase of a house or flat will require a conveyancing solicitor in Torbay to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such factors can range from a defective title (e.g. breached restrictive covenants) to issues impacting on the future saleability of the home.

The buyer's property lawyer will report their findings back to the buyer and the lender (where there is a mortgage), deal with any legal problems and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

This part of the article discusses the types of residential property which may involve additional risk for buyers who need conveyancing solicitors in Torbay.

Your Torbay conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, the Buckinghamshire Building Society or any other lender, before appointing a Torbay conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they can act for your chosen lender.

Your solicitor may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies only accept a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet stringent standards.

If this is the case, the lender will require a different firm to carry out the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternative lawyer's fees. Resulting delays can jeopardise the whole purchase.

Delays can be caused by failing to check your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved to act for all lenders.

Torbay Council searches

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are enquiries made by Torbay conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes building regulations
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchshows whether the surrounding environment is suitable for the purchaser
Chancel repair liabilityinsurance is arranged to protect the buyer against any liability for local parish church repairs.

You will be made aware if your chosen lender requires any further searches, such as a highways search or a ground stability report.

Property purchasers should anticipate a wait of up to 19 weeks for Residential property searches ordered from Torbay Council, so quicker regulated searches will be advisable.

Finding planning permissions

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be applied for from HMLR by your conveyancing solicitor. This will help to expose any issues. Examples of these include discrepancies with the filed plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

Torbay Council Council Tax

The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on a number of factors that include the size of the home and the property's value as at 1 April 1991. The occupier of a property in Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,545.

Torbay conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the property's band once 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 £1,159.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the property is owned by a charity and is unoccupied. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and allocated a council tax banding by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Band Torbay Council Tax (2018)
A £1,159
B £1,352
C £1,545
D £1,738
E £2,124
F £2,510
G £2,897
H £3,476

Can I dispute my council tax rate?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Broadwalk House
Southernhay West
Exeter
EX1 1TS
Devon

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made. 30 were upheld and refunds awarded.

Stamp Duty on Torbay properties

If a house is valued at over £125k, the purchaser usually must pay SDLT. Submitting the SDLT1 form to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) is difficult and time consuming. The majority of buyers get their property lawyer to do it for them.

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 Land Tax examples for average properties in Torbay:

  Average selling price (February 2018) Stamp Duty
Average price £246,869 £2,437.38
Average price (detached) £433,379 £11,668.95
Average new build £222,475 £1,949.50

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Torbay

Since the budget announcement in 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a surcharge of 3%, even if the home is not let out. So if a second property was bought for £246,869 then the SDLT total will be £12,343.45.

Torbay conveyancing solicitors should ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Torbay

New build site

It can be costly to buy a leasehold property without being aware of the facts. The many potential complications awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser include ground rent multipliers and onerous covenants.

Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced conveyancing solicitor's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Torbay will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • checking the lease itself
  • any recent demands for service charges and ground rent
  • managing agent or landlord enquiries
  • freeholder plans to sell the building

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property - Call Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377 today.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Torbay?

House being built

The average sale price of Torbay new build property is £241,567. 11 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Torbay in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Torbay must be aware of Torbay-specific issues and the added complexities of new build, e.g. verifying rights of easements and dealing with delays associated with off-plan.

Our team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert appraisal of the legal status of the property, whilst being mindful of issues like the home's future mortgageability and exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Buying in a conservation area can ensure that the street's unique character is protected. However, conservation area restrictions will affect your home.

These constraints, referred to as Article 4 Directions, could include restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, restrictions on the erection of outbuildings or limits on the use of cladding.

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

Conservation areas in Torbay include Chelston, Old Paignton and Barton. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Torbay's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Torbay

Conveyancing for a sale of a home is normally less troublesome than when buying. During the sale of a house or flat, the obligation is solely on the buyer to make sure that the property's title is legally sound and meets their mortgage lender's criteria.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Torbay acting for the person selling just answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

Factors that could delay or endanger a property sale

A house or flat will often come with a series of challenges (such as restrictions on how you can use the property) which could prevent a purchase from completing on time.

It is almost always recommended that sellers handle any such problems without delay.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is a great deal more difficult than for a freehold property.

Conveyancing solicitors in Torbay will also need to carry out additional work. This can involve sourcing all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of the lease.

It would be prudent to get a lawyer as soon as the property is marketed, if not before, to mitigate often unavoidable leasehold delays.

What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, SRA rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in Torbay, and a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could instruct a property solicitor firm in Torbay to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Torbay

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners generally remortgage simply to get a better rate.

Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate faster with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Torbay, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

The property lawyer carrying out your remortgage needs to be able to act for your chosen mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on all major lenders' panels, so whether you are switching to an interest-only mortgage with the Nationwide Building Society or to a repayment mortgage with the Chelsea Building Society, our remortgage specialists 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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