Updated: October 12, 2018

Tower Hamlets conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Tower Hamlets

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid conveyancing solicitors in Tower Hamlets for the legal work associated with buying or selling a property.

Do Tower Hamlets conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

We work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Tower Hamlets who will work on a fees per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote will set out exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs?

In addition to conveyancing solicitor fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client, such as Land Registry fees or office copies.

See: A guide to conveyancing fees, costs and disbursements

How much will conveyancing in Tower Hamlets cost in total?

Although conveyancing fees in Tower Hamlets will be the same as anywhere else in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, such as utilities searches, may be necessary.

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

Quittance's conveyancing fees were substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Tower Hamlets

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets lies north of the River Thames and covers much of the traditional East End of London and includes the former metropolitan boroughs of Stepney, Bethnal Green and Poplar.

Much of the area includes the redeveloped Docklands region, including Canary Wharf, with the world headquarters of many global financial businesses, employing some of the highest paid workers in London.

Within the borough are over 100 parks and open spaces, with Victoria and Mile End parks being the largest. Transport links to central London are numerous.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Caveat emptor, meaning 'let the buyer beware', was the legal principle of English property law. This maxim no longer applies, however, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.

A conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets will make recommendations once their enquiries are complete, deal with any legal problems and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

This section discusses the kinds of residential property that may be of concern to buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Tower Hamlets.

Your Tower Hamlets conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether your mortgage is with a large lender like the Co-operative Bank or a niche mortgage lender such as the Darlington Building Society, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the panel of your lender.

A lot of lenders are only prepared to work with a selected list (known as a 'panel') of law firms that meet strict criteria. If a conveyancer can't act for your lender, the lender will need an alternative law firm to complete the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this second lawyer's fees and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Setbacks can be caused by failing to confirm your conveyancing lawyer's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors can act for all mortgage providers.

Searches (Dover District Council)

Searches are questions submitted to public bodies by Tower Hamlets conveyancing solicitors to highlight issues affecting the property being purchased.

Searches are firstly carried out to meet lender requirements. These searches include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Your solicitor will notify you if your mortgage lender insists on any further searches, such as a highways search or a more detailed plan search.

Dover District Council has a typical delivery time of 13 weeks for Local Authority searches, so your solicitor will instead apply for quicker personal searches.

Planning documents

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will apply for official entries from HMLR. This will help to expose any issues. Examples of these include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or that a restrictive covenant has been breached.

Dover District Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Tower Hamlets, the applicable rate of council tax will vary depending on the value of the home (as assessed in 1991) and the number of people living in it. E.g. the occupier of a Band B house in the Dover District Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,344.

A conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets will inform the purchaser of the property's band once they have the Local Authority search results.

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 £1,008.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or properties awaiting grant of probate.

Band Dover District Council Tax (2018)
A £1,152
B £1,344
C £1,536
D £1,727
E £2,111
F £2,495
G £2,879
H £3,455

Are you about you buy a home in the wrong council tax band?

In the financial year 2016/17, 20 council tax challenges were made. 10 were upheld and refunds awarded. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
Folkestone
CT20 2TP
Kent

Stamp Duty on Tower Hamlets properties

The SDLT1 form is seven pages long, and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) fines those who delay in completing and returning it. A homebuyer will usually need to pay SDLT if the property they are purchasing is valued at over £125k.

Quittance's online case management system are fully integrated with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)'s online SDLT filing systems.

See table below for SDLT examples for properties in Tower Hamlets:

  Average sale price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty
Average price £544,181 £17,209.05
Average price (detached) £1,140,000 £57,750.00
Average new build £604,836 £20,241.80

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Tower Hamlets

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000. Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a higher rate of 3%, even if the property is not rented out. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Tower Hamlets for the average price of £544,181 the SDLT would be £43,534.48.

Tower Hamlets conveyancing solicitors should ensure the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Tower Hamlets

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold house or flat without knowing what you are getting into can be risky. Doubling ground rents, marriage value issues and reversionary interests are but a few of the many common complications lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer.

Serious financial ramifications can result from an inexperienced lawyer's bad leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a expert conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, including :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • dealing with freeholders
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • reserve funds

Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are aware of all the potential issues and costs associated with the lease.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Tower Hamlets?

Building site

According to data sourced by the HM Land Registry, the average price for Tower Hamlets new build homes is £604,836. 48 new builds have been bought in Tower Hamlets in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets needs to be conscious of local Tower Hamlets issues and new build's additional complexities, such as investigating developer incentives and working to builders' exchange timelines.

With Quittance Conveyancing, you will get an impartial assessment of the legal status of the property, whilst being mindful of concerns ranging from unreasonable leasehold terms to exponential ground rent and service charges (where applicable).

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the home you are buying is in a conservation area in Tower Hamlets. If it is, the property could be affected by certain conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions may include restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, limits on the use of cladding or limitations on new outbuildings.

The new owner could be ordered to pay for necessary changes to bring a property in line with current regulations, even if the previous owner was responsible for the changes.

Tower Hamlets conservation areas include Commercial Road, Whitechapel Market and All Saints' Church. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Tower Hamlets.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Tower Hamlets

Conveyancing for a house sale is generally simpler than for a purchase. When property changes hands, the onus is on the buyer to verify that the legal title of the property can be mortgaged and is free from legal issues.

On the other side of the transaction, conveyancing solicitors in Tower Hamlets acting for the seller only need to answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

How to give yourself the best chances of success

Homes can be burdened by many possible complications (for example issues with neighbours' rights over the property or being situated on a flood plain) that can jeopardise a transaction.

Property experts will almost always advise to sellers that they handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat or house is significantly more specialised than it is for a freehold home.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Tower Hamlets must carry out additional work, for example sourcing an up-to-date service charge statement or details of the length of leases of other flats in the block.

It is strongly advised that you instruct a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as possible to ensure the legal technicalities are handled correctly.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the vendor in one transaction?

A conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority rules restrict the same conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Tower Hamlets to carry out your legal work, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Tower Hamlets

The most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to get a more affordable interest rate. There are other reasons to think about remortgaging, for example moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate, or consolidating debts.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Tower Hamlets will complete the conveyancing quickly, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing the rate you want.

It is crucial that your property lawyer can act on behalf of your preferred mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders. So whether you are switching to a flexible mortgage with Santander or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Coventry Building Society, our remortgage team 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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