Updated: October 12, 2018

Ware conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Ware

Conveyancing solicitor fees are the charges you pay to your Ware conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Do Ware conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Ware carry out the legal work on an hourly rate. Our conveyancers work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no nasty surprises in the small print. Your quote sets out what you will pay when your sale or purchase completes.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the solicitor's conveyancing 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 property searches or managing agent fees.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will conveyancing in Ware cost in total?

Whilst conveyancing fees in Ware will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, specific extra searches, e.g. a flooding search, may be necessary and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. 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 Ware

Caveat emptor (buyer beware), was the legal principle of property law in England and Wales. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, a purchaser must still carry out due diligence on a planned purchase.

A Ware conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice following their enquiries, deal with any legal issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following examines those residential property types that may be of interest to people who need conveyancing solicitors in Ware for a purchase.

Your Ware conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Property purchasers can choose from many lenders, from a large lender such as Santander, to a financial institution like the Family Building Society. Before you instruct a conveyancing solicitor in Ware, it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your mortgage lender.

Your conveyancer may not be able to carry out the legal work on behalf of your mortgage lender, because some lenders are only prepared to work with a select list (referred to as a 'panel') of law firms that meet strict selection criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this second solicitor's costs. The additional work can mean the process takes much longer.

Not checking your property solicitor's lender panel status could result in significant delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all banks and other lenders.

East Hertfordshire Council searches and other searches

Searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Ware conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about your planned purchase.

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

More specialised searches, such as a tin mining search or a more detailed plan search, may also be recommended in the initial LA and Environmental searches.

East Hertfordshire Council has a usual turnaround time of 15 weeks for Local Authority searches, so personal (as opposed to official) searches will be faster.

Planning documents

Official Entries (or 'office copies') will also be obtained from the Land Registry by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the purchaser, helping to identify potential planning issues, for example a difference between the agent's floorplan and the title plan or rights or restrictions on how the property may be used.

East Hertfordshire Council Council Tax

East Hertfordshire Council calculate council tax on Ware homes based on the number of occupants and the historic value of the property (as valued at 1 April 1991). The occupier of a property in Valuation Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,715.

Ware conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's council tax band once this is confirmed by the searches.

If the property is unoccupied for over 24 months, the owner will pay 150% of the relevant rate. Single person discount reduces the tax due to 75%, which would equal £1,286.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or if the property is occupied by someone who is seriously mentally impaired. More recently-built property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and allocated a council tax banding.

Band East Hertfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,144
B £1,334
C £1,525
D £1,715
E £2,097
F £2,478
G £2,859
H £3,431

Is it possible to reduce my council tax band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Chase House
305 Chase Rd
London
N14 6LZ

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

Stamp Duty on Ware properties

Obtaining and completing the SDLT1 return from HMRC is difficult but not impossible for a typical purchaser. Usually, however, the form is completed by the conveyancing solicitor to avoid penalties or delays.

Stamp duty is a percentage of the purchase price of a property paid by the buyer to HMRC. It is due on properties bought for over £125k.

Penalties for errors or late filing of the SDLT1 form can be as high as 30%. Quittance use case management system to ensure that SDLT is paid immediately after completion.

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Ware:

  Average selling price (2017) SDLT
Average price £450,248 £12,512.40
Average price (detached) £736,446 £26,822.30
Average new build £539,144 £16,957.20

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Ware

Since November 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Following a change in April 2016, a 3% surcharge is applied for purchases of additional property. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second property in Ware for the average price of £450,248 the SDLT would be £36,019.84.

Conveyancing solicitors in Ware will confirm the right tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Ware

New build site

The risks of purchasing a leasehold house or flat in the UK are well known. The many potential complications awaiting an uninformed purchaser include:

  • absent freeholders
  • doubling ground rents
  • overpriced managing agent packs
  • freeholds sold without first refusal to leaseholders
Serious consequences can result from a solicitor's failure to give good leasehold advice.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Ware will consider potential leasehold issues, for example possible service charge shortfalls, leaseholder/freeholder disputes and dealing with freeholders and managing agents.

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Ware?

House being built

The average price for new builds in Ware is £141,664, according to the HM Land Registry. 3 new build homes have been bought in Ware in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Ware must be well-versed in local considerations and the added complexities associated with new build, e.g. ensuring that the contract is in the buyer's favour and handling structural guarantees.

Our new build team are experts in meeting short developer deadlines and helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms.

Conservation areas in Hertfordshire

Whether you are planning to buy a period coach house or a Regency townhouse, if the house is in a designated conservation area, any planned modifications to the house may not be permitted by East Hertfordshire Council.

Referred to as Article 4 directions, these restrictions can include anything from general restrictions governing the use of non-traditional materials, to restrictions preventing the addition of frontal sloping rooflights.

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

The East Hertfordshire local planning authority has assigned conservation area-status to parts of Ware. Your Quittance conveyancing solicitor will confirm if the property you are purchasing is located in a conservation area in Ware.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Ware

The conveyancing process on a house sale is generally simpler than for a purchase. For a house purchase, the responsibility lies entirely with the buyer to determine whether the house or flat is legally sound.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Ware acting for the current owner only need to answer questions set by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor.

What steps can you take to give yourself the best chances of success?

Common obstacles, like chancel repair liability, could threaten a transaction if ignored.

It is usually recommended that vendors face these issues head on and fix them.

Further reading:

Read more sale conveyancing articles here.

Leasehold

The legal work for a leasehold property is quite a lot more protracted in comparison with a freehold house.

Ware conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, which could include sourcing the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is recommended that the vendor contacts a leasehold expert as soon as the decision is made to sell.

What if Quittance is acting for the other side?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both sides. However, SRA rules restrict a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale and purchase.

If you are buying or selling a property in Ware, and a Quittance conveyancing solicitor is acting for the other side, you can contact a local Ware conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Ware

Benefitting from a lower interest rate to reduce monthly expenses is usually why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or moving from a tracker to a fixed-rate.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Ware will complete the conveyancing quickly, and move you to the better rate sooner. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in getting on to the rate you want.

A property lawyer will act for both you and the new lender, in order to confirm the lender's interests are protected and the lender's new interest is correctly registered.

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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