Updated: October 12, 2018

West London conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in West London

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to conveyancing solicitors in West London for the legal work associated with moving home.

How are West London conveyancing fees calculated?

Our conveyancing solicitors work on fixed legal fees (known as 'No Sale, No Fee' or 'No Move, No Fee') with no hidden costs, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in West London who offer services on an hourly-rate basis. Your conveyancing quote will explain exactly what you will need to pay when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

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 bankruptcy searches or TT fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total conveyancing fees in West London cost?

Conveyancing fees in West London will not vary. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a historic mining search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For a standard conveyancing transaction, what we quote is the fee you pay. Work out the conveyancing fees for your move, with our conveyancing 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 West London

There is now an obligation on a seller to disclose any property defects or disputes to the buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the West London conveyancing solicitor to carry out due diligence on the property, feed the results of their enquiries back to the buyer, offer pragmatic solutions and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

This section of the article discusses the kinds of residential property that could involve extra risk for homebuyers who want conveyancing solicitors in West London.

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Your West London conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether you are taking out a mortgage from the Co-operative Bank, Whistletree or any other lender, before appointing a West London conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they are on the approved solicitor panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some mortgage lenders only accept a restricted panel of firms.

If that is the case, the lender will require an alternative firm to complete the legal work, and you will then have to cover this alternate lawyer's fees. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Not checking your property lawyer's lender panel status could mean serious delays.

Quittance Conveyancing can act on behalf of all lenders.

Property Searches (City of Westminster Council)

Searches are applied for by West London conveyancing solicitors to help to identify any pertinent information that might possibly have an impact on how much your house or flat is worth. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchcontains information about the property and surrounding area held by City of Westminster Council
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchdescribes hazards (such as historic flooding or mining subsidence) within 500m of the property. This search also identifies sites of contaminated land nearby.
Chancel repair liabilitydescribes the insurance to protect against any liability owed by West London properties for local parish repairs.

Buyers will be informed if your lender insists on any further searches, e.g. a highways authority search or an agricultural search.

The average delivery time for Local Authority searches supplied by City of Westminster Council is 5 weeks. Your lawyer will therefore recommend using faster personal searches.

Checking planning permission status

Office copies will also be sourced from HM Land Registry by the buyer's conveyancing solicitor. This helps to find any issues. Examples of these include discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan or a restrictive covenant against certain alterations.

City of Westminster Council Council Tax

The amount of council tax a homeowner in West London will pay to City of Westminster Council will depend on the property's value and the number of residents. For example, the occupier of a Band D property in the City of Westminster Council area would pay annual council tax of £711.

Conveyancing solicitors in West London will inform a purchaser of the property's tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £533.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where an inhabitant is an 18 year old for whom child benefit is payable. Homes built after 1991 are assessed and allocated a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.

Band City of Westminster Council Tax (2018)
A £474
B £553
C £632
D £711
E £868
F £1,026
G £1,184
H £1,421

Is your new home in the wrong band?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Wingate House
93-107 Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 5BU

A homeowner can ask for their property to be reassessed.

Stamp Duty on West London properties

Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay stamp duty is a daunting prospect for a layperson.

If the purchase price of the residential property you intend to buy is over the £125,000 threshold, you must pay SDLT.

Quittance's case management system ensures that the critical SDLT1 form is filed online to reduce delays and to avoid late-filing penalties.

See Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in London:

  Average sale price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £1,028,020 £46,552.00
Average price (detached) £1,209,120 £64,662.00
Average new build £854,797 £32,739.85
Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a stamp duty surcharge of 3%. Following the example above, if a homeowner bought a second home in West London for the average price of £1,028,020 the SDLT would be £133,642.60.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in West London

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300k.

Conveyancing solicitors in West London should ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in West London

New build site

The risks associated with buying a leasehold property are a source of anxiety for leasehold property buyers. There are any number of legal technicalities that could be awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser, such as absent freeholders and ground rent multipliers.

Erroneous leasehold advice, from an inexperienced conveyancer, can have costly, long-term consequences.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in West London will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, e.g. :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • managing agent practices
  • ground rents and service charges
  • changes to the terms of the lease
  • missing building regs and planning

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property thanks to our specialist leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in West London?

House under construction

Based on local Her Majesty's Land Registry statistics, the average price for a new build property in West London is £449,784. 450 new build houses and flats have been bought in West London in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in West London needs to be conscious of both local issues and new build's added complexities, such as investigating issues with drains and roads that serve the property, handling unreasonable delays and registering ownership with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Build Zone and Global Home Warranties.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an independent assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, with a close eye on concerns like the home's subsequent mortgageability and possible freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas in London

If you are buying a house in one of West London's conservation areas, the property must not breach any conservation area building controls. These restrictions, referred to as Article 4 Directions, may include:

  • Limits on roof terraces
  • Restrictions on dormer windows
  • Requiring consent to alter doors and guttering

If a property is in breach, the owner could be required by law to pay for the property to be changed back to the state it was in before the recent alterations, even where the alterations were made by the previous owner.

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors will address whether the home you plan to buy is located in a conservation area in West London.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in West London

The legal side of a sale of a home is less complicated than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor has to carry out a comprehensive legal review on the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in West London acting for the seller merely gathers information relating to the property and responds to enquiries made by the buyer's solicitor .

What could jeopardise a property sale?

Common obstacles, like a problem with the roof, can actually derail the conveyancing process if ignored.

Don't bury your head, hoping the issue will fix itself, instead seek out professional help and tackle it as early as possible.

Useful reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Sale conveyancing for a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is a great deal more specialised than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in West London will usually undertake additional work, such as obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement, through to any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

It is recommended that you contact a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as is practicable to help contain and resolve any delays.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both parties?

A CLC-regulated conveyancer can act for both parties. However, SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale.

If you are buying or selling a house or flat in West London, and a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side, you may wish to contact a property solicitor firm in West London to carry out your conveyancing.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in West London

By far the most common reason homeowners remortgage their home is to secure a preferential rate. Other reasons to switch lenders or mortgage deals include borrowing more to help pay for an extension, or moving from a standard variable rate (SVR) to a fixed-rate.

Homeowners can appreciate the benefits of a better rate sooner with a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in West London, reducing the time the conveyancing takes to complete. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can play a key role in securing your preferred rate.

In order to ensure that the lender's interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will 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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