Updated: October 12, 2018

West Malling conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in West Malling

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay to your West Malling conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.

How are West Malling conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in West Malling work on a price per hour basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden costs. Your conveyancing quote will set out what fees you will need to pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

What are disbursements?

In addition to the legal fees you will also need to budget for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are fees that a property lawyer must pay to other companies during the process of buying or selling your home. These include costs like indemnity insurance or HMLR fees.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total West Malling solicitor conveyancing fees be?

West Malling conveyancing fees should be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, e.g. transport searches, may be needed and council search fees will vary.

For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden fees. 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 West Malling

As a key part of the legal work for a home purchase, a conveyancing solicitor in West Malling will investigate the legal ownership rights or 'title' of the property and make their "report on title".

After making their enquiries the solicitor will offer professional advice and will find solutions to outstanding defects and other issues and register the new owner's title at the Land Registry.

The following section examines those types of property that could involve extra risk for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in West Malling.

Your West Malling conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Whether your mortgage is with a major lender like Lloyds Bank or a less common lender such as the Harpenden Building Society, before appointing a conveyancing solicitor in West Malling it is very important that you make sure that they are on the approved panel of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may not be able to carry out the legal work for your chosen lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a restricted group of firms that meet strict criteria.

If this is the case, the lender will probably need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative solicitor's fees. This can mean the process takes much longer.

Your property purchase could be threatened by failing to confirm your conveyancer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing are approved members of all lender panels.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council searches

Residential property searches are submitted by West Malling conveyancing solicitors to help identify issues that might have an impact on the value of the property you are purchasing. They include:

SearchDescription
Local Authority (LA) searchincludes the LLC1 and CON29 which includes whether there are any proposed road schemes within 200m
Drainage & Water searchidentifies water mains and sewers. This search also addresses whether the maintenance for these is the owner's responsibility.
Environmental searchreveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
Chancel repair liabilitysome West Malling property may still owe a liability to the local parish for repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this risk.

Your lawyer will notify you if your chosen lender insists on any additional searches, for example a radon gas search or a geological search.

The estimated delivery time for Residential property searches ordered from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council is 8 weeks, so faster personal searches will be preferred.

Planning searches

Your conveyancing solicitor also retrieves office copies from the Land Registry. This will help to expose any potential issues. These issues could include restrictions that limit alterations or outbuildings lying outside the boundary.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. The occupier of a property in Tax Band D, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,741.

Conveyancing solicitors in West Malling will inform the buyer of the property's tax 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 £1,306.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or for foreign language students.

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

Can I lower my band?

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 20 were approved and the tax was reduced. To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Anchorage House
High St
Chatham
ME4 4WD
Kent

Stamp Duty on West Malling properties

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 £125,000.

Steep fines await those who miss the stamp duty payment deadline.

Quittance Conveyancing's investment in the latest case management system means that HMRC filing late filing penalties are a thing of the past.

See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in West Malling:

  Average sale price (2017) SDLT
Average price £416,753 £10,837.65
Average price (detached) £583,980 £19,199.00
Average new build £491,975 £14,598.75
Following the recent budget statement, second home buyers must pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge. Therefore, if a homeowner in West Malling bought a second home for the average price of £416,753 the SDLT would be £33,340.24.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in West Malling

Since 11/17, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000.

West Malling conveyancing solicitors will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in West Malling

New build site

Recent media reports have suggested that over 100,000 homeowners in the UK face leases with unreasonable terms. Doubling ground rents, excessive freehold premiums and absent freeholders are only some of the many common complications awaiting the unsuspecting purchaser.

Inaccurate leasehold advice, from a conveyancer with little specialist experience, could have serious financial consequences.

A good conveyancing solicitor in West Malling will investigate aspects of the leasehold purchase, such as :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old)
  • service charges for relevant date periods
  • dealing with landlords
  • freeholder plans to sell the building
  • unexpired lease terms

Our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in West Malling?

House being built

67 brand new homes were purchased in West Malling last year, according to data gathered by the Land Registry. The average sale price of West Malling new build properties is £491,975.

The legal work for acquiring a new build home can be more involved than any other type of conveyancing. To avoid potential problems a conveyancing solicitor in West Malling must be mindful of West Malling-specific considerations and must check numerous things, including dealing with fast exchange timeframes and verifying rights of easements.

Our highly qualified conveyancing team are experts in helping new build purchasers obtain the best possible terms and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Kent Conservation areas

If you are purchasing a property in one of West Malling's conservation areas, the property must be compliant with any local conservation area conditions. These restrictions, called Article 4 Directions, can include:

  • Conditions affecting frontal additions to the property such as a porch
  • General restrictions governing non-uniform additions or modifications
  • A prohibition on the erection of outbuildings

The local authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as replacing uPVC windows with traditional wooden frames.

Parts of West Malling 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 West Malling.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in West Malling

The conveyancing process on a sale of a home is generally simpler than when purchasing. For a house purchase, the responsibility is on the buyer to discover whether the property is not legally defective.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in West Malling acting for the existing owner need only respond to the purchaser's enquiries.

What factors could threaten your sale?

Frequently occurring issues, such as issues with neighbours' rights over the property, can actually endanger your home move if they are ignored.

Property specialists will almost always advise that sellers address any such problems immediately.

Recommended reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are uncommon) is much more specialised than for a freehold property.

Conveyancing solicitors in West Malling will also perform extra work, including getting the latest service charge and ground rent statement, through to details of any unresolved disputes.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold house or flat, it is recommended that the seller instruct a lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably before putting the property on the market,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for the buyer and the seller of the same home?

Conveyancers regulated by the CLC can act for both parties. However, Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules prevent the same conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale.

You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in West Malling to carry out your conveyancing, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.

Local West Malling conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Cripps LLP, 23 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4UA
  • Berry & Berry LLP, Churchill Square Business Centre, Suite 9, 60, Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4YU
  • Conveyancing Liability Solutions Ltd, Suite 5, 40 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4YU
  • Diligent Law Limited, Suite 6, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4YU
  • Griffin Law Limited, 60 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4YU

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in West Malling

Homeowners remortgage a home for all sorts of reasons, for example switching from interest-only to repayment, or releasing capital. The main reason, however, is to get a better interest rate.

You can appreciate the benefits of a better rate earlier by using a more efficient conveyancing solicitor in West Malling. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and future interest rate changes hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a critical factor in securing the rate you want.

It is key that the property lawyer carrying out the remortgage can act on behalf of your preferred bank or building society. Our conveyancers are on all major UK lenders' panels, so no matter whether you are moving to a tracker with the Halifax or to a joint mortgage with the Buckinghamshire Building Society, we 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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