Updated: October 12, 2018

Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Whitehaven

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

How are Whitehaven conveyancing fees calculated?

Some conveyancing solicitors in Whitehaven work on an hourly-rate basis. Some solicitors will complete the work on a fixed 'No Move, No Fee' basis. We work on a guaranteed fixed conveyancing fee basis, with no hidden extras. Your conveyancing quote sets out exactly what you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You will need to budget for 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are the third-party costs that your conveyancer will pass on to you at the end of the conveyancing process, such as leasehold information packs or Stamp Duty Land Tax.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Whitehaven solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing solicitor fees in Whitehaven will be the same as anywhere else in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, Local Authority Search fees can vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a historic mining search, may be needed.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are no hidden fees or surprises in the small print. For a standard conveyancing transaction, the conveyancing fee we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's fees were cheaper - less than half the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Whitehaven

A seller is now required to disclose issues that could affect the value or enjoyment of their property to the prospective buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor to investigate the property, and report back to the buyer and the lender, assist in resolving any issues and make sure that the title is registered in the name of the new buyer.

The following discusses the kinds of residential property that could involve extra risk for buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Whitehaven.

Your Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a niche mortgage lender like the Harpenden Building Society or a large lender such as Santander, before you instruct a Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor it is essential that you check that they are on the panel of your chosen lender.

The majority of banks and building societies are only prepared to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of legal firms. If your conveyancer is unable to act for your chosen lender, the lender will need a second solicitor firm to complete the legal work.

You will then have to cover this substitute lawyer's costs and the conveyancing process could take much longer.

Setbacks can arise if you do not confirm your solicitor's lender panel status.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Searches (Copeland Borough Council)

Property searches are carried out by Whitehaven conveyancing solicitors to help spot any wider issues that could possibly impact how much your property is worth.

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

More specific searches, such as a highways authority search or an energy search, may also be referred to in the standard searches.

Copeland Borough Council has an average processing time of 21 weeks for conveyancing searches. Your solicitor will instead apply for personal searches, which are usually faster.

Checking planning status

Office copies will also be applied for from HM Land Registry by your conveyancing solicitor, helping to identify potential planning issues, such as a restrictive covenant against certain alterations or discrepancies with the filed plan.

Copeland Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Whitehaven, 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. a residential property in the Copeland Borough Council area in Tax Band B would pay £1,413 per annum.

Whitehaven conveyancing solicitors will inform the buyer of the home's tax band after 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 reduces the tax due to 75% which would equal £1,059.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example a 10% discount for second homes (although this may change as the government has second home ownership in its sights) or if you are a live in carer looking after someone who isn't a spouse or relative.

Band Copeland Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,211
B £1,413
C £1,614
D £1,816
E £2,220
F £2,623
G £3,027
H £3,632

What to do if you suspect your new home is incorrectly valued

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 10 council tax challenges were made, and 0 were approved and the tax was reduced. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Glynis House
25-27 Brogden St
Ulverston
LA12 7AT
Cumbria

Stamp Duty on Whitehaven properties

If the purchase price of the home you intend to buy is over the £125,000 threshold, you must pay SDLT. Given the complexity of the SDLT1 tax return form, only the daring would attempt to complete and file this with HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) without a conveyancing solicitor's help.

Quittance Conveyancing's case management software integrates with electronic filing systems to ensure that the SDLT is paid in full efficiently.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for homes in Whitehaven:

  Average selling price (2018 to date) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £140,523 £310.46
Average price (detached) £224,011 £1,980.22
Average new build £277,587 £3,879.35
Homeowners must pay a higher rate of SDLT when buying a second property. Therefore, if a homeowner in Whitehaven bought a second property for the average price of £140,523 the SDLT would be £7,026.15.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Whitehaven

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

Conveyancing solicitors in Whitehaven will ensure their client pays the correct amount.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Whitehaven

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property if you are unaware of the implications is risky. Increasing ground rents, marriage value issues and unfair developer practices are only some of the many traps awaiting an uninformed purchaser.

Poor leasehold guidance, from a conveyancer with only freehold experience, can have serious consequences.

If you are planning to purchase a leasehold property, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Whitehaven will address aspects of leasehold, including :

  • sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
  • dealing with landlords
  • service charge records from the last three years
  • sub-let or tenanted flats

Make sure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property with our team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Whitehaven?

Building site

The average price for Whitehaven new build properties is £277,587. 4 new build properties have been bought in Whitehaven in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Whitehaven must be aware of local issues and new build's additional complexities, such as dealing with incomplete service connection agreements and handling the uncertainties of buying off plan.

Our new build conveyancing department will provide a specialist assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, whilst being mindful of issues like problematic leasehold terms and likely freehold acquisition traps.

Cumbria Conservation areas

Whether you are a fan of Georgian, Edwardian or even Brutalist architecture, moving into a conservation area will usually mean that the local character is unlikely to drastically change. However, conservation area constraints will affect your residential property.

These building controls could include:

  • Restrictions on the use of cladding
  • Restrictions on joinery colour choices
  • Restrictions on extensions even if within Permitted Development rights

The local planning authority can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a satellite dish.

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Whitehaven's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Whitehaven

The legal process for a house sale is much easier than when purchasing. For a house purchase, the onus lies entirely with the buyer to validate that the property's title is mortgageable and is (or can be) registered at the Land Registry.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Whitehaven acting for the existing owner effectively just answer the buyer's solicitor's questions.

Why do sales fall through?

Issues, such as being in an area threatened by local development, can actually threaten your home move if left unresolved.

Property experts will generally suggest that vendors face such issues head on and fix them.

Useful reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

The legal work for a leasehold flat is much more time-consuming than for a more straightforward freehold house.

The complexities of leasehold mean conveyancing solicitors in Whitehaven must undertake additional legal work, which could include requesting an up-to-date service charge statement or any information about regulations affecting the property that are not in the lease.

To accelerate the handling of the leasehold work, it is highly recommended that you instruct a leasehold-specialist lawyer as early as possible.

Can Quittance conveyancers act for both the buyer and the seller in one transaction?

SRA rules restrict the same solicitor from acting on both sides in a property sale. Conveyancers who are regulated by the CLC, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are buying or selling a home in Whitehaven, and a Quittance conveyancer is carrying out the legal work for the other side, you could contact a local Whitehaven conveyancing solicitor firm to handle your legal work.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Whitehaven

People remortgage a home for a variety of reasons, including extending the mortgage term, or moving to an offset mortgage. The main reason, however, is to benefit from a lower interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Whitehaven will complete the conveyancing quickly, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With rate rises hard to predict, fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting the mortgage rate you want.

So that they can confirm that the lender's investment is secured, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will act for both you and your new bank or building society.

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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