Updated: October 12, 2018

Whitstable conveyancing solicitor fees and costs

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Whitstable

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid your Whitstable conveyancing solicitor for the legal work associated with moving home.

Are Whitstable conveyancing fees and costs fixed?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Whitstable who work on a price per hour basis. Your quote will set out exactly what you will be charged when your property transaction has completed.

What are disbursements?

You will have to pay any 'disbursements', in addition to the solicitor's conveyancing fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client, such as telegraphic transfer fees or local authority searches.

See: How much should conveyancing fees cost?

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Whitstable cost?

While conveyancing fees in Whitstable will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, the disbursements required can vary. For example, Local Authority Search fees can vary and specific extra searches, such as a flood plain search, may be necessary.

For a standard home sale or purchase, 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 substantially lower than the average solicitors' fees, and their service was first-rate

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Whitstable

"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of property law in England and Wales. After the introduction of the Consumer Trading Regulations (CPR), this rule no longer applies. However, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate the house or flat they plan to buy.

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

This part of the article discusses those residential property types which may be of interest to buyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Whitstable.

Your Whitstable conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a major lender like Santander or a financial institution such as the Buckinghamshire Building Society, before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Whitstable it is paramount that you confirm that they are on the approved panel of your lender.

Your solicitor may be unable to act for your lender, because some banks and building societies will only work with a restricted panel of legal firms that meet stringent standards.

If that is the case, the lender will likely require an alternative firm to carry out the legal work, and you will be expected to pay this alternate lawyer's fees. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Neglecting to check your solicitor's lender panel status can frustrate the process.

Quittance Conveyancing can perform the conveyancing for all lenders.

Conveyancing Searches (Canterbury City Council)

Property searches are carried out by Whitstable conveyancing solicitors to unearth issues that might potentially have an impact on how much your home is worth. They include:

Local Authority (LA) searchincludes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property
Drainage & Water searchincludes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
Environmental searchidentifies nearby landfill and contaminated land sites (within 500 metres), and if there has been any historic flooding or mining subsidence.
Chancel repair liabilitythere is a risk that some Whitstable properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

More specialised searches, such as a more detailed flood report or a commons registration search, may also be recommended depending on the contents of the standard searches.

Homebuyers will have to endure a wait of up to 6 weeks for Local Authority searches provided by Canterbury City Council. As a result, quicker regulated searches will be recommended.

Checking planning status

The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will also order an Official Copy of the Title Register from the Land Registry, helping to identify any issues. These issues could include that a restrictive covenant has been breached or discrepancies between the property boundaries and the title plan.

Canterbury City Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Whitstable, 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. The occupier of a property in Band C, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,513.

A conveyancing solicitor in Whitstable will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band as soon as they are made aware.

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 £1,135.

Other discounts and exemptions may also apply, for example if the property is a second home then a 10% discount will be applied or if the resident is living in long term residential care.

Band Canterbury City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,135
B £1,324
C £1,513
D £1,702
E £2,080
F £2,459
G £2,837
H £3,404

Is your new home in the wrong band?

Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:

Valuation Office Agency
Palting House
Trinity Rd
CT20 2TP

A homeowner can challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 30 council tax challenges were made, and 10 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Whitstable properties

SDLT is paid to HMRC and the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor will ensure that the tax return process is carried out.

If a property is purchased for £125,000 or less, no SDLT is payable. Above this, most homebuyers will need to pay SDLT.

Quittance use smart case management systems to ensure that mistakes are not made on the SDLT process.

See table below for Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for properties in Whitstable:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty
Average price £366,686 £8,334.30
Average price (detached) £482,277 £14,113.85
Average new build £684,000 £24,200.00
Since 1st April 2016, buyers of second homes are subject to a 3% surcharge, even if the property is not rented out. For example, if an existing homeowner bought a second home in Whitstable for the average price of £366,686 the stamp duty would be £29,334.88.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Whitstable

Since November 2017, first-time buyers only need to pay stamp duty on homes valued over £300,000.

Conveyancing solicitors in Whitstable will ensure the correct tax is paid.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Whitstable

New build site

Purchasing a leasehold property if you don't know what you are getting into is risky. The numerous common problems awaiting the unsuspecting buyer include onerous clauses in the lease, spiralling ground rents and reversionary interests.

Serious financial ramifications can result from a solicitor's inaccurate leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold property, a experienced conveyancing solicitor in Whitstable will consider potential leasehold issues, for example :

  • checking the lease itself
  • possible service charge shortfalls
  • reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder
  • freeholder granted consents under the lease
  • flats with varying lease terms

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase - Speak to Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitors on 0800 612 0377.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Whitstable?

New build site

The average sale price of Whitstable new builds is £630,000. 2 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Whitstable in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Whitstable will need to be familiar with local Whitstable factors and the added complexities associated with new build, e.g. handling initial Land Registry registration, handling structural guarantees and working with warranty providers such as NHBC Buildmark, LABC and HAPM.

Our team of new build conveyancers specialise in ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible and working to developer exchange timeframes.

Kent Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are planning to buy is in a conservation area in Whitstable. If it is, the house is affected by restrictions. Called Article 4 directions, these constraints may include:

  • Limitations on the erection of outbuildings
  • Restrictions on the addition of flues and soil vent pipes
  • Limits on the erection of outbuildings

If a property is in breach, the local authority could order you (as the new owner) to pay for returning the property to a compliant state, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Whitstable's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Whitstable

The conveyancing process on a house sale is normally less troublesome than for a property purchase. The purchaser will have to go through a comprehensive legal review on the property and its legal title. Conveyancing solicitors in Whitstable acting for the seller, however, simply replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries.

Why do sales fall through?

A house or flat can face numerous possible complications (such as a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme or excessive ground rent) that might prevent a purchase from completing on time.

It is generally advisable for sellers to handle such issues as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.

Selling a leasehold property

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is significantly more technical in comparison with a freehold house.

Leasehold complexity involves additional tasks on the part of conveyancing solicitors in Whitstable, and this could include obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement or a common parts fire risk assessment.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related delays sooner, it is strongly advised that you instruct a solicitor as soon as the property is marketed, if not before,.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both the buyer and the seller in a single transaction?

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. CLC-regulated conveyancers, however, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You can contact a local Whitstable conveyancing solicitor firm to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is doing the legal work for the other side.

Local Whitstable conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Furley Page LLP, 52-54 High Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1BG
  • Parry Law, 12-14 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DE
  • Pocock's Solicitors Limited, Elizabeth House, 63 Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 1DA
  • Lyons Davidson Limited, Prospect House, Chaucer Business Park, Thanet Way, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3FD

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Whitstable

Benefitting from a lower interest rate to reduce monthly expenses is primarily why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, including releasing equity, or switching from interest-only to repayment.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Whitstable will complete the conveyancing quickly, perhaps saving you from a payment or two at your old rate. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting the mortgage rate you want.

The property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage provider to confirm the mortgage provider's interests are protected.

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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