Updated: October 12, 2018

Witney conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Witney

Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to conveyancing solicitors in Witney for carrying out the legal work for a property transaction.

Do Witney conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our conveyancers work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Witney who carry out the legal work on a cost per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any '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. These include costs like leasehold information packs or Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total Witney solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Conveyancing fees in Witney should not vary, wherever you are buying or selling in the UK. However, the costs of certain disbursements can vary. As examples, additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed and Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary.

With Quittance Conveyancing, there are absolutely no hidden costs. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate your conveyancing fees, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the Estate Agent's recommended solicitor's fees

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Witney

Purchase conveyancing will need the Witney conveyancing solicitor to consider a wide range of issues. Examples of such issues are defective property title and the mortgageability of the property itself.

The buyer's solicitor will report their findings back to the buyer, help to fix or resolve any legal issues and ensure that the full legal ownership is transferred.

This part of the article offers advice to assist buyers looking for conveyancing solicitors in Witney.

Your Witney conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Regardless of whether you are getting a mortgage from the HSBC, GE Money Home Lending or any other lender, before you select a Witney conveyancing solicitor it is vital that you check that they can act for your lender.

Quite a few lenders will only accept a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that have achieved certain benchmarks. If your solicitor is unable to act for your lender, the lender will require an alternative law firm to carry out the legal work.

The buyer will usually need to pay this second solicitor's fees, and weeks could be added to the conveyancing process.

Neglecting to check the lender panel membership of your conveyancing solicitor can create problems and delays.

Our conveyancing solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.

Property Searches (West Oxfordshire Council)

Residential property searches are questions asked of various bodies by Witney conveyancing solicitors to help uncover relevant information about the home you want to buy. They include:

  • Local Authority search - planning and development details from West Oxfordshire Council records
  • Drainage & Water search - describes water mains and sewers, and confirms if these are privately maintained
  • Environmental search - reveals contaminated land, landfill sites and flooding or subsidence within 500m of the property.
  • Chancel repair liability - involves the potential liability owed by the owners of certain property to pay for local parish church repairs. Insurance can be arranged to cover this risk.

Further searches, such as a Crossrail search or a Forestry Commission search, may also be recommended subject to the outcome of the initial searches.

West Oxfordshire Council has an average lead time of 10 weeks for conveyancing searches, so your lawyer will recommend using quicker personal searches.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Official Entries will also be obtained from HMLR by the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor, helping to evidence planning issues. Examples of these include restrictive covenants governing the use of the property or outbuildings missing from the title plan.

West Oxfordshire Council Council Tax

Council tax is calculated by West Oxfordshire Council on property value and the number of people living in the property. For example, a house in the West Oxfordshire Council area in Valuation Band D would pay £1,786 per annum.

Witney conveyancing solicitors will inform the purchaser of the home's 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 £1,340.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, e.g. unoccupied properties undergoing major repairs or properties awaiting grant of probate.

Band West Oxfordshire Council Tax (2018)
A £1,191
B £1,389
C £1,588
D £1,786
E £2,183
F £2,580
G £2,977
H £3,572

Could I be overpaying council tax?

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 saw a reduction. To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive

Stamp Duty on Witney properties

Delays and penalties await those who mishandle the stamp duty administration process.

The vast majority of people will have their conveyancing solicitor complete the SDLT1 return on their behalf.

The current stamp duty threshold is £125,000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) objections are avoided using the latest integrated conveyancing case management system.

The following table illustrates Stamp Duty Land Tax examples for typical properties in Witney:

  Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £388,694 £9,434.70
Average price (detached) £515,804 £15,790.20
Average new build £464,338 £13,216.90

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Witney

As from 2017, first-time buyers will not have to pay any stamp duty if the purchase price is below £300,000. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second residential property in the form of a 3% stamp duty surcharge. For example, if a homeowner bought a second home in Witney for the average price of £388,694 the SDLT would be £31,095.52.

Conveyancing solicitors in Witney should confirm the correct amount is calculated.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Witney

New build site

Over 100,000 property owners in the UK are trapped by property leases with unreasonable terms. Increasing ground rents, costly and undisclosed major works and sub-letting restrictions are only some of the frequent complications lying in wait for an uninformed purchaser.

Severe consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's erroneous leasehold advice.

If you intend to buy a property with a lease, a good conveyancing solicitor in Witney will consider potential leasehold issues, such as reviewing the lease itself (many leases are decades old), reviewing correspondence between the freeholder and leaseholder and current-year service charge estimates.

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

Buying a 'New Build' property in Witney?

Building site

According to HM Land Registry information, the average purchase price of Witney new build properties is £337,500. 1 new builds have been bought in Witney in 2018 so far.

A new-build conveyancing solicitor in Witney needs to be conscious of both local considerations and the extra complexities associated with new build, including handling reservation fees, verifying rights of access and checking new build warranties with warranty providers, including NHBC Buildmark, Zurich Municipal and Trenwick International.

Our award-winning new build conveyancing team specialise in meeting short developer deadlines and ensuring that new build contracts favour the client as much as possible.

Oxfordshire Conservation areas

If you are intending to purchase a residential property in a conservation area in Witney, the property must not breach any conservation area conditions. Referred to as Article 4 directions, these building controls can 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.

The local planning authority (LPA) for West Oxfordshire has designated conservation area status on certain areas of Witney. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Witney's conservation areas.

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Witney

The legal process for a sale of a house or flat is less complicated than for a property purchase. The buyer's conveyancing solicitor will carry out due diligence into the property and its legal title, whereas conveyancing solicitors in Witney acting for the vendor mostly just collects all documents and information relating to the property and replies to the solicitor's standard and additional enquiries .

How to improve the odds of your sale going through

Common obstacles, like Japanese Knotweed, could jeopardise a transaction if not handled appropriately.

Property specialists will generally suggest to sellers that they handle these issues as soon as they come to light.

Further reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Leasehold flats

Conveyancing for a leasehold property is significantly more technical than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Witney will usually undertake extra work, and this could include obtaining an up-to-date service charge statement or details of any required deed of covenant.

To speed up the leasehold conveyancing process, it is strongly advised that the vendor contacts a leasehold-specialist conveyancer as soon as possible.

Can your conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

SRA rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a house sale and purchase. However, CLC-regulated conveyancers, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could contact a property solicitor firm in Witney to undertake your conveyancing, if one of our conveyancing solicitors is acting for the other side.

Local Witney conveyancing solicitor directory

  • Stacey and Mason LLP, 35a High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6HP
  • Lee Chadwick Solicitors LLP, 14 Market Square, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 6BE
  • John Welch & Stammers Solicitors, 24 Church Green, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 4AT
  • Bower & Bailey LLP, Willow House, 2 Heynes Place, Station Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 4YN
  • DS Legal, 28 Wittas House, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 4BH

Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Witney

The main reason people remortgage is to save money with a lower rate. Other reasons to remortgage include extending the mortgage term, or wanting to overpay when the lender refuses.

A proactive conveyancing solicitor in Witney can reduce the remortgage processing time, helping you get onto the lower rate earlier. With the Bank of England base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when securing your preferred rate.

To make sure that the parties' interests are protected, the property lawyer handling your remortgage will need to act for both you and the 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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