No Move, No Fee Brighton Conveyancing Solicitors

Updated: October 22, 2018

Are you are buying or selling your home, and need Conveyancing Solicitors in Brighton? Find out how to get the best No Move, No Fee conveyancing for your Brighton move.

Brighton properties

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Brighton

Brighton has been named both the happiest place to live in the UK and the UK's hippest city. First developing as a seaside resort in the late 18th century, the city remains very popular today, both as a tourist destination and a place to live and work.

Offering a metropolitan lifestyle, but with the benefits of the seaside and within commuting distance of London, it has some of the best schools in the country. Property prices have increased by around 40% in the last decade, with the most expensive houses close to the marina costing almost £1.5m. More affordable homes are available in the Eastern and Hardwick Roads and Grove Hill areas.

Conveyancing for buyers

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 a conveyancing solicitor in Brighton to carry out due diligence on the property, report back to the buyer and the lender, iron out any legal issues and ensure the title is transferred to the new owner.

This part of the article considers the aspects of the buying process for conveyancing solicitors in Brighton where greater expertise is needed.

Your Brighton conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Irrespective of whether your mortgage is with a financial institution like Handelsbanken or a large lender such as Lloyds Bank, before choosing a Brighton conveyancing solicitor it is paramount that you confirm that they can act on behalf of your chosen lender.

Your lawyer may be unable to act for your chosen lender, because some lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted panel of firms.

If this is the case, the lender will likely need a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work, and you will usually need to pay this alternative lawyer's costs. Adding another solicitor to the process can delay the whole purchase.

Not checking your conveyancing solicitor's lender panel status can mean serious delays.

Our solicitors can act on behalf of all mortgage lenders.

Brighton and Hove City Council searches

Searches are applied for by Brighton conveyancing solicitors to identify problems that might potentially compromise how much your property is worth. They include:

  • Local Authority search - covers planning applications, building control history and enforcement action against the property. The LA search also includes details of any nearby road development schemes.
  • Drainage & Water search - includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.
  • Environmental search - environmental issues that could adversely affect the property
  • Chancel repair liability - there is a risk that some Brighton properties owe a liability to the local parish to pay for church repairs. Insurance can be taken out to protect against this liability.

More specific searches, such as a highways search or an energy search, may also be referred to depending on the contents of the standard searches.

Brighton and Hove City Council has an average processing time of 4 weeks for conveyancing searches, so personal (as opposed to official) searches will be faster.

Planning searches

Your conveyancing solicitor also retrieves the Title Register from the Land Registry. This will help to identify any issues. Examples of these include the title plan showing only very general boundaries or limits on the development of the property.

Brighton and Hove City Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Brighton, 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 B, for example, would owe annual council tax of £1,405.

Brighton conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the property's 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 £1,054.

Other discounts and exemptions may 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 an occupier is an apprentice school leaver or YTS trainee.

Band Brighton and Hove City Council Tax (2018)
A £1,205
B £1,405
C £1,606
D £1,807
E £2,208
F £2,610
G £3,011
H £3,614

Could I be overpaying council tax?

To challenge your banding contact:

Valuation Office Agency
Strand Parade
The Boulevard
Worthing
BN12 6EA
West Sussex

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 70 council tax challenges were made, and 30 resulted in a reduction.

Stamp Duty on Brighton properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid after an SDLT1 form is completed. The form is hard to understand in places - even some non-conveyancing solicitors struggle with it.

Stamp Duty Land Tax works in a similar fashion to income tax insofar as a buyer will pay progressively more tax for a higher-value home.

Our post-completion conveyancing team use online case management system to ensure the SDLT1 tax return is submitted to HMRC (formerly Inland Revenue) as quickly as possible.

See table below for stamp duty examples for homes in Brighton:

Average selling price (2017) Stamp Duty Land Tax
Average price £430,340 £11,517.00
Average price (detached) £581,723 £19,086.15
Average new build £193,407 £1,368.14
If you are buying a second home for over £40,000 then you will have to pay a 3% stamp duty surcharge. So if a second property was bought for £430,340 then the stamp duty total will be £34,427.20.

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Brighton

For first-time buyers, stamp duty is only payable on purchases over £300k.

Brighton conveyancing solicitors will confirm an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Brighton

New build site

The risks associated with leasehold property ownership are of serious concern for leasehold property purchasers. Exponential ground rents, short leases and sub-letting restrictions are only some of the many common complications lying in wait for an uninformed buyer.

Serious consequences can result from a less-experienced conveyancer's bad leasehold advice.

If you are planning to buy a leasehold home, a specialist conveyancing solicitor in Brighton will consider potential leasehold issues, including short leases, annual statements of account and budgets for service charges and reviewing the lease itself (some documents can be centuries old).

Quittance Conveyancing's team of leasehold conveyancing solicitors will ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Brighton?

House being built

According to data compiled by Her Majesty's Land Registry, 1 new builds have been bought in Brighton in 2018 so far. The average sale price of Brighton new build property is £78,000.

The legal work for acquiring a new build home is more involved than any other type of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Brighton should be aware of local considerations and will examine a number of areas, like working to tight developer deadlines and ensuring new estate roads are adopted.

Our specialist team of new build conveyancers deliver an expert assessment of the legal title of the house or apartment, whilst being mindful of concerns like the home's subsequent resaleability and likely freehold acquisition traps.

Conservation areas

When acting for the purchaser of a property in Brighton, a conveyancing solicitor will need to confirm if the home is in one of Brighton's conservation areas. If it is, the home is affected by conditions. These conditions can include a wide range of constraints from restrictions preventing the addition of frontal sloping rooflights, to restrictions preventing paving over the front garden.

If a property is in breach, the local council can require the new owner to revert the property to its earlier condition, even if the changes 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 Brighton.

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Brighton conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Brighton

Conveyancing solicitor fees are what you pay your Brighton conveyancing solicitor for the legal work involved in moving home.

How are Brighton conveyancing fees calculated?

Quittance's conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed No Sale, No Fee conveyancing basis with no hidden fees, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Brighton who offer services on a price per hour basis. Your conveyancing quote explains all fees and other costs you will be charged when your sale or purchase goes through.

Are there any other costs?

You must cover the cost of any 'disbursements', in addition to the legal fees.

Disbursements are fees, costs or taxes that your property solicitor will have to pay to third parties on behalf of their client. These include costs like bankruptcy checks or ID checks.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees

How much will the total Brighton solicitor conveyancing fees be?

Brighton conveyancing solicitor fees will not vary. There may, however, be some variation in certain disbursements. As examples, Local Authority (LA) Search fees will vary and specific extra searches, e.g. utilities searches, may be necessary.

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

Quittance delivered an excellent service at the lowest conveyancing fees we could find Back to top

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Brighton

The legal process for a property sale is normally less troublesome than when buying. When buying, the onus lies with the purchaser to discover whether the title of the property they are buying is legally sound.

In contrast, for a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Brighton acting for the existing owner just answer the buyer's solicitor's formal enquiries.

What could go wrong?

A property can be burdened by a range of potential complications (such as excessive service charges) which may protract the conveyancing process.

It is almost always recommended that sellers tackle any such problems head on.

Further reading:

Read more helpful advice for sellers here.

Leasehold

Conveyancing for a leasehold flat is a great deal more complex than for a more straightforward freehold house.

Brighton conveyancing solicitors will also need to carry out additional work, which could include writing to the landlord for a completed copy of the Leasehold Property Enquiry Form, through to a copy of the lease.

So as to resolve any leasehold-related issues sooner, it is highly recommended that you instruct a solicitor as early as possible.

What if you are acting for the other side?

SRA rules prevent a single conveyancing 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 may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Brighton to carry out your conveyancing, if a Quittance conveyancer is doing the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Brighton

Whilst there are many reasons to consider remortgaging, homeowners will usually remortgage a home to reduce the monthly repayments.

You should be able to enjoy a better rate earlier with a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Brighton, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018) and the future of interest rates unclear, fast conveyancing can be a crucial factor in getting on to the rate you want.

So that they can confirm that the interests of the lender are protected, a property lawyer will act for both you and the mortgage 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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