No Move, No Fee Leeds Conveyancing Solicitors
Updated: October 19, 2018
Are you are buying or selling your home, and need Conveyancing Solicitors in Leeds? Find out how to get the best No Move, No Fee conveyancing for your Leeds move.
Conveyancing - Buying a property in Leeds
With one of the most diverse economies in the UK, Leeds is considered the cultural and commercial heart of West Yorkshire. In recent years it has experienced the fastest rate of private-sector jobs growth of any UK city. After London, Leeds is the largest legal and financial centre in the UK.
As well as having a vibrant economy, Leeds is one of the greenest cities in the UK. The city council maintains many large parks and open spaces, including Roundhay Park, one of the largest city parks in Europe.
One of the UK's hot-spots for nightlife, Leeds is home to Grand Theatre, First Direct Arena and West Yorkshire Playhouse, and offers an eclectic mix of live entertainment.
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Conveyancing for purchasers
"Caveat emptor", or "buyer beware", was a fundamental principle of English property law. Since 2013, this principle no longer applies, however, it remains the responsibility of a homebuyer and their solicitor to investigate their intended purchase.
The Leeds conveyancing solicitor will offer suggestions and advice after making their enquiries, offer practical solutions and ensure that the change of ownership is registered at the Land Registry.
This section considers the kinds of residential property which could be of concern to homebuyers searching for conveyancing solicitors in Leeds.
Your Leeds conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved
Whether your mortgage is with a niche lender like the Swansea Building Society or a major lender such as TSB, before you select a conveyancing solicitor in Leeds it is very important that you make sure that they can act in the interests of your mortgage lender.
Many banks and building societies will only accept a restricted panel of solicitors or licensed conveyancers that meet strict selection criteria. If a solicitor is unable to act for your mortgage lender, the lender will require a different solicitor firm to complete the legal work.
The purchaser will usually need to pay this second lawyer's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.
Our conveyancing solicitors are approved members of all lender panels.
- Lloyds Bank
- Barclays Bank
- HSBC Bank
- The Royal Bank of Scotland
- Santander Bank
- Nationwide Building Society
- Halifax Bank
- All UK lenders
Residential Property Searches (Leeds City Council)
Searches are questions submitted to a number of authorities by Leeds conveyancing solicitors to identify issues affecting the home you want to buy.
Mortgage lenders also usually require conveyancing searches to be purchased. These include:
|Local Authority (LA) search||includes a list of planning decisions that could affect the property|
|Drainage & Water search||includes the position of water mains and sewers, and whether the local authority is responsible for their maintenance.|
|Environmental search||exposes whether the land around the property (500m radius) has been affected by subsidence, flooding or has been identified as "contaminated land"|
|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 more detailed flood report or a more detailed environmental report, may also be advised in the initial search results.
Homebuyers should anticipate a wait of approximately 4 weeks for searches ordered from Leeds City Council. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.
Your conveyancing solicitor will apply for office copies from HM Land Registry. This will help to reveal any potential issues. These issues could include restrictions that limit alterations or discrepancies with the filed plan.
Leeds City Council Council Tax
The council tax paid by a homeowner is based on various factors including the size and character of the home and the property's value as at 1 April 1991. E.g. the occupier of a Tax Band E property in the Leeds City Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,924.
A conveyancing solicitor in Leeds will inform a buyer of the home's council tax band once they are themselves notified.
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 £1,443.
Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example where the home is empty or unfurnished for a maximum of 60 days or where the property was left empty by a bankrupt person. Property constructed after 1991 is assessed and given a council tax band by the Valuation Office Agency.
|Band||Leeds City Council Tax (2018)|
Are you paying more than you should?
Owners can ask for their property to be reassessed. A refund may be due if the property is awarded a lower band. Contact the VOA for more information on how to challenge your tax band:
Valuation Office Agency
31 Lisbon St
Stamp Duty on Leeds properties
If a residential property is valued at over £125k, the property buyer usually must pay SDLT. Completing the SDLT1 form in order to pay SDLT is a daunting prospect for a layperson.
With Quittance Conveyancing you have the peace of mind that the SDLT1 return is completed correctly and quickly when your purchase completes.
See table below for stamp duty examples for properties in Leeds:
|Average selling price (February 2018)||Stamp Duty Land Tax|
|Average price (detached)||£319,790||£5,989.50|
|Average new build||£286,450||£4,322.50|
Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Leeds
Since 2017, if you are a first-time buyer, you only pay stamp duty on property valued at over £300,000. Higher rates of SDLT apply to buyers of second property in the form of a higher rate of 3%. Therefore, if a homeowner in Leeds bought a second home for the average price of £195,212 the SDLT would be £9,760.60.
Leeds conveyancing solicitors will confirm the right tax is paid.
Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Leeds
Purchasing a leasehold house or flat can be complex, compared to purchasing a freehold property. The numerous common problems lying in wait for the unsuspecting buyer can include sinking fund issues and unreasonable ground rents.
If you intend to purchase a leasehold home, a good conveyancing solicitor in Leeds will consider possible leasehold issues, for example :
- sometimes ancient and arcane lease documents
- service charges for relevant date periods
- dealing with freeholders
- proposed major works (Section 20 notices)
Quittance Conveyancing's leasehold conveyancing solicitor team will work to ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your decision to buy a leasehold property.
Buying a 'New Build' property in Leeds?
43 newly-constructed homes have been bought in Leeds in 2018 so far, according to data compiled by the Land Registry. The average sale price of a new build property in Leeds is £272,450.
The legal work for acquiring a new build home can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. To prevent difficulties arising a conveyancing solicitor in Leeds should be conscious of local considerations and needs to check numerous things, including working to tight developer deadlines and handling withdrawal under the Consumer Code for Housebuilders.
Our award-winning team of new build conveyancers are experts in representing buyers to achieve the best outcome and working to tight developer deadlines.
If you are purchasing a property in a conservation area in Leeds, the property must not breach any conservation area constraints. These building controls can include restrictions on replacing windows, restrictions on the use of external insulation or restrictions on the erection of outbuildings.
The local council can order any non-compliant alterations to a property to be changed or removed, such as removing a flue.
Leeds conservation areas include Tranmere Park, Horsforth Cragg Hill and Weetwood. Your conveyancing solicitor will confirm whether the property you are buying is located in one of Leeds's conservation areas.
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Leeds conveyancing solicitor fees
No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Leeds
Conveyancing solicitor fees will be paid to your Leeds conveyancing solicitor for handling the legal work for your move.
Are Leeds conveyancing fees and costs fixed?
Some conveyancing solicitors in Leeds offer services on a price per hour basis, and other firms will work for a fixed fee ('No Move, No Fee'). Our conveyancing solicitors work on a No Sale, No Fee basis, with no hidden fees. Your quote will set out what you will pay when your sale or purchase goes through.
Are there any other costs?
On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay 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 property searches or managing agent information.
How much will the total Leeds solicitor conveyancing fees be?
Although conveyancing fees in Leeds will usually match prices elsewhere in the UK, there can be variation in the disbursements required. For example, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, e.g. a flood plain search, may be needed.
With Quittance, there are no unexpected costs or surprises in the small print. For a standard home sale or purchase, what we quote is the fee you pay. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here
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Conveyancing - Selling a property in Leeds
The legal side of a sale of a home is more straightforward than when buying. When property changes hands, the obligation lies with the purchaser to satisfy themselves that the legal title of the property is legally sound.
Conversely, with a sale, conveyancing solicitors in Leeds acting for the person selling effectively just answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.
Why do sales fall through?
A house or flat can be burdened by a broad spectrum of complex issues (for example a solar panel 'rent a roof' scheme) that can frustrate a transaction.
In the majority of cases, you should handle any such problems as soon as they come to light.
- The Essential Conveyancing Guide for Sellers in 2018
- What to do before selling your 'share of freehold' flat
- Selling a leasehold flat? What to do before going on the market
For more conveyancing advice for sellers click here.
The conveyancing process for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are rare) is significantly more specialised than for a freehold property.
Conveyancing solicitors in Leeds will also perform extra work, including requesting all relevant freeholder information, through to a copy of the lease.
To reduce delays, it is strongly advised that you instruct a leasehold-specialist lawyer as soon as is practicable.
What if your conveyancing solicitors are acting for the other side?
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules restrict the same solicitor from working on behalf of both sides in a property sale. However, a CLC-regulated conveyancer, can act for both the buyer and the seller.
You may want to instruct a property solicitor firm in Leeds to carry out your legal work, if we are doing the legal work for the other side.
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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Leeds
Reducing monthly repayments by finding a better rate is primarily why people opt to remortgage. There are other reasons, such as releasing funds to help pay for home improvements, or wanting a more flexible mortgage.
Homeowners can benefit from a lower rate faster by using a more proactive conveyancing solicitor in Leeds, working to shorten the processing time of the legal work. With the base rate now at 0.5% (May 2018), fast conveyancing can be a key consideration when getting onto your new rate as quickly as possible.
The property lawyer conducting the legal work needs to be able to act for your preferred mortgage lender. Our conveyancing team are on the panel for all major lenders, so no matter whether you are moving to a 95% mortgage with the NatWest or to a long-term fixed mortgage with the Bank of Ireland, we can help.