No Move, No Fee Swindon Conveyancing Solicitors

Updated: October 22, 2018

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

Rural property near Swindon

Conveyancing - Buying a property in Swindon

Swindon in Wiltshire lies halfway between Reading and Bristol on the Great Western Railway line and grew as an important locomotive repair works in the mid-nineteenth century. It saw further growth in the 1950s as an 'expanded town' under the Town Development Act 1952.

In 2017, Swindon experienced house price increases of almost 8%.

There are several major employers in Swindon, including manufacturing and the also boasts the HQ of the UK Space Agency and the National Trust.

Conveyancing for purchasers

Under recent changes to English and Welsh property law, a seller should disclose defects or disputes to the buyer.

It is, however, still the duty of the conveyancing solicitor in Swindon to make enquiries about the property, report back in detail to the buyer and the lender, solve outstanding issues and confirm that the legal title passes to the new owner.

The following section provides invaluable advice for people looking for conveyancing solicitors in Swindon for a purchase.

Your Swindon conveyancing solicitor must be lender-approved

Before you appoint a Swindon conveyancing solicitor, it is vital that you check that they are approved by your lender, whether you are obtaining a mortgage from the Manchester Building Society, the Royal Bank of Scotland or any other lender.

Many lenders are only prepared to work with a restricted list (called a 'lender panel') of firms. If your conveyancer can't act for your lender, the lender will likely need a different legal firm to carry out the legal work.

The borrower will be expected to pay this alternate solicitor's costs, and the conveyancing process can take much longer.

Your property purchase could be threatened by failing to check your property lawyer's lender panel status.

Quittance Conveyancing can carry out the legal work for all major and minor lenders.

Residential Property Searches (Swindon Borough Council)

Property searches (sometimes referred to as 'conveyancing searches') are questions submitted to public bodies by Swindon conveyancing solicitors to provide information about the home you want to buy.

Searches are carried out primarily to meet the mortgage lender's criteria, and include the local authority (LA) search, environmental search, drainage & water search and chancel repair liability.

Purchasers will be told if your lender wants any further searches, e.g. a highways authority search or a more detailed environmental report.

Swindon Borough Council has an average turnaround time of 13 weeks for conveyancing searches. Faster personal searches (as opposed to official LA searches) will therefore be recommended.

Ensuring planning permission is in place

Office copies will also be applied for from HMLR by the conveyancing solicitor acting for the homebuyer. This will help to reveal any planning issues, for example errors on the title plan or the breach of a restrictive covenant.

Swindon Borough Council Council Tax

As a homeowner in Swindon, 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. For example, the occupier of a Band D property in the Swindon Borough Council area would pay annual council tax of £1,672.

Swindon conveyancing solicitors will inform a purchaser of the home's 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 (25%) would reduce the tax due to £1,254.

Other discounts and exemptions could also apply, for example if the property is uninhabited (for the first 60 days) or where the property is uninhabitable.

Band Swindon Borough Council Tax (2018)
A £1,115
B £1,301
C £1,487
D £1,672
E £2,044
F £2,416
G £2,787
H £3,345

Is it possible to appeal?

To appeal contact:

Valuation Office Agency
4400 Nash Court
John Smith Drive
Oxford
OX4 2RU
Oxfordshire

It is possible to challenge the council tax band after moving in. Between April 2016 and April 2017, 50 council tax challenges were made. 10 saw a subsequent reduction.

Stamp Duty on Swindon properties

A property purchaser will usually need to pay stamp duty if the home they are buying is valued at over £125k. It is the responsibility of the purchaser's conveyancing solicitor to handle the tax return process for the purchase.

Quittance Conveyancing's specialist post-completion team will ensure that the complicated SDLT1 form is completed and submitted to HMRC without delay.

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

Average selling price (2018 to date) SDLT
Average price £224,812 £1,996.24
Average price (detached) £343,124 £7,156.20
Average new build £232,959 £2,159.18

Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers in Swindon

First-time buyer stamp duty relief is available on property purchases below £300,000. If you already own another property or share in a property you will be subject to a 3% SDLT surcharge. E.g. if a second home was bought for £224,812 then the SDLT including the surcharge would be £11,240.60. .

Swindon conveyancing solicitors will ensure an accurate calculation is made.

Buying a flat? Leasehold conveyancing in Swindon

New build site

Buying a leasehold home can be complex, compared to buying a freehold property. There are any number of potential traps that may be lying in wait for the unsuspecting purchaser, including:

  • absent freeholders
  • increasing ground rents
  • sinking fund issues
  • onerous covenants
Serious consequences can result from an inexperienced lawyer's failure to advise you correctly regarding your planned leasehold purchase.

A experienced conveyancing solicitor in Swindon will consider possible leasehold issues, for example :

  • reviewing the lease itself (some leases are over 100 years old)
  • absent freeholders
  • current-year service charge estimates
  • block management regulations that sit outside the lease
  • compliance with means of escape (where relevant)

Ensure that you are fully-informed regarding your planned purchase thanks to our leasehold conveyancing solicitor team.

Buying a 'New Build' property in Swindon?

New build site

Based on local data sourced by Her Majesty's Land Registry, the average sale price of a new build home in Swindon is £232,959. 27 new builds have been bought in Swindon in 2018 so far.

Buying a new build can be complicated compared to other types of conveyancing. Therefore a conveyancing solicitor in Swindon needs to be aware of local Swindon factors and must check numerous things, such as checking new build mortgage procedures are followed and negotiating new build contracts.

With our new build team, you will get an independent appraisal of the property's legal status, looking out for considerations like unfair leasehold conditions and an assessment of other risks, such as regional infrastructure development.

Conservation areas

Your conveyancing solicitor will check if the property you are buying is in a conservation area in Swindon. If it is, the house could be affected by certain restrictions. These conditions, called Article 4 Directions, may include restrictions on the removal of front boundary walls, railings or fences, general restrictions governing unsympathetic additions or modifications or restrictions on extensions normally within Permitted Development rights.

If a property is in breach, the local authority can require the new owner to revert the property to its earlier condition, even if the changes were made by the previous owner.

Conservation areas in Swindon include Stanton Fitzwarren, Upper Wanborough and Badbury. Your conveyancing solicitor will address whether your planned purchase is located one of Swindon's conservation areas.

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Swindon conveyancing solicitor fees

No Move, No Fee conveyancing in Swindon

Conveyancing solicitor fees are paid to your Swindon conveyancing solicitor for the legal work for a home sale or purchase.

Do Swindon conveyancing solicitors work on a fixed fee basis?

Our solicitors work on a fixed No Move, No Fee basis with no nasty surprises in the small print, unlike some other conveyancing solicitors in Swindon who will work on a cost per hour basis. Your quote will set out all fees and other costs you will be charged when your house or flat sale completes.

Are there any other costs in addition to conveyancing fees?

On top of the conveyancing fees you will also have to pay for 'disbursements'.

Disbursements are the costs and expenses a solicitor needs to pay out on behalf of a client. These include costs like ID checks or bankruptcy searches.

See: Complete list of conveyancing fees and disbursements

How much will the total conveyancing fees in Swindon cost?

Though conveyancing fees in Swindon will be the same as anywhere else in the country, there can be variation in the disbursements required. As examples, council search fees will vary and additional region-specific searches, such as a Coal Authority search, may be needed.

For standard conveyancing transactions, what we quote is the fee you pay. There are no hidden costs or nasty surprises with Quittance Conveyancing. To calculate the conveyancing fees for your move, try our conveyancing fees quote calculator: Click here

Quittance's conveyancing fees were considerably cheaper than the average solicitors' fees Back to top

Conveyancing - Selling a property in Swindon

The legal work involved in a sale of a home is simpler than when purchasing. With a property purchase, the principle of 'buyer beware' means that the onus is solely on the buyer to make sure that the property is not legally defective.

On the other hand, when selling, conveyancing solicitors in Swindon acting for the vendor need only answer enquiries made on behalf of the buyer.

How to help your sale go through

A house or flat will often come with numerous possible difficulties (such as being in an area threatened by local development or having previously suffered from a flood event) that can hinder a sale.

Property specialists will almost always advise to sellers that they address such issues immediately.

Recommended reading:

Read more conveyancing advice for sellers.

Selling a leasehold property

The legal work for a leasehold flat (leasehold houses are not common) is a great deal more protracted than it is for a freehold home.

The complex nature of leasehold property means that conveyancing solicitors in Swindon must carry out additional legal work, such as requesting all relevant freeholder information or any documentation relating to forfeiture proceedings.

To help mitigate the delays involved in selling a leasehold house or flat, it is recommended that the vendor contact a solicitor as early in the process as possible, and preferably before marketing the property,.

What if you are acting for the other side?

Solicitors Regulation Authority rules prevent a single conveyancing solicitor from acting on both sides in a house sale. However, a conveyancer who is regulated by the CLC, can act for both the buyer and the seller.

You could instruct a property solicitor firm in Swindon to carry out your legal work, if a Quittance solicitor is carrying out the legal work for the other side.

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Conveyancing - Remortgaging a property in Swindon

Homeowners remortgage their home for a number of reasons, such as switching from interest-only to repayment, or consolidating debts. By far the most common reason, however, is to get a more attractive interest rate.

An efficient conveyancing solicitor in Swindon can reduce the remortgage processing time, meaning you move to your lower rate sooner. With the Bank of England 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 represent both you and the mortgage provider, in order to ensure the interests of the lender 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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