Residential Property Costs
Our experienced residential conveyancing team is made up of two qualified Partner Solicitors and one Assistant Solicitor in the firm who have individually between 1 and 40 years’ experience. We work together to ensure our clients benefit from our shared experience so the quality of advice is consistent regardless of who is working on your case. A new Trainee Solicitor (who has passed her Solicitors’ professional examinations) will be an addition to the team from September 2021 for her two-year training. The work of the team is supervised by Partner, Fleur L Everett, who has over 20 years’ post-qualification experience in this area of work.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss your intended sale or purchase or re-mortgage. The amount of work we will need to do will depend on various factors. For example, whether the property you are to sell or buy or re-mortgage is freehold or leasehold, whether it is registered at the Land Registry already or it is unregistered, whether it is an existing house or flat or whether it is a new build, whether you are to finance the purchase by cash or a mortgage, whether it is a Shared Equity Scheme or Help to Buy Mortgage or ISA or Help to Buy Equity Mortgage. It is only when we have the particular details of your case that we will be able to provide an estimate of our costs that is relevant to you.
Disbursements are costs relating to your matter that must be paid to third parties. Disbursements and other expenses required will vary depending on the circumstance of your transaction. We handle the payment for you usually to ensure a smoother process. Typical disbursements are set out below. The list is not exhaustive.
- Land Registry fees: Fees are payable for a copy of the registered title and the plan and for other relevant copy deeds, for searches to check the buyer or borrower is not bankrupt, to protect buyers and mortgagees (lenders) from when the purchase is completed until the registration of the new owner or lender and for the application to register the new owner or lender. The registration application fees vary according to the value of the property or amount borrowed and whether the property is already registered or if it is first registration application. We deal with applications through the Land Registry portal where possible to keep land registration fees to a minimum for you. For a transfer on a purchase of a whole existing registered title currently the Land Registry fees for registration through their portal range from £20.00 if the value is £80,000 or less and up to £455.00 if the value is £1,000,001 or more. These fees are doubled if portal application is not possible or if, e.g. the transfer is for part only of a registered title. Also Land Registry fees vary for different types of transactions, e.g. if a new lease. As there are variations in the fees depending on the property transaction we cannot confirm the fee applicable until we have information from you and have details of the contract and title from the seller’s conveyancer. We will advise you if our initial estimate needs to be revised.
- Leasehold property notice fees: There are often notice fees payable to the landlord in long leasehold (e.g. 999 years) properties to give notice of the purchase or mortgage. For flats there may be fees for information, dealing with Deeds of Covenant or transfer of shares payable to the landlord and / or Management Company. There may be a Certificate of Compliance fee. Such fees vary quite widely from a few pounds sometimes for e.g. a long leasehold older terraced property with an individual landlord, to several hundreds of pounds more likely for e,g, a flat with a Management Company. Consequently, such fees cannot be confirmed until we have information from the deeds (as they may be set out in the Lease) and / or the fee is confirmed by the person or Company to whom the fees are to be paid.
- Searches are undertaken when buying or mortgaging property to gather more information about the property, for example, relating to road maintenance, planning and building regulations, drainage, mining and other environmental and flooding risks.
- Insurance policies are arranged where required to cover numerous risks where there is missing title information or documentation, (for example, the property is long leasehold and the freehold title details or the whereabouts of the freeholder are unknown, there is a missing deed which includes covenants, or there is no appropriate planning or building regulation approval); there is an insolvency risk (if a property is transferred at an undervalue); to protect against chancel fee claims, or there is a breach of a covenant (for example, the lease requires the landlord’s permission for an property extension which has not been obtained).
- Bank Transfers are required for the transfer of funds on your purchase completion date to the seller’s Conveyancer and to redeem a mortgage. These are made as CHAPS payments and bank charges are £15.00 for each CHAPS payment. If you require a CHAPS payment to you of the balance of your sale proceeds the £15.00 fee will be payable. Alternatively, the fee for a Same Day Faster Payment is £3.50. We do not pass on bank charges for BACS payments, which we understand take the bank system between two and three working days to process.
- Electronic anti money laundering checks – When these are required you will be notified and the fee currently payable is £8.50 per name.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax is often payable on residential property purchases but this will depend on various factors including the value of the property, the amount of rent if a new lease, if you are a first- time buyer and whether you own or have owned either alone or with anyone else another property, or have inherited a property or are a beneficiary under a certain type of Trust which owns a property, so it is not possible to confirm the amount without further information. You can check the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website. Please note that Stamp Duty Land Tax rates may change so although we will provide our estimate on the information given by you we always check and confirm with you the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax as at the date of your purchase.
Please note that the Examples given below assume property values of up to or £250,000. Our charges do increase with the value of the property above that figure. When we are aware of the circumstances applicable to your matter, we will be able to provide an initial estimate of costs, disbursements, and any other expenses applicable to you.
Whilst our costs vary according to value, whether it is a sale, a purchase, a separate mortgage or transfer by gift or on inheritance, for example, there are specific additional costs in certain types of transaction that will apply as follows:-
(a) If the purchase or sale is of a flat or if a purchase is of a new build property there will be in each case additional costs of £100.00 + VAT.
(b) If there is a Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA or a Help to Buy Mortgage in each case there will be additional costs of £50.00 + VAT.
(c) If there is a Help to Buy Equity Mortgage there will be additional costs of £200.00 + VAT.
However, some of the disbursement or expense amounts will only be known when supplied by third parties, such as landlords and management companies, or after an investigation of title when any policies required will become clear so that quotations can be obtained, so it can be much later in the transaction before all the detail is known. We will let you know if additional disbursements and expenses are found necessary.
We have set out an example estimate based on a typical freehold or long leasehold (e.g. 999 years) residential property sale as a guide as Example 1.
We have set out an example estimate based on a typical freehold or long leasehold (e.g. 999 years) residential property purchase (not new build) with a standard mortgage as a guide as Example 2.
We have set out an example of a typical Mortgage or Re-Mortgage (separate from a purchase) of a freehold or long leasehold (e.g. 999 years) residential property as a guide as Example 3.
We have set out an example of a typical freehold or long leasehold (e.g. 999 years) residential property transfer or Assent (a transfer to a beneficiary in an estate administration) as a guide in Example 4.
If matters arise that are not within our initial costs estimate to you and which affect that estimate, we will contact you to explain the position and update our estimate.
In complex cases our Solicitors charges are calculated on an hourly rate of £225.00 plus VAT.
If a transaction does not go ahead, we will charge you for the work undertaken and any disbursements or other expenses incurred.
Please contact us for an estimate that is specific to your case.