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Residential Property Conveyancing Guidance

Fees

Our fees cover all the work* required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing
with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp
Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property is in Wales.

Our fee will assume that:
 this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise including for example
(but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the
preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
 (for leasehold properties) this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a
new lease
 the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
 all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third
parties providing documentation
 no indemnity policies are required. Additional fees and disbursements may apply if
indemnity policies are required.

You can obtain a bespoke quote for our services for the work by clicking on the link below:

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees.
We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There
are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The
disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately in the quote that we will provide
to you. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the particular
circumstances for the transaction.

For example, it may be necessary to obtain more documents from the Land Registry or it may be
necessary to obtain another copy of a FENSA certificate that may have gone astray with regard to
windows or glazed doors that were replaced at the Property.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate 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.

Our online fee calculator will also provide you with an estimate of the Stamp Duty Land Tax payable
based on the information that you provide to us. We will confirm the amount of Stamp Duty Land
Tax payable in due course but please note that Stamp Duty Land Tax is a self-assessed tax and
therefore it is important that you provide us with the correct information in good time so that we
can provide the accurate Stamp Duty Land Tax amount payable.

Leasehold transactions

The sale, purchase or mortgage of a leasehold title (e.g. an apartment within a building or a Tyneside
Flat) will involve more time for us to undertake the necessary legal work and therefore our costs are
slightly higher when we act on your behalf in the sale, purchase or mortgage of a leasehold property.
Our fee will be clearly stated within the quote that you can obtain from us by clicking on the link
above.
There may also be additional fees payable to third parties, for example the landlord and/or the
management company. Below is a brief summary of these anticipated disbursements:

 Leasehold / Management pack fee
This is a fee payable to the landlord/managing agent for the Property for them to complete a
set of standard enquiries relating to the management of the building that the Property is
situated within. For example, details of the service charge payable and the buildings
insurance. It may also reveal if the landlord / managing agent has alleged any breach of the
lease by the tenant.
The fee payable for the leasehold/management pack is set by the landlord/managing agent.
The fee can be between £150.00 and £250.00. VAT may be charged in addition to this.

 Notice of Transfer fee
This fee is payable where there is a change of ownership of the Property. The fee should be
specified in the lease however the lease may simply state a “reasonable” fee is payable.
Often the fee is between £50.00 to 100.00. VAT may be charged in addition to this.

 Notice of Charge fee
This fee is payable if a mortgage is to be secured against the Property. The fee should be
specified in the lease. Again, the lease may simply state a “reasonable” fee is payable.
Usually the fee is between £50.00 to 100.00. VAT may be charged in addition to this.

 Deed of Covenant fee
This may be required where there is a management company responsible for the repair and
maintenance of the building and/or common areas (e.g. lifts, corridors, gardens and/or car
parking areas. The deed of covenant ensures that the new owners are liable to the
management company for the service charge/maintenance charge for these communal areas. The fee is often set by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate.
The fee can be between £50.00 and £150.00. VAT may be charged in addition to this.

 Certificate of Compliance fee
This is a fee payable to the landlord and/or management company to provide a certificate to
enable the new owner and/or the new charge to be registered at the Land Registry. The
certificate confirms that the provisions within the lease have been complied with on the sale
/ charge being entered into. Such fees can range between £50.00 to £100.00. Again, VAT
may be charged in addition to this.

*Please note these fees vary from property to property and can on occasion be significantly more
than the ranges given above. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific
documents and confirmed the fees payable with the relevant party if the fee is not stated in the
lease.

When you own a leasehold property ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout
your ownership of the property. This is often charged on a monthly basis. We will confirm the
amount of the ground rent and the anticipated service charge in course once we receive this
information from the landlord/management company.

New build Properties

When buying a new build property you may be required to pay additional fees such as:

  • An engrossment fee to the Seller’s solicitors (which can range from £150.00 to £250.00 plus VAT);
  • A management fee – this being a fee payable towards the upkeep of the communal areas such as public open space, recreational or play areas as well as areas such as estate roads or sustainable drainage. It is often the case that at the outset the costs are not yet known and therefore you be asked to contribute a nominal amount of say £150 per annum to begin with. The mechanism for the calculation of and payment of the management fee will likely be detailed in the transfer deed that you enter into in order to purchase the Property.

Auction Properties

If you buy or sell a property at auction there will be auction fees and possibly further fees payable in addition.

If you are selling at auction the amounts will be agreed with the solicitors and the auctioneers in advance.

If you are buying at auction the amounts should be stated within the auction conditions or otherwise should be confirmed with the auctioneer prior to the date of the auction for if your bid is accepted by the auctioneer you may be legally bound to pay such fees.

Stages of the transaction

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. Below is an illustration of the work that would be undertaken on the purchase of a standard freehold property with no unforeseen issues or defects to be rectified:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

How long will my house purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 8 to 10 weeks. It can be quicker or longer, depending on the parties in the chain and the particular circumstances. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take several months as although we can complete the legal paperwork in readiness, the house may not be physically built.

If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

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