residential conveyancing

Our property services

We are specialists in property law and deal with all aspects of property work for businesses, companies and individuals. The market for legal services in the property area has become increasingly commoditised and inevitably quality has suffered. We aim to redress this market issue by providing a real service, thinking ahead and addressing the commercial and legal needs of each client.

The firm is accredited as a firm of solicitors under the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) in respect of residential property work and has held this accreditation for a number of years since the scheme was created. The scheme is designed to improve transparency of transactions, raise service levels and provide better communication and a more efficient process.

Professional fees and expenses

Our fees cover all the work required to complete the process of buying or selling a home. We do not charge extra for aspects such as registration at the Land Registry or dealing with the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return and payment of tax.

Every property transaction is unique, and we are a service driven firm and seek to provide clients with a high-quality advice provided by experienced property solicitors.

We will discuss the detail of your transaction with you to identify any relevant factors before we provide you with a fee estimate. The fee estimate will set out what is included in the fee and identify aspects where additional fees may be charged. We will discuss with you any necessary revision to an estimate as the transaction progresses. We seldom revise estimates unless the transaction becomes protracted or unforeseen issues arise.

Transactions that are unusually complex or of high value would fall outside of the standard estimates referred to below and we would need to provide a bespoke estimate for those. The same applies to bulk transactions.

Disbursements or expenses related to your matter that are payable to third parties which we make on your behalf will be re-charged to you. For each transaction we will provide a bespoke list of these at the outset. Approximate costs for the standard disbursements are set out in the tables below.

All fees referred to are exclusive of VAT (20% at present). We do not pay referral fees to estate agents or other intermediaries in relation to any of our conveyancing work and we do not charge any mark up on any expenses.

Residential freehold sale

Our fees for a straightforward sale will be from £1,750 plus VAT.  Our average fees for a sale of a residential property sale valued at less than £2,000,000 is approximately £2,500 plus VAT.

Additional disbursements (third party expenses) will also apply and will typically include the following:

Item Amount
Bank transfer fee
£12 plus VAT for transfers to UK bank accounts (bank charges for international accounts are usually between £50 and £100)
Electronic anti-money laundering checks
£4.50 per person, plus VAT
Couriers
As billed to this firm
Land Registry charges
From £6

Residential leasehold sale

Our legal fees for a leasehold sale are the same as set out above for a freehold sale. There may be additional fees and disbursements involved such the Landlord/managing agent’s fees.  This is set by the landlord/managing agent for providing management information to the building but is often between £350 and £500 plus VAT.  If the landlord’s consent is required under the terms of the lease to sell your leasehold property, you may also have to pay the fees of the landlord’s legal advisors.

Residential freehold purchase

Our legal fees for a straightforward purchase will be from £2,500 plus VAT.  An example of our average fee for a purchase of a residential property valued at less than £2,000,000 is approximately £3,000 plus VAT.

Our fees include acting for any bank or building society providing you with a standard UK mortgage where we are instructed by your lender.

Additional disbursements (third party expenses) will apply and the figures given below are estimates which may vary depending on the location.  Any additional and third party expenses will be passed through to you as charged. Additional searches (e.g. river, railways) may also be needed, depending on location

Item Amount
Local authority search fees
£240
Water and drainage searches
£47.55 plus VAT
Environmental search
£46 plus VAT
Chancel repair liability search or insurance policy
£20 plus VAT
Planning search
£28 plus VAT
Miscellaneous Land Registry and other searches
£16
Electronic anti-money laundering checks
£4.50 per person, plus VAT
Lawyer Checker Search
£10 plus VAT
Bank transfer fee
£12 plus VAT for transfers to UK bank accounts (bank charges for international accounts are usually between £50 and £100)

Land Registry Registration Fees

The Land Registry fees vary depending on the value of the property.  You can use the Land Registry’s website which provides registration fee information.  We will advise you what the Land Registry registration fee will be for your purchase.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This will vary according to the purchase price of the property, the circumstances of the person buying and whether you own any other residential property in the UK or overseas. 

We will confirm with you the amount of tax due on your purchase based on your individual circumstances.  In the meantime, you can use a tax calculator on HMRC’s Website and the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website for properties in Wales to check the rates. 

Residential leasehold purchase

Our legal fees for a leasehold purchase are the same as set out above for a freehold purchase.  In addition to those third-party expenses shown above for a freehold purchase there may be additional third party expenses involved for a leasehold purchase such as the following:

 Anticipated Disbursements

  • Notice to Landlord of charge/transfer

Set by the landlord but often between £50 and £100 plus VAT.

  • Deed of Covenant

Set by the landlord can and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £150 and £300 plus VAT.

  • Certificate of Compliance

Also set by the landlord and can range between £150 and £300 plus VAT.

Mortgages and re-mortgages

Our fees for this type of work are guided by the lender’s requirements and whether or not separate solicitors are appointed to act for the lender.

For a standalone mortgage or re-mortgage, our fees will be from £2,500 plus VAT.  However, if you are purchasing a property with a standard UK mortgage where we are also instructed by your lender, our fees are included in the conveyancing quote and we do not usually charge extra where there is a lender involved.

Factors relating to the property or transaction which may affect your legal costs

Occasionally it may transpire during the course of the transaction that additional work is required that is outside the initial fee estimate.  We will discuss this with you as soon as this becomes apparent and before departing from the estimate given.  Examples of when this may arise include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Correcting defects in the title. Normally these should be dealt with by the seller at its cost. However, sometimes it is agreed that the buyer will deal with such matters.
  • The seller carried out alterations to the flat without the landlord’s consent.
  • You are selling and the landlord’s consent is required.
  • Arrangement of share of ownership and declarations of trust.
  • The term of lease of the flat you are buying is too short and requires extending.
  • Issues relating to service charge on a leasehold purchase.
  • Tax or other structuring advice.
  • Unforeseen complexities.
  • Material changes in your instructions.

Key Stages

Procedure on a sale

The procedure for a residential sale would typically include the following:

 

  • Providing our standard client care pack.
  • Standard anti-money laundering checks.
  • Providing you with a list of the documents which we will need from you to deal with the sale.
  • Providing you with standard enquiries and a list of contents for you to complete which the buyer will raise about the property and dealing with additional enquiries that the buyer’s legal adviser may raise.
  • Obtaining any title documents from your lender.
  • Reviewing the title to identify any issues and to confirm property ownership and the details of any mortgages secured against it.
  • Applying to the local authority for any missing planning or building regulation consents. The local authorities may charge for the provision of such documents and their costs will be passed on to you as an expense.
  • Applying to the Land Registry for an up to date copy of your title and for copies of any other relevant documents referred to in the title.
  • Preparing the draft contract and sending this with ancillary documents to the buyer’s legal advisors.
  • Replying to any additional enquiries raised by the buyer’s legal advisors.
  • Settling the contract, reporting to you on its contents, arranging signing and dealing with exchange of contracts.
  • Obtaining redemption figures for any existing mortgage and dealing with repayment and provision of the relevant documentation on completion.
  • Preparing a completion statement pre completion, showing the breakdown of funds.
  • Replying to pre completion enquiries raised by the buyer’s legal advisor and approving the transfer deed.
  • Arranging for you to sign the transfer deed and any other relevant documents pre completion.
  • Dealing with completion and money transfers.
  • Dealing with the buyer’s legal advisor throughout and liaising with you and your estate agents and advising you throughout.

Where the property is leasehold the work also includes:

  • Checking your lease to establish any requirements required on a sale of the property.
  • We will ask your landlord/managing agents to supply management information including up to date service charge and insurance information and receipts for latest payments including any rent and supply other management information. The landlord or managing agents may charge for the provision of this information.

Procedure on a purchase

The procedure for a residential purchase would typically include the following:

  • Providing our standard client care pack.
  • Standard anti-money laundering checks.
  • Reviewing the title and other documents provided by the seller’s legal adviser and raising any requisite points on these.
  • Applying for searches such as local authority, environmental, drainage and water and chancel.
  • Reviewing replies to standard enquiries given by the seller and raising any additional points.
  • Reviewing and commenting on any survey report you obtain.
  • Reviewing the terms of your mortgage offer, security documents and lender’s requirements and dealing with any points arising.
  • Reporting to you in writing on the title, results of searches and other investigations and on the terms of your mortgage and security documents.
  • Reviewing the draft contract and negotiating any changes required, reporting to you on its contents, arranging signature, requesting deposit monies from you and dealing with exchange of contracts.
  • Raising pre-completion enquiries with the seller’s legal adviser, making pre-completion searches and drafting and settling the form of transfer deed.
  • Preparing a completion statement showing breakdown of funds.
  • Arranging for you to sign the transfer, security documents and any other relevant documents pre-completion.
  • Providing your lender with a certificate of title in accordance with its requirements and applying for the mortgage advance.
  • Dealing with completion and arranging money transfers.
  • Preparing the stamp duty land tax return and filing it with HMRC and paying any the tax payable from client funds.
  • Dealing with the application for registration of the title transfer and any mortgage at the Land Registry.
  • Dealing with the seller’s legal advisers and other parties throughout and advising you throughout.

Where property is leasehold the work also includes:

  • Reviewing the lease and reporting to you on its contents. This may involve reviewing ancillary documents (such as a superior lease).
  • Reviewing and advising you on the management information including service charge, ground rent and insurance information.
  • Dealing with any deed of covenant or licence to assign required from you pursuant to the terms of the lease. Where a licence to assign or deed of covenant is required you may be expected to pay the Landlord’s or managing agent’s legal or other fees.
  • Registering the lease transfer and any mortgage with the landlord/managing agents after completion.

Procedure on a re-mortgage

The procedure for a mortgage may vary according to the transaction and specific lender requirements. Often, the steps required in a new mortgage or re-mortgage will be similar to that of a purchase of a residential property and will generally involve the following:

  • Providing our standard client care pack.
  • Standard anti-money laundering checks.
  • Carrying out searches.
  • Reviewing the title and any lease.
  • Obtaining any required planning and building regulation documents.
  • Dealing with any specific lender requirements.
  • Going through and advising you on the mortgage terms.
  • Reporting to the lender in accordance with its requirements and applying for the mortgage advance.
  • Arranging completion and redeeming any existing mortgage, if required.
  • Dealing with application for registration of the mortgage at the Land Registry.
  • If the property is leasehold, serving notice of the mortgage on the landlord/management company.

Timeframes

The time between an offer being accepted and legal completion of your purchase or sale will depend on many factors.  A rough estimate is between four and six weeks, but it can depend on the complexity of the matter and the co-operation and speed of all parties involved. The timescale is also often dependent on the position of the other parties.  For example, if there is a long chain, the process may be significantly longer. At the outset we will discuss the timescale that you have in mind and will work to meet your expectations, where possible. 

Property client team qualifications:

Our property team handles both residential and commercial property matters and a summary of the fee earners involved and their respective qualifications is available by clicking on the relevant individual profile below.

Paul McKee

Jane McKee

Rommel Guevarra

Michael Brett

Mark Austin

Joshua Burgess