Services : Conveyancing Residential Property

Overview

The firm’s aim is to provide a personal, thorough and efficient service for all sales and purchases, handled by experienced qualified personnel.

We have particular expertise in:

  1. House sales and purchases;

  2. Acquisition of residential sites and their subsequent development and disposal, including eventual disposal of the freehold reversion;

  3. Leasehold property. This includes acquisition of the freehold or extended lease under complex statutory procedures – which become all the more relevant as many leaseholders with ‘old’ leases face the problem of a ‘wasting asset’.

Work encompasses

  • House and Flat Conveyancing
  • Freehold and leasehold sales and acquisitions
  • Site acquisition and development
  • Planning and Building Regulation issues
  • Assured and Protected tenancies

Key Contacts:

Francis Montagu: francis.montagu@bennettlaw.co.uk

Hayley Turner: hayley.turner@bennettlaw.co.uk

Helen Hall: helen.hall@bennettlaw.co.uk

June England: june.england@bennettlaw.co.uk

Our Charges

The Solicitors Regulation Authority recently required all law firms to provide some guidance on our website about the firm’s charges when acting people who wish to instruct a solicitor to advise and assist them in relation to their residential property needs.

In keeping with most law firms which specialise in this area of work, we will agree our charges with you at the outset of our being instructed. Our charges will depend on numerous factors set out below.

At the outset of our instructions we shall provide you with tailored costs estimate when we are in a position to properly understand the nature of the transaction and the work which will be required. These costs estimates will be set out comprehensively in our letter of engagement should you choose to instruct us.

We will also provide you with details of the hourly rates charged by our specialist lawyers and we will make a charge based on our time spent in the event that the purchase is aborted.

We do not pay referral fees to estate agents or any other third parties.

Sale

Our charges cover all of the work* required to complete the sale of your property, including dealing with the redemption of any mortgage.

Freehold Residential Property

Our charges and disbursements

  • Charges of £500 to £5,000 depending upon the value of the property
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Leasehold Residential Property

    Our fees and disbursements

  • Charges of £600 to £5,000 depending upon the value of the property
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Disbursements

  • HM Land Registry fees typically £20 - £40
  • There may be additional fees payable to the Landlord’s Agents in providing information and documentation relating to the Management of the property. The charges can be between £150 - £500. We will advise you of these should they arise.

    Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

    Stages of the process

    The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we set out the usual steps in a transaction:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Prepare and issue contract papers
  • Deal with enquiries of buyer’s solicitor
  • Send final documentation to you for signature
  • Agree a completion date (date from which you will no longer own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Arrange for redemption of any mortgage and other payments
  • Complete the sale

    How long will my house sale take?

    How long it will take from an offer being accepted until completion will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 6 – 8 weeks for freehold and 8 – 12 weeks for leasehold.

    It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and the type(s) of property involved.

    Purchase

    Our charges cover all of 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 you wish to buy is in Wales.

    Freehold Residential Property

    Our charges and disbursements

  • Charges of £500 to £5,000 depending upon the value of the property
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Leasehold Residential Property

    Our fees and disbursements

  • Charges of £600 to £5,000 depending upon the value of the property
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Disbursements

  • Search fees are typically £350
  • HM Land Registry registration fee £20 to £910 (set by Land Registry based on the value of the property)

    Anticipated Disbursements**

  • Notice of Transfer fee – this fee, if chargeable, is set by the freeholder / Management Company. The fee is often between £20- £300
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee, if chargeable, is set by the freeholder / Management Company. The fee is often between £20 - £300
  • Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is charged by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £50 - £300
  • Certificate of Compliance fee - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, as can range between £50 – £200

    **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.

    You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property. We will confirm the ground rent and the anticipated service charge as soon as this we receive this information.

    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 below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

    Stamp Duty or 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. We are not tax advisers and we do not profess to have expertise in the calculation of taxation which should be done by specialist accountants. For simple transactions we can inform you of the calculations we obtain using the HMRC / Welsh Revenue website but clients must satisfy themselves that their tax liability is properly calculated relying on professional advice if necessary. In complex cases we are able to recommend professionals who can assist you.

    Stages of the process

    The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we set out the usual steps in a transaction:

  • 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 documentation to you for signature
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • Agree a 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 the lender and you
  • Complete the 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 6 – 8 weeks.

    It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 2 and 6 months. In such a situation additional charges would apply.

    Mortgage / Re-mortgage

    Our charges cover all of the work* required to complete the mortgage / re-mortgage of your property, including dealing with the redemption of any mortgage and dealing with registration at the Land Registry.

    Freehold Residential Property

    Our charges and disbursements

  • Charges of £500 to £950
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Leasehold Residential Property

    Our charges and disbursements

  • Charges of £600 to £1,250
  • Electronic money transfer fee £50
  • VAT is payable on the above at the current rates

    Disbursements

  • HM Land Registry search and document fees typically £20 to £50
  • Search fees are typically £350 (if required by the lender)
  • HM Land Registry registration fee £20 to £250 (set by Land Registry based on the value of the property)
  • There may be additional fees payable to the Landlord’s providing consent in accordance with the title or lease or their management pack. We will advise you of these should they arise.

    Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

    Stages of the process

    The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we set out the usual steps in a transaction:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Obtain and review the title papers
  • Go through conditions of the mortgage offer
  • Raise any necessary enquiries with you
  • Send final documentation to you for signature
  • Agree a completion date (date on which the mortgage completes)
  • Arrange for release of the mortgage funds
  • Redeem any existing mortgage
  • Complete the mortgage

    How long will my mortgage / re-mortgage take?

    How long it will take from an offer being accepted until completion will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 3 – 6 weeks for freehold and 4 - 8 weeks for leasehold.

    It can be quicker or slower, depending on the requirements of the lender.

    * Our fee assumes 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
  • 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 disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

    Below is list of things you may wish to tell us if you want us to provide a tailored quotation or estimate for acting for you:

  • value of the property
  • if you are a first-time buyer
  • if you are re-mortgaging another property
  • whether the property is freehold or leasehold
  • whether the property is a new build
  • whether the purchase will include the first registration of title
  • whether or not you require a mortgage
  • in purchase cases, whether the property will be your primary residence, buy to let or second/holiday home
  • whether there will be multiple owners
  • if you are purchasing under a shared ownership scheme
  • if you require the assistance of a help to buy scheme, and whether it is an equity loan or ISA
  • if you are exercising your right to purchase under right to buy
  • if you are purchasing at auction
  • if property has been repossessed
  • Declaration of Trust

    NB: This list is not intended to be exhaustive. The important point is that the information you provide us will allow us to properly advise you on the costs of your specific transactions.

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