Purchase of Leasehold Property

Residential Conveyancing

Residential conveyancing – fixed fees

Purchasing fees

Purchase price range Legal fee Total legal fees + VAT
0 – £125,000.00 £425.00 £510.00
£125,001.00 – £250,000.00 £450.00 £540.00
£250,001.00 – £350,000.00 £495.00 £594.00
£350,001.00 – £500,000.00 £550.00 £660.00
£500,001.00 – £750,000.00 £695.00 £834.00
£750,001.00 – £1,000,000.00 £850.00 £1,020.00

Disbursements

Leasehold fee £120.00
Bank fee (for chaps payments) £39.00
Searches £135.00 (depending on area and additional searches)
Pre completion searches £7.00 roughly
SDLT form fee £90.00
Stamp duty Check stamp duty calculator (depends on purchase price and client individual circumstances)
Land Registry fee Check gov.uk scales  – scale 1 (depends on purchase price and transaction)
Extra charges – such as gifted deposit, help to buy ISA or indemnity insurance arrangement fee £60.00 each

Also, if the client’s lender uses the system ‘LMS’ to communicate there is an extra charge of £12.00 for their admin fee.

Our constantly growing Conveyancing Department is part of a well established larger practice which specialises in many different areas of legal work. This means we can call upon the solicitors in our other departments to provide additional expertise, if required. Whilst we offer a friendly local service, our client base extends all over England & Wales as most transactions can now be carried out by telephone, email and post. For further advice or a no obligation chat please contact Bob Brar on 0191 2766880.

Hourly rates

It may be necessary to agree an hourly rate with you, if it is not possible to give you an accurate estimate of the likely costs involved with your purchase.

Hourly rates are based on the qualification and experience of your legal representative.

These rates are currently:

Partner – £230 per hour plus VAT
Paralegal – £150 per hour plus VAT

All professional costs, whether fixed fee or hourly rate, are subject to the addition of VAT.

In what circumstances could the costs change?

We want to ensure you only pay for the service you receive, so, as an example, a simple flat purchase with standard funding arrangements will cost less than a complex leasehold title involving a lender who requires us to undertake additional work on their behalf.

Some factors which could typically increase the cost of the service you require are:

  • if the legal title is defective, the lease needs to be extended or a deed of variation is required;
  • if the title is unregistered;
  • if there is an intermediary leasehold title;
  • if there is a management company that we need to engage with to ensure compliance with any regulations which may apply;
  • if we need to obtain a certificate of compliance for a restriction on the title or you are required to enter into a deed of covenant;
  • if we discover that the correct consents have not been obtained for alteration works;
  • if you are obtaining financial contributions from third parties;
  • if you are purchasing under the help to buy scheme or using a complex funding arrangement;
  • if you are having the benefit of a Help to Buy ISA;
  • if you are purchasing through an auction or from a lender under a power of sale, with tight deadlines to meet;
  • if documents or information are requested from you or any other party, which requires our work to be duplicated;
  • if the property is a new build or is being transferred out of an existing title.

What are expenses?

Expenses are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees, and which you will pay through us. We handle the payment of the expenses on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. These expenses are fixed by the third-party suppliers and we cannot influence them.

There are certain expenses which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The expenses which we anticipate will apply are set out separately. This list is not exhaustive and other expenses 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.

Expenses which may apply to your transaction

When buying a leasehold property, there are often additional charges payable on completion to third parties such as the freeholder or a management company and vary from property to property. We can give you an accurate figure once we have sight of your specific documents. These charges may or may not be subject to VAT.

Examples of these are:

  • deed of covenant;
  • certificate of compliance;
  • notice of transfer and/or charge;
  • share certificate costs;
  • apportionments of ground rent and/or service charge.

The above fees vary from property to property; they could be significantly more than the range given, but we will let you know about your charges when we receive the ‘pre-sale pack’ which is supplied by the sellers.

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.

Searches

These costs are not fixed. Each search provider will charge a fee for their service and each local authority, water authority (etc.) will have their own fee scale. The average cost has been used in our estimate.

Any variation is accounted for on your completion statement during the course of the transaction.

Some searches are subject to VAT.

Lawyer Checker Fee

A fee paid to check the existence and authenticity of the bank account to which the purchase monies have been requested to be sent to mitigate against online fraud.

Electronic Money Transfer fee

The charge levied by the practice to transfer the purchase monies and is subject to VAT.

HM Land Registry fees

HM Land Registry vary from property to property according to the transaction and price.

The fees are not subject to VAT.

Stamp Duty Land Tax 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

What we will do for you

We will let you have a breakdown of what our fees include, when we provide you with a quote. It may include some or all of the following matters:

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential leasehold property vary according to the circumstances. It may include some or all of the following matters:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed
  • Carry out searches
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Receive contract documents
  • 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 – if more than one purchaser
  • 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 HM Land Registry

Assumptions made in coming to the example fees

  • 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.
  • this is the assignment of an existing lease where no extension to the term of the lease is required.
  • 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 expenses may apply if indemnity policies are required.
  • Is subject to our terms of business and formal letter of retainer.
  • We already have a relationship with any lender proposed.
  • The proposed lender does not use an independent lawyer to secure their charge.

How long will it 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 6-12 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on all the other parties in the chain.

For example, if you are a first-time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 12 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 will apply.

In what circumstances will the above matters not apply to me?

It is important to note that the information above relates to residential conveyancing for individuals who are buying a property to live in. If any of the circumstances below apply, it is likely to involve additional work, or you may require advice from another department within the practice:

  • if you are purchasing the property as an investment;
  • if you are acting in your capacity as director of a company;
  • if the property you are buying is to be transferred out of an existing title and documents need to be drafted or negotiated.

Overview of the conveyancing process

The steps involved in the purchase of your property will include the following:

  • Once we have received a memorandum of sale from the selling agent, or details of the transaction from you if your matter is a private sale, we will ask you to complete a short questionnaire and to put us in funds to enable us to commence searches.
  • The seller’s solicitors will supply us with a contract pack, including title deeds to the property, a plan, a copy of the freehold and leasehold title together with a copy of the lease, protocol forms (a property information form, a fittings and contents list and a leasehold information form), a contract and the energy performance certificate.
  • We will check title to the property, order searches, approve the contract and draft a transfer deed. We will also raise any relevant enquiries with the seller’s solicitors so that we can report to you thoroughly; it may be that some of these enquiries have to be forwarded to the managing agents/freeholders and this will be done by the seller’s solicitor.
  • We would recommend you have a survey carried out, as we are unable to advise you on matters such as the physical structure of the building. If you are getting a mortgage, your lender will also carry out a valuation of the property. Please remember that the valuation is only for the benefit of the lender. You should let us have a copy of your survey and mortgage valuation.
  • Once we have received your mortgage offer, searches and replies to enquiries, and the Leasehold Information Pack, we will provide you with a written report on the property for you to consider. We will also send you a contract and transfer deed to sign, or you can attend the office to sign them and discuss any questions you may have.
  • If we are also instructed in your sale, we will ensure that the two transactions can exchange simultaneously, and supply you with completion statements setting out the costs and expenses incurred in relation to each matter.
  • As soon as all parties are in a position to proceed, we will exchange contracts. This is the point at which the agreement is binding, and you cannot pull out of the transaction without incurring penalties. At the point of exchange you should book your removals and put your buildings insurance in place as this is when the risk of the new property will pass to you.
  • We will order your mortgage advance, or ask you to put us in funds for any balance required to complete.
  • On the completion date, funds will be transferred between solicitors and once completion has taken place, we will notify you and the selling agents so that keys can be released to you.
  • On completion, we will serve notice on the freeholder and/or managing agents to advise them that you are the new owner of the property so that they may update their records.
  • Post completion we will submit your stamp duty land tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (or where the property is in Wales, submit your land transaction tax return to the Welsh Revenue Authority) and pay any duty owed. We will also register you as owner with HM Land Registry and supply you with evidence once HM Land Registry has completed our application, and send you copies of the title together with all documents which you may need when you come to sell the property.

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