Legal Fee Information for
Purchase of a Freehold or Leasehold Residential Property
Our Legal Fees 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.
Legal Fees is the amount you will be required to pay for all of the work performed by us in actioning your instructions, from commencement of your case to conclusion.
- Our average fees are based on 0.25% of the sale price of the property subject to a minimum fee of £850 + VAT (£1020 inc VAT)
- The value of the property and any complexities of the sale will dictate the final fee charged within this range.
- We will charge the sum of £40 + VAT (£48 inc VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
- For purchases using a corporate vehicle there is a supplemental fee of £150 plus VAT (£180 inc VAT) due to additional documents required for lending purposes. Where bespoke institutional lending instruments are used, there will be further additional fees dependant upon the nature of the documentation and we shall discuss and agree those fees prior to commencing work
- Below we detail what services are covered in our standard fee.
- Our average standard Search fee is £400 + VAT (£480 inc VAT). However, Search fees may vary from case to case. We will advise you which searches you need for your transaction and the cost of each search.
- HM Land Registry (Stamp Duty*) applies to most property purchase transactions. We will advise you of the stamp duty applicable to your matter and you can visit the HMRC website for more information (see below)
- We will charge the sum of £40 + VAT (£48 inc VAT) for Electronic money transfers.
- VAT will be payable on our fees and some disbursements and we will clearly confirm which disbursements carry VAT in our formal quotation or as we advise you to incur them.
If at any stage our fees change, we will notify you and discuss the reason for any changes. This would typically occur if you change your instructions or your case involves an unforeseen complexity.
Our average fees 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 matters 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.
Disbursements and Other Costs
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.
You will be provided with a full list of disbursements in our formal quotation. If you need to incur any further disbursements during your case, you will be notified in advance of the reason and the amount.
Typical disbursements will include: –
- Local land charges search;
- Enquiries of the local authority;
- Environment search;
- Planning Search;
- Chancel repair liability indemnity; and
- Water and Drainage search
- HM Land Registry fee. The fees chargeable by the land registry can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees
- Priority fees £3
- Bankruptcy search fees £3
- Electronic money transfer admin fee £30 plus VAT per transfer
- Lawyer checker £12
- Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £60- £125 plus VAT (£72 – £150 inc VAT) but can be more depending on the lease.
- Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease and will usually be the same as the fee for registering notice of transfer.
- Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property. Sometimes landlords/management companies will accept a simple deed provided by your solicitors which we will do at no additional cost but occupationally a fee has to be paid to the management company or their solicitors and often it is approximately £250 plus VAT (£300 including VAT) but can be more depending on the lease.
- Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, can range between £100- £300 plus VAT (£120 – £360 inc VAT) depending on the lease.
Search fees will vary from council to council but would approximately cost £300 + VAT (£360 inc VAT) – £500 + VAT (£600 inc VAT)
Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)
This amount payable depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website.
How long will my property 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 for a residential freehold property purchase is between 4 – 6 weeks.
- The average process for a residential leasehold property purchase is between 4 – 8 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on a number of factors and we will notify you if we believe your transaction may take longer than average or if something occurs in your case to extend the transaction time we will inform you.
If you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take longer. In such a situation, additional charges would apply and we will notify you of the additional charges and time estimate when we have engaged the landlord to discuss the extension.
Stages of the Process
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. We have set out the key stages of a standard transaction: –
- Taking your instructions and giving you initial advice.
- Undertaking regulatory checks.
- Checking that finances are in place to fund the purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed.
- Receiving and advising on contract documents.
- Carrying out and advising on searches.
- Obtaining of further planning documentation, if required.
- Making any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor.
- Giving you advice on all documents and information received.
- For Leasehold properties – obtaining and advising on the Management Pack, thee Lease and identifying transfer fees.
- Advising you on joint or shared ownership.
- Going through conditions of any mortgage offer if appropriate.
- Sending final contract to you for signature.
- Agreeing completion date (date from which you own the property).
- Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened.
- Arranging for all monies needed to be received from your lender (if applicable) and you.
- Completing the purchase and notifying the relevant parties.
- Dealing with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax.
- Dealing with the application for registration at Land Registry.
Other Factors to consider which may affect your Legal Fees and disbursements are:
- Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable is set out in the lease.
- Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is set out in the lease.
- Deed of Covenant fee – This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate.
- Certificate of Compliance fee for leasehold matters.
- Value of the property.
- First-time buyer.
- New build.
- First registration of title.
- Islamic mortgage.
- In purchase cases, whether primary residence, buy to let or second/holiday home.
- Multiple owners.
- Shared ownership scheme.
- Using a help to buy scheme, and whether it is an equity loan or ISA.
- Purchase under right to buy.
- Purchase at auction.
- Property has been repossessed.
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 we receive this information.
The following fee earners handle Residential Property matters:
- Stephen Atler is Qualified Solicitor. Stephen qualified in 1973 and specialises in all areas of residential and commercial property. Stephen is supervised by Robert Blick.
If you have any questions relating to our services and our fees, please contact us on 020 7247 9696 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.