We would not be lawyers if we did not have terms and conditions but we have tried to make them straightforward and easy to understand but if you are unsure of anything contact us.
Important Notes for Purchases
- Land Registry Discount: The Land Registry fee is based on the registration of an existing registered property - most properties are registered but we cannot be certain until we see the title deeds. If the property is unregistered at present (mostly encountered on probate sales and new plots/leases which have not been registered before) the Land Registry fee will be double the amount quoted.
- Local Search Variations: The local search will vary up or down according to the local authority area - each council will have their own charge and the search quoted is for Havering.
- Higher Stamp Duty for Second Owners: If you already own a share in another property (whether or not it is rented) anywhere in the world (i.e. including holiday homes) you may be liable for a further 3% stamp duty under the new rules which apply for all completions on or after 1st April 2016. See below.
All our quotes are based upon standard residential transactions. They exclude therefore properties that will be sold with a tenant in situ, shared ownership and commercial properties.
Whilst we accept the majority of instructions we always reserve the right to refuse instructions at our discretion. All other offers, discounts or special terms are excluded from our on line quotes.
The figures quoted include :
- Bank transfer fees – these are charged at £30.00 plus VAT each and they will be required for the discharge of each mortgage on the property if you are selling and one transfer will be required on completion of the purchase. This charge covers both our time spent setting up and effecting the transfer which is £15.00 plus VAT and the remainder of the fee is to covers the bank’s charges which is also currently £15.00.
- Stamp Duty Land Tax – The rates quoted are current however they can change annually with the Budget. Second owners will pay a further 3% stamp duty on the full purchase price from 1st April 2016.
- Search Fee – the fee quoted is an estimate of the local search in Havering. The actual cost may vary up or down if outside this area.
No Hidden Extras
Unlike some conveyancers our quote includes all the following costs and expenses:
- Included emails, postage, letters in or out, faxing, scanning, photocopying or text updates.
- Included indemnity insurance contributions. We have cover for £10,000,000 (£8,000,000 above the minimum cover provided by most solicitors)
- Included storage costs of your file or deeds for free following completion
- Included discharge of your first mortgage on your sale
- Included expedition fee – we do not charge if a short period (less than two weeks) is required between exchange and completion.
We do not impose additional fees or charges without your consent. If we believe that a matter falls outside the scope of our initial instructions (for example if upon receipt of draft documents we discover the matter is not standard) we will inform you of the difficulty and any additional charge. If this cannot be agreed with you we will stop acting.
Unknown Costs and Limitations
Naturally some limitations apply to our fixed fee service and some transactions may attract additional fees, disbursements or third party charges and the main examples of these are given below. We can assure you that where third party charges are made we will pass the cost on as charged without any mark-up. Below are the most common examples of things that can increase the cost of moving:
Additional 3% Stamp Duty - Second Owners and Buy to Lets
Normally we can tell if you are liable for the additional 3% rate of stamp duty by asking two questions –
1. Will the purchase of the property result in you (or your spouse (if any)) owning a share* in two or more residential properties?
If the answer is NO there is no additional duty. You do not need to answer question 2.
If YES then you need to answer question 2.
2. Is the property being purchased replacing your main residence (where you live) which you either are selling at the same time or have sold in the past**?
If the response to Question 2 is YES then there is no additional duty
If the answer is NO an additional 3% duty is payable on the purchase price.
* some shares in residential property are exempt. They are shares worth less than £40,000; or shares in a property inherited within the last three years which represents less than 50% of the value of the property (including any share held by your spouse (if any)); or ownership of static caravans, mobile homes or houseboats; or shares in residential property outside England Wales and Northern Ireland.
** If you are buying a new main residence and selling your existing one there will not be a charge to higher rate duty provided you sell before you buy. If you buy a property even a day before the sale then you are required to pay the additional 3% duty and then claim back the additional duty when the sale completes (provided you sell within 3 years). The reclaim process can take around 3 weeks.
This is a complex area so contact us for further advice if you are uncertain of your position.
Extra items charged by third parties
- Additional title documents from Land Registry - if we need to obtain additional documents from the Land Registry they will charge according to their current scale fee – typically the fee per extra document is £3.
- Missing Planning or Building Regulations Documents– if you do not have all the planning or building regulations history for your property we may need to obtain copies from the local authority for which they make a copying charge. This is normally only £10-20.
- Leasehold Property - If you are purchasing or selling a leasehold property you may have to pay in addition to the above various administration charges to the Landlord or Managing Agents for the production of the "leasehold information pack” detailing the service & management charges, ground rent and the structure and requirements of the landlord/management company regarding the sale of the property. There is no way that we can exactly determine or control this charge (budget for £100-300).
- New Build - If you are purchasing your property from a builder you may also have to pay a contribution to their solicitor's costs for supplying the documentation. This normally in the region of £100-200 plus VAT.
- Additional Searches - On rare occasions (if the property is in a rural location or the geography of the area dictates) other specific searches may be required - for example coal or tin mining, clay ball searches. We also offer additional searches which may be carried out at your discretion for example drainage, environmental, flood and planning searches.
Extra items charged by us
- Second Mortgages - If we are required to act in relation to a second mortgage on your purchase or to discharge additional loans or mortgages on a sale (the discharge of your first mortgage is included in our charge) there is a minimum fee of £100 plus VAT per additional mortgage. Similar charges will apply to the removal of cautions and or restrictions.
- Trust Deeds – if you require a trust deed to be drawn up because for example you wish to hold the property in unequal shares, the costs for this starts at £195 plus VAT but this includes storage of the original documents.
Money - What to pay and when?
You will normally pay the legal costs and the rest of the payments when your purchase/sale is completed.
When you instruct us on a purchase, we will collect a small payment of £250 to cover immediate costs such as searches.
When you instruct us on a sale we will not usually require any payment on account unless you are selling a leasehold property where we need to obtain the "leasehold information pack”
All payments on account will be deducted from your total bill.
We will also send you statements as the matter progresses so you can keep track of the financial side.
In accordance with our professional rules we are obliged to inform you about any referral arrangements we have with third parties for example estate agents or mortgage brokers. Whilst it is unlikely that this quote was obtained via this type of source if it was and if there is a financial or equivalent arrangement we will disclose it to you. We must also make it clear that anyone who refers work to us will not affect our professional approach to your transaction. In particular:
- We will only act for you and your best interest at all times.
- Any advice we give will be independent and you are free to raise questions on any aspects.
- We confirm that any information disclosed to this firm by you will not be disclosed to the introducer unless you consent.
If you want to find out more about referral fees we publish a short guide on our website www.ker.co.uk/about-us/policies.html.