Fee Information: Purchase of a Freehold or Leasehold Residential Property

Legal Fees

Our fees for acting on the purchase of a residential property vary depending on the purchase price and complexity of the transaction.  As a general rule our fee will be 0.25% of the purchase price subject to a minimum of £1,500.00 in relation to freehold purchases and £1,750.00 in relation to leasehold purchases.

The fee will cover all of the legal work required to complete the purchase of your property, including acting in connection with any required mortgage.

If at any stage we find that the transaction is more complicated than was represented to us at the outset, such that we need to re-address the level of our fee, we will explain the reason for the change.

The amount of work involved in relation to a particular transaction can vary widely, and matters can arise during the transaction which could turn a straightforward sale transaction into a more complex one.  Examples of such potential complexities might be:

  • A defect in title or a problem with the terms of a title document.  Such defect if not remedied could affect your use of the Property or your ability to obtain a mortgage or the future saleability of the property
  • The preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction.
  • An issue with regard to the provision of funds or the source of funds
  • Indemnity insurance policies may be required to protect against a minor defect in title or absence of planning permission or building regulation approval, which may attract additional time and expense
  • If there is a lengthy chain of transactions which needs to be coordinated
  • The case becomes urgent
  • A requirement for a Lock Out or Exclusivity Agreement

There is a distinction made between the sale of freehold properties and the sale of leasehold properties as there is considerably more work involved in relation to the sale of leasehold property. In addition there may be a requirement for:-

  • Landlord’s consent for the sale. An application may need to be made to the Landlord for a separate document (a Licence to Assign) which will need to be entered into between the landlord, the seller and the buyer, or
  • a Rent or Service Charge Deposit to be lodged with the landlord, or a Personal Guarantee given, as security for the buyer’s liability for these items.

Both of these items are likely in the case of an overseas buyer, and will incur additional costs with the landlord’s solicitors and possibly also with the managing agents.

Our fee for making same day electronic bank transfers is £35 plus VAT for each transfer required

Disbursements

Disbursements are expenses related to your purchase which are payable to third parties, such as the Land Registry or Local Authority. We will handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. 

We will provide you with a full list of disbursements at the outset.  We set out below the disbursements which are usually incurred when purchasing a residential property: 

Type of disbursement

Usual cost*
*These are approximate figures and some disbursements may be subject to VAT

Land Registry

The cost of obtaining official copies of title documents – for example
£6.00 plus VAT for copies of the title registers and title plan, per each title
£3.00 plus VAT for each copy document

(Generally only for leasehold  purchases)
Notice fees payable to the Landlord for example on the registration of a
Notice of Transfer and Charge

This fee may vary but is usually between £40.00 and £100 plus VAT per notice.

Registration of a new share certificate in management company (if applicable)

Fee varies

Land Registration fee

This fee is based on your purchase price.

Search fees including but not limited to, searches with the Local Authority, Water and Drainage Authority, Environmental Search and Chancel Repairs Search

Approximately £400

Stamp Duty Land Tax (The amount payable depend upon the purchase price of the Property but this is a complex area and different rules may apply for example if the buyer is a first time purchaser, or if the buyer already owns another residential property or of the buyer is company

The amount of any Stamp Duty Land Tax payable can be calculated on the HMRC's website
(https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax/#/intro)
or if the property is located in Wales on the Welsh Revenue Authority's website (https://beta.gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator)

If additional disbursements arise during the course of your purchase we will provide you with the relevant details.

It is usual for us to request a payment on account of say £500 at the outset to cover the cost of pre-contract disbursements. 

Value Added Tax

VAT, currently chargeable at the rate of 20%, will be added to our fees and several of the disbursements. We will confirm at the outset of the transaction the disbursements we believe will be incurred, and which of those will attract VAT.

How long with my purchase take?

This depends upon a number of factors including

  • The length of the chain of transactions.
  • The time it takes the seller to obtain management information from the managing agents
  • The time it takes for the buyer to obtain a mortgage offer
  • The time it takes for the buyer to obtain the results of his searches.

On average, the process takes around 8-12 weeks from the date of the acceptance of the offer. However it can be quicker or slower depending on the parties in the chain and the complexity of the transaction.

Stages of the process

The stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, we set out below some key stages for most transactions:-

  • Obtaining your instructions and giving you initial advice.
  • Undertaking checks on your identity and source of funds
  • Checking that your finances are in place to fund the purchase and making contact with the lender’s solicitors (if applicable).
  • Receiving and advising on contract documentation, including the title documents
  • Carrying out necessary searches and advising on the results of those searches
  • Obtaining copies of relevant planning and other documentation, if required.
  • Raising enquiries (“preliminary enquires”) with the seller’s solicitors about the property.
  • Advising on all documents and information received.
  • Advising you on joint or shared ownership of the Property (if appropriate).
  • Sending the final agreed contract to you for signature.
  • Agreeing the completion date with the seller’s solicitors and yourself
  • Exchanging contracts and notifying you that this has happened.
  • Arranging for all monies needed for the completion to be received from the lender (if applicable) and from you.
  • Completing the purchase
  • Filing the Stamp Duty Land Tax Return on your behalf and paying the Tax
  • Registering you at the Land Registry as the owner of the Property and registering your lender as your mortgagee (if applicable)
  • If leasehold, or if otherwise required, giving notice to the landlord of your purchase of the Property and the grant of a mortgage over the Property to your lender (if applicable)

Legal Team

If you have any questions the following team members handle all residential property matters:-

Please contact any of our legal team if you require further assistance.