SRA Transparency Rules 2018

GUIDANCE AS TO FEES, DISBURSEMENTS AND TIMESCALES

A. CONVEYANCING

We do not offer fixed fee conveyancing as it would not be beneficial to you. When you make an enquiry for us to conduct work on your behalf we will provide you with a detailed estimate of costs and timeframes and as part of our Treating Clients Fairly Policy and update you if there are any changes. Below are some worked examples to demonstrate how our fees are calculated but you will only be charged for time spent. You will appreciate that there are many variables and so it is important that you discuss the specifics of your matter with us and only take these worked examples as a guide.

Please note our indication of fees and disbursements below assumes that:

  1. the transaction is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise for example (but not limited to) a defect in title or lease which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  2. where the property is leasehold, that this is the assignment of an existing lease and is not the grant of a new lease (unless a newbuild)
  3. there are no service charges payable to a management company. If there are, additional fees will arise and you will have to pay for a management pack usually between £250 and £500 + VAT
  4. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise
  5. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  6. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required
  7. no licence to assign/licence to alter/deed of variation or lease extension is required to be entered into with the Landlord

EXAMPLES

  1. PURCHASE OF A FREEHOLD RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN THE PRICE BAND OF £500,001 to £1MILLION

[Prices on application relating to other price bands]

Our 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.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements

  • Estimated Legal fee £950-£1,250 + VAT (second hand property) or £1,350-£1,850 + VAT (newbuild)
  • For acting for you upon a mortgage * from £500 + VAT
  • Search fees from £200-£400 (these are estimated fees for our local area. Fees for other Local Authorities will vary)
  • HM Land Registry fees – £3 for each title or plan, registration £270 (second hand property) or £540 (newbuild) (no VAT payable)
  • Stamp Duty/Land Tax variable as below
  • Electronic money transfer fee £15 + VAT
  • VAT payable at 20%
  • Subtotal inclusive of VAT £2,231 to £3,781 (not including Stamp Duty/Land Tax)

* Not chargeable on cash purchases

Disbursements

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

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)

This depends on the purchase price of your property and a number of other variables. For example, ownership of other properties, anywhere in the world; reliefs such as First Time Buyer Relief or Principal Main Residence Relief. 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. There are different rates for Non-Residential Properties and Corporate Purchases.

For example:

Purchase of Principal Main Residence at £500,000        £10,000

First time buyer at £300,000                                         £0

Investment purchase at £350,000                                 £18,000

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 10 and 20 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on if there is a chain (ie dependent sales/purchases on the part of other parties) and if so, how many different parties. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 to 12 weeks.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we summarise some key stages that you may wish to consider:

  • 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 / building control or similar documentation if required
  • Review comments raised by your surveyor in your survey report
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • 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
  • Conclude any lenders’ instruction
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

  1. PURCHASE OF A LEASEHOLD RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN THE PRICE BAND OF £500,001 TO £1MILLION

[Prices on application for other price bands]

Our fees cover all 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 is in Wales.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements

The same as the purchase of a freehold property (second hand or newbuild) plus a supplemental estimated fee of £500 to £950 + VAT for additional leasehold work, depending on the complexity of the leasehold structure and the service charge arrangements.

Total estimated supplemental fee inclusive of VAT £283 to £4921 plus additional disbursements set out below.

Anticipated Additional Disbursements for Leasehold Purchases

  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee, if chargeable, is often set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 – £200 + VAT.
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is often set out in the lease. Often the fee is between £50 – £200 + VAT.
  • Deed of Covenant fee *– This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £250 – £500 + VAT.
  • Certificate of Compliance fee *- To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, and confirmation by the management company, as can range between £100 – £200 + VAT.
  • Transfer of share in Management Company, if applicable. Often the fee is between £100 – £300 + VAT

* Not required on a Newbuild

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 especially the management pack from the managing agents.

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.

Stamp Duty/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. The earlier examples given hold true for property purchases of existing leases  within the band. On a New Lease there may be additional Stamp Duty/Land Tax on the rent.

Stages of the process

The general stages for a residential freehold purchase are set out above.  Below we summarise some key additional stages for leasehold purchases for your guidance:

  • Make any necessary enquiries of the landlord/landlord’s managing agents regarding buildings insurance, service charges and Management Company information (if applicable)
  • Make any necessary enquires of the Landlord’s solicitors regarding the giving of Notice of Transfer/Charge/any necessary Deed of Covenant and issue of Share Certificate in Management Company
  • Approve Draft Lease if Newbuild, or peruse and advise on existing lease and supplemental documents, as applicable
  • Complete purchase and satisfy Landlord’s Notice and other requirements
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax, completing additional form regarding leasehold, where required
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry, noting documents on the registered titles if applicable

How long will my flat 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 10 and 20 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, not in a chain, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 to 12 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.


  1. SALE OF A FREEHOLD RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN THE PRICE BAND OF £500,001 to £1MILLION

[Prices on application relating to other price bands]

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale of your home, together with redeeming mortgages (if any) and work association with this.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements

  • Estimated Legal fee £950-£1,250 + VAT
  • For acting on behalf of the mortgage lender in redemption £150 + VAT
  • Provision of official copy documentation £9 (no VAT)
  • Electronic money transfer fee £30 + VAT on Redemption
  • VAT payable @ 20%
  • Subtotal inclusive of VAT £1,365 – £1,725

Disbursements

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

How long will my house sale take?

How long it will take for you to sell your house will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 10 and 20 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are at the top of a long chain, it could take 20 to 40 weeks.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the sale of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have suggested some key stages:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Give you the Law Society Transaction Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Form to complete
  • Obtain illustrative redemption statement from the lender to check the anticipated net proceeds of sale are as expected
  • Prepare and advise on contract documents
  • Obtain Land Registry entries and other title documents
  • Obtain further planning documentation, building regulation approvals, FENSA certificates, warranties and so forth
  • Submit contract title and supporting documentation to the seller’s solicitors
  • Send the purchaser’s solicitors completed Law Society Transaction Forms and deal with their pre-contract enquiries
  • Send final contract and transfer to you for signature
  • Agree completion date (date at which you move out of the property and receive proceeds of sale)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened
  • Obtain final redemption statement from lender
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from the purchaser’s solicitors and you
  • Complete sale
  • Redeem mortgage
  • Arrange payment of any selling agents’ charges

 

  1. SALE OF A LEASEHOLD RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY IN THE PRICE BAND OF £500,001 TO £1MILLION

[Prices on application for other price bands]

Our fees cover all the work required to complete the sale of your leasehold home, including the redemption of the appointments of service charges and ground rent.

Conveyancer’s fees and disbursements

The same as for the sale of a freehold property plus a supplemental estimated fee of £630 + VAT for additional leasehold work.

Total estimated supplemental fee, inclusive of VAT £756

Anticipated Additional Disbursements for Leasehold Sales

  • You will also have to pay the managing agents for a management pack usually between £250 + VAT and £500 + VAT.
  • You may also need to pay landlord’s solicitors fee if the Landlord’s formal consent is required for a sale (unusual) or alterations to the flat.

Stages of the process

The general stages involved in the sale of a residential leasehold property are the same as for a freehold sale as set out above.  Below we summarise some additional key stages for leasehold sales for your guidance:

  • Provide you with Leasehold Information Form to complete
  • Obtain information as to cost of Management Pack from Managing Agents
  • Liaise with the Landlord and the Managing Agents with any of their requirements and raise with them enquiries made by the purchaser
  • Calculate apportionments of ground rent and service charge due on completion

How long will my flat sale take?

How long it will take from you accepting your offer until you can move out will depend on a number of factors. The average process takes between 10 and 20 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are at the top of a long chain, it could take 20 to 40 weeks.  If you are selling a leasehold property that requires extensive replies to pre-contract enquiries involving managing agents and freeholders, or for a variation of the terms of the lease, or approval of alterations, this can take significantly longer, between 3 and 6 months. In such a situation, additional charges may apply.


B. PROBATE

We are required to publish prices for probate work in relation to uncontested cases, where all the assets are in the UK. This includes testate estates (where the deceased made a will) and intestate estates (where there was no will and the statutory intestacy rules apply) and whether or not inheritance tax is payable. However, there are a range of variables which could affect the price quoted (e.g. there is an additional fee for preparing the more detailed HMRC form IHT400, required where tax is payable).

APPLYING FOR THE GRANT, COLLECTING AND DISTRIBUTING THE ASSETS

Total costs estimated between £1500 to £4500 + VAT where this is a small estate with no inheritance tax to pay.

The exact costs depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end.

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than 2-5 bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are 3-4 beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full inheritance tax account (IHT400) to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements (not included in the fee):

  • Probate application fee of £155
  • 4 office copies £2
  • £7 Swearing of the oath (per executor)
  • £180 Ad in The London Gazette and Local Newspaper – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors where necessary
  • £90 + VAT – Software for preparation of full Estate Accounts

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

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there are likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the complexity of the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
  • The making of Income Tax Returns is also not included

How long will this take?

On average, smaller estates that fall within this range of being dealt with within 6-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate from the Probate Registry takes 2 weeks following receipt of all valuations of assets in the estate and the swearing of the Executor’s Oath. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 3-4 weeks. Once this has been done, we can then distribute the assets. This normally takes 1-2 weeks.

LARGER ESTATES AND INVOLVING PAYMENT OF INHERITANCE TAX OR INHERITANCE TAX ACCOUNT

These will be dealt with usually on an hourly basis. Our hourly rate is £225 + VAT (fee earner) or £275 + VAT (Partner). Estimates will be provided as soon as we have a clear idea of the nature and complexity of the task at hand following receipt of comprehensive instructions from our client.

November 2018