Residential Property

We offer a range of residential property services, both for individuals and businesses.

Our Residential Property services include:

Residential Conveyancing

Mortgages and Re-Mortgages

Transfers of Equity

Lease Extensions

Collective Purchases of Freehold

New Build Sales and Purchases

When Selling:

You will need to make provision for estate agents’ fees and any potential mortgage penalty such as an early repayment charge if you are paying off your mortgage early.

When Buying:

You will need to cover search fees, Land Registry fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax. If you are obtaining a mortgage there may be associated fees which you should consider.

How may we help you?

Conveyancing is the work involved in the transfer of legal ownership of land or property from one owner to another or the granting of an interest in a property, such as a mortgage. This includes but is not limited to buying or selling your home or a buy-to-let property.

At Beverley Morris & Co., we understand that this process may prove stressful. However, we work hard to ensure that your transaction runs as smoothly as possible, finding practical solutions to any problem which may arise. We are clear on our fees from the outset, and keep you updated at every stage of your transaction.

When buying or selling a property, there are two main stages. These are known as “exchange of contracts” and “completion”. These are the expressions you will hear most frequently from your solicitor or estate agent.

Exchange of Contracts

The point in time when your transaction becomes legally binding. Up until that point, either party may change their mind and withdraw. By way of example, if you are buying a property, your seller may decide they do not wish to move, they may increase their price or you may find a property that you prefer.

Completion

The point in time when the buyer is entitled to be given the keys and may move into the property.

You may say “But I have found the perfect property and I wish to exchange contracts NOW”.  However, there are certain steps that need to be taken before contracts can be exchanged.

1. Investigating the Title

We will check that the seller has the right to sell the property. At the same time, we highlight other matters that affect the property.

NB. If the property is leasehold, we check that the remaining term of the lease is sufficient to satisfy the requirements of your mortgage lender and long enough that you will be able to sell the property in due course.

2. Obtaining Searches of the Property

We carry out searches which reveal whether the property is affected by any potential legal risks, also that your intended use of the property is permitted.

3. Raising Enquiries for Buyers or Responding to Enquiries for sellers

If acting on a purchase, we obtain detailed information about the property from the seller.  We may then raise further questions arising out of the seller’s replies.

If acting on a sale, we will deal with any questions raised by the buyer’s solicitors.

If the property is leasehold, we will obtain information from the freeholder’s managing agents in the form of a management pack.

4. Mortgage offer

We will not normally allow you to exchange contracts until you have received written confirmation of your mortgage offer and we are satisfied that it does not contain any unusual or onerous conditions that you are unable to comply with.

5. Surveys and Inspections

As well as a mortgage valuation, you may decide to commission a private survey, eg. a Homebuyer Report or a full structural survey. This may recommend additional inspections such as an electrical survey or an inspection by a timber and damp specialist firm or a boiler check. Sometimes the purchase price of the property will be renegotiated as a result of these surveys and inspections.

6. The chain of transactions

It may be that a seller is tying in their sale with the purchase of another property. In turn, that seller may be tying in the sale of their property with the purchase of another property and so on. If there is a chain of transactions, then if one link in the chain breaks, this affects every other transaction in the chain. Your solicitor must therefore establish that every single party in the chain is ready to exchange contracts before contracts can be exchanged. It can also take several days for all the parties involved in the chain to agree the completion date.

7. Exchange of Contracts

At this point, you become legally bound to buy (or sell) the property. Exchange of contracts takes place by way of a telephone conversation between the seller’s solicitor and buyer’s solicitor. During the telephone conversation, the solicitors run through the main points of the contract and then agree the time of exchange of contracts. The seller’s solicitor undertakes to send his client’s signed part of the contract to the buyer’s solicitor that evening and the buyer’s solicitor undertakes to send his client’s signed part of the contract to the seller’s solicitor that evening. The buyer’s solicitor also has to pay a deposit normally representing 10% of the purchase price of the property to the seller’s solicitor.

8. Between Exchange of Contracts and Completion

Much of the work between exchange of contracts and completion consists of formalities such as the seller signing the transfer deed, the buyer signing their mortgage deed, the buyer’s solicitor ordering the mortgage monies and so on. It is more complicated where the property is leasehold because if ground rent and service charge have been paid by the seller beyond the date of completion, the buyer will need to reimburse a proportion of the amount paid by the seller on completion.

9. Completion

On completion, the 90% balance of the purchase price is paid by the buyer’s solicitor to the seller’s solicitor (together with any apportionments of ground rent and service charge if the property is leasehold) and the seller’s solicitor authorises the estate agents to release the keys to the buyer.

10. Stamp Duty Land Tax

After completion, we deal with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax.

11. Registration

We then register the purchase at HM Land Registry.

NB If the property is leasehold, there are other formalities which need to be dealt with such as serving notice containing details of the buyer on the freeholder’s managing agents so that they may update their records as to whom should be billed for the ground rent and service charge.

The cost will depend on your specific case, the value of the property, the services needed and the complexity of the transaction. However, we aim to be transparent with our fees throughout the process. When we provide a quotation for you, we try to provide as much information as possible, so that you have a clear understanding of what the transaction will cost from the start.

If you are seeking advice about an issue that is not shown above, we may still be able to help. Please call or email us to find out more.
+44 (0)20 8852 4433
enquiries@beverleymorris.co.uk

When you contact us, it would be helpful if you are able to provide the following information:

Buying a Property:

  1. Property address
  2. Purchase price
  3. Type of property (e.g. house, flat)
  4. Amount of any mortgage or other borrowing (including Help to Buy)
  5. What you will use the property for (e.g. main residence, buy-to-let)
  6. Whether you have a related sale
  7. Whether you will be using a Help to Buy bonus

Selling a Property:

  1. Property address
  2. Sale price
  3. Type of property (e.g. house, flat)
  4. Where you have a mortgage, whom it is with and the approximate amount outstanding
  5. Whether you have a related purchase

In addition to our fees, there will be charges payable to other parties. We call these “disbursements”.

The disbursements which we anticipate will apply to you will be set out in our estimate of costs.

If the property is leasehold and the disbursements set out in our estimate of costs need to be altered after we have had sight of the lease and other relevant papers received from the seller’s solicitors, we will update you as to the disbursements payable.

This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on your transaction.  The disbursements which we anticipate will apply will be set out in our estimate of costs.

You should also be aware that, in the case of a leasehold property, ground rent and service charge will continue to be payable throughout your ownership of the property.

Also, there might come a time when you would need to extend the term of your lease or possibly join with the owners of the other flats in the building to collectively purchase the freehold interest in the building.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is payable to the Government if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England and Northern Ireland. In Wales the tax payable is Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax). The amount you will need to pay depends upon the purchase price, whether you will be replacing your main residence and, if not, upon how many properties you will own once you have completed the transaction.

Please see the links below to the SDLT and Land Tax calculators which will provide information as to the SDLT or Land Tax payable on your transaction. We would be pleased to provide you with any further assistance you may require in this respect.

www.stampdutycalculator.org.uk
www.beta.gov.wales/land-transaction-tax-calculator

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 the payment of SDLT or Land Tax.

We handle the payment of the disbursements (payments to third parties) on your behalf.

Purchase of a freehold property at a price of £350,000 with mortgage

Legal fee 995.00
Fee for acting for your mortgage lender 150.00
Search fees 200.00
Administration charge for SDLT return 75.00
CHAPS fee 45.00
Online ID verification (£5.00 per name) 5.00
Sub Total 1,470.00
VAT @ 20% 294.00
Disbursements
HM Land Registry fee* 135.00
Land Registry priority search fee 3.00
Bankruptcy search fee (£2.00 per name) 2.00
Total £1,904.00

* This fee is set by the Land Registry and is on a sliding scale. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees

Stamp Duty Land Tax / Land Transaction Tax

You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website. See our ‘What Is Stamp Duty Land Tax’ section above.

Additional costs for a leasehold purchase

Leasehold supplement fee £195.00

Anticipated disbursements for a leasehold purchase #

Notice of Transfer fee This fee, if chargeable, is set out in the lease and is often between £0 – £250.
Notice of Charge fee If the property is to be mortgaged.  This fee is set out in the lease and is often between £0 – £250.
Deed of Covenant fee This fee is provided by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate but is often between £0 and £250.
Certificate of Compliance fee To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease as can range between £0 and £250.

# These fees are set by the management company / freeholder and can vary from property to property. They can, on occasion, be significantly more than the ranges given above and VAT may be charged. 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.

Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise;
  2. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise;
  3. all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation;
  4. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the sale of your home, including dealing with the redemption of your mortgage, if appropriate.

We handle the payment of the disbursements (payments to third parties) on your behalf.

Sale of a freehold property at a price of £350,000 with mortgage

 

Legal fee 995.00
CHAPS fee to remit sale proceeds to you 45.00
Redemption of charge on mortgage 125.00
CHAPS fee to redeem mortgage 45.00
Online ID verification (£5.00 per name) 5.00
1,215.00
VAT @ 20% 243.00
Sub Total 1,430.00
Disbursements
Office copy entry 6.00
Bankruptcy search fee (£2.00 per name) 2.00
Total £1,466.00

Anticipated disbursements

Management pack This fee is set by the managing agent / freeholder and can cost up to £600.

Our fee assumes that:

  1. This is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise.
  2. The transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise.
  3. All parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.
  4. No indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Prices and disbursements are subject to change dependent on factors including property value.

Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the remortgage / mortgage of your home. We handle the payment of the disbursements (payments to third parties) on your behalf.

Remortgage / Mortgage of a freehold property for a loan of £350,000

Legal fee 600.00
Redemption administration fee per mortgage 100.00
CHAPS fee to redeem existing mortgage 45.00
CHAPS fee to remit monies to you 45.00
Online ID verification (£5.00 per name) 5.00
Search fees 160.00
 955.00
VAT @ 20% 191.00
Sub Total 1,146.00
Disbursements
HM Land Registry fee* (Scale 2) 40.00
Office copy entry 6.00
Bankruptcy search fee (£2.00 per name) 2.00
Total £1,194.00

* This fee is set by the Land Registry and is on a sliding scale. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hm-land-registry-registration-services-fees

Our fee assumes that:

  1. this is a standard transaction and that no unforeseen matters arise;
  2. the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise;
  3. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

On average, a transaction takes approximately three months from start to finish. However, if there is a chain involved and one link in the chain breaks, it is possible that your transaction could take several months at least to complete.

Surveys

While your lender may provide you with a valuation report, this simply confirms to the lender that the property is good security for their loan. The survey will not reveal any other issues that may affect your desire to purchase the property, such as structural problems. We strongly advise you to obtain an independent survey of a property before you purchase.

Planning

If you are purchasing a property but wish to use it for a different use other than that for which it is currently being used or wish to make any changes to the property you might need planning permission. We can advise you further about this.

Solicitors are allowed to pay a referral fee to an estate agent or other person who introduces a client to the firm.  In some cases we pay referral fees from our own funds to the estate agent on the completion of a transaction.

Please be assured, however, that any advice that we give is independent and you are free to raise questions on all aspects of the transaction.  We will advise you at the start of the transaction if we are paying a referral fee.

If you wish to transfer a property from joint names into a sole name or from a sole name into joint names, this is called a ‘transfer of equity’. The process can be different depending on each individual case and type of transfer. If you have a mortgage, you will need to obtain the written consent of your lender to the transfer.

You may also need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax if you are taking over responsibility for part or all of the existing mortgage on the property.

For more details contact us:

+44 (0)20 8852 4433
enquiries@beverleymorris.co.uk

Yes! To help you with your first purchase, we are delighted to offer you a 10% discount on our basic legal fee. Please quote FB10 when you contact us.

Residential Property Team

Angela Stanton

Head of Conveyancing
Blackheath Office
Email Angela

Esther Hudson

Blackheath Office
Email Esther

Rahat Munim

Blackheath Office
Email Rahat