We are required to publish prices for some of the services we offer under Rule 1 of the SRA Transparency Rules (PDF 3 pages, 30KB). (These come into effect on the 6th December 2018).

Whenever we write about time charges we will be applying the time charge rates for our fee-earners at the hourly rates published from time to time in the miscellaneous information section of that fee-earner's contact details on our website.

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.

The initial letter we send you, will set out which of our staff we expect to be involved in providing services to you, but you should note that if there are unexpected developments (for example a problem crops up which needs specialist advice) we may refer this to another member of staff and will warn you, when doing so, or in emergency, as soon as possible thereafter, of the consequences this may have on your expected fees.


Please click on the relevant headings below for common services we offer.

Purchase or sale of a freehold residential property

Purchase or sale of a leasehold residential property

Probate work (Administration of Estates)

Debt Collection


 Purchase or sale of a freehold residential property

Our fees cover all of the normal works required to complete the purchase or sale of your property, including, in the case of a purchase, 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 - assuming the sale or purchase proceeds normally.

Additional charges may arise if the sale or purchase takes longer than expected; if we discover any problem with the title, including missing planning or building regulations for the property; where you have unusual or complex mortgage requirements or where it is necessary to raise or deal with unusual enquiries for your buyer / from your seller.

Our fees and disbursements

We need you to enter the purchase price (and if you are also selling) your agreed sale price in the yellow boxes below. The column to the right will show you our anticipated fees for your transactions. Sadly there are lots more elements you need to add - see below and follow the provided links to look up the Stamp Duty Land Tax and the H M Land Registry fees you can expect to pay. Please ask us to confirm any of these fees to you as we may be able to provide you with a better estimate than you can come up with through this rather crude process.

  • Legal fees - our minimum fee for any purchase or sale of a house is £575.00 plus VAT - we then apply increments based on the value of the property being transacted to reflect the additional responsibility we assume with higher price tags.
  • Search fees £350-450 per purchase transaction (the searches required vary depending upon where the property is located and the requirements of mortgagees. 
  • HM Land Registry fees per purchase transaction - please look up the fee at HMLR Fee-Calculator
  • Our fees for setting up or receiving electronic money transfers £20 + VAT per funds transfer
  • Bank Charges for electronic funds transfers £0.50 +VAT for each inwards transfer and £12.50 + VAT for each outwards transfer.
If buying:
Fees related to your mortgage (if any)
  • Legal fees of your Lender £125 plus VAT (or the fee specified by your Lender, if greater, in your mortgage offer paperwork)

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase)

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 here.

To get an estimated total, for a purchase, add together our base fee from the calculator above with your SDLT and HMLR fees any relevant mortgage fees and your search fees (This will give you a good idea of the total cost of the transaction and so the full funds you will need to complete it.) For a sale do the same thing but do not add SDLT or Land Registry Fees (these will be the responsibility of your buyer). Look for hidden costs like mortgage arrangement fees or similar which may be deducted from the actual mortgage funds which will be issued to us for your purchase.

To get an estimated total, for a sale, add £50 to our base fee from the calculator above - this is to cover getting new title documents etc. needed to prove your title for the sale.

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 3-5 weeks.

It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage agreed in principle, it could take 3 weeks. However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 1 and 3 months. In such, a situation additional charges would apply.

Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. The following are some common steps we need to take with you:

  • Obtain ID evidence for you (a government requirement) - see here
  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice
  • Check finances are in place to fund your purchase and contact lender's solicitors (if your lender requires separate solicitors to act for them)
  • Receive and advise on contract documents
  • Carry out searches - see here
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required
  • 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 you and your lender
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry

Purchase or sale of a leasehold residential property:

When buying or selling a leasehold property work out your base fees using our calculator on this page, then add £150.00 plus VAT to each number - leasehold titles almost always take longer to process and the title verification, when you are only buying a slice of time in a property is much more complex. It is not uncommon that Landlords or Management Companies will charge many hundreds of pounds for providing information you will need to complete a sale or purchase - please ask us for details of any likely outgoings of this nature.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as search fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. There are certain disbursements which will be set out in the individual lease relating to the Property. The disbursements which we anticipate will apply are set out separately below. This list is not exhaustive and other disbursements may apply depending on the term of the lease. We will update you on the specific fees upon receipt and review of the lease from the seller's solicitors.

Anticipated additional disbursements for leasehold properties
  • Notice of Transfer fee – This fee if chargeable will be set out in the lease. 
  • Notice of Charge fee (if the property is to be mortgaged) – This fee is usually 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 - To be confirmed upon receipt of the lease, these figures vary widely.

All of the above items vary from property to property and can on occasion be significant sums of money. 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 this we receive this information. You should watch out for mechanisms which automatically increment the ground rent payable on a leasehold property. Many people have been caught out by onerous provisions where the ground rent doubles every five years and can quickly become a significant sum of money.

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 precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential leasehold property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have outlines some key stages:

  • 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 documentation if required
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller's solicitor
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer
  • Send final contract to you for signature
  • Draft Transfer
  • Advise you on joint ownership
  • Obtain pre-completion searches
  • 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
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry
How long will my leasehold 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 3-5 weeks. It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain. If there are any issues with the lease of your leasehold property or difficulties in obtaining the information required to prove that all of the service charges and ground rents have been paid and the legally binding promises in the lease have been fulfilled , this can take significantly longer, between 2 and 5 months. In such a situation additional charges will apply.

Our fee assumes 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
  • 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 cooperate 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.

Probate Work:

Applying for the grant of probate (assuming you will use the grant and collect-in the assets yourself)

We anticipate this will take between 4 and 6 hours work at £190 per hour. Total costs estimated at £760.00 - £1,100.00 (+VAT).

Costs may increase if we need to deal with the payment or assessment of inheritance tax.

Applying for the grant of probate AND administering the estate, collecting in the assets for you and distributing it to the beneficiaries:

In this case we woiuld handle the full process for you.

The costs of getting the grant of probate (see above) plus additional costs, the exact costs of which will 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.

You should allow for five to ten hours of chargeable time at the applicable time-charge rate for the instructed solicitor.

We assume:

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

No disbursements are included in this fee - we will normally have to pay out on your behalf:

  • Probate application fee (currently £0 - £155 - this is under review by government at the moment and there is a strong likelihood of significant increases) 
  • £5.00 Swearing of the oath (per executor) plus £2.00 per exhibit, per executor.
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£3 per beneficiary)
  • £35 +VAT Post in The London Gazette – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors.
  • £50 +VAT Post in a Local Newspaper – This also helps to protect against unexpected claims.

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 is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 each (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.
How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 1-3 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 3-7 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 6-8 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 12-20 weeks.


Debt Collection:

Court Claims

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Debt value

Court fee (A)

Our fees (Please ADD VAT at 20%) (B)

Total

Up to £5,000

https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees

£500.00

 A + B(+VAT)

£5,001 - £10,000

£1,000.00

£10,001 - £50,000

10% x value of the claim

 

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • If payment is not received within 21 days, (and the debtor has not applied successfully to extend their time for response) providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take a minimum of five weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve and additional fees will be charged (whether or not your debt is sucessfully recovered) at the published hourly rate of the assigned fee-earner.

If we need to take any additional steps on your behalf we will record the time spent by the assigned fee-earner and charge this to you in addition to the fees set out in this section.


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