Julia T. Betts Solicitors Costs...
We are a very small niche firm and for that reason, we have to be very attentive to the amount of time that we spend on clients' matters.
Sometimes, situations evolved during the transaction that could not possibly have been foreseen at the beginning. This could cause the amount of time that is required to deal with the matter to increase. This may have an impact on costs. If this is the case, we do agree costs between us and the clients. In all cases, our costs must be reasonable and proportionate to the work undertaken. For example, if you are purchasing a new build property; this would add the equivalent of one and a half hours or £270.00 plus VAT.
As well as our fees, there will be certain payments that need to be made to others. We generally refer to these payments as “disbursements”. Please note that the figures we give are approximate and are subject to change.
We set out below the more usual disbursements, but we may recommend others and some may be imposed by lenders. In any event, we would always check with you, the client before we incurred any such expenditure.
|Disbursement||Average costs||Is V.A.T. Applicable?|
|Local Authority Search (This varies depending on the Local Authority)||£150.00||Yes 20%|
|Coal Authority Search||£50.40||Yes 20%|
|Water Search (This varies depending on the Water Authority)||£69.60||Yes 20%|
|Environmental Search||£61.20||Yes 20%|
|Chancel Check||£24.00||Yes 20%|
|Land Registry Search||£3.00 per title number||No|
|Land Charges Act (Bankruptcy) Search||£2.00 per name searched against||No|
|Official Copy of Register of Title with Filed Title Plan||£6.00||No|
|Supporting Title Documents||£3.00 per document||No|
Land Registry Registration fees (to register you as the new owner)
|Value of property||Fee scale for paper applications||Fee scale for online applications, where possible|
|£0.00 to £80,000.00||£40.00||£20.00|
|£80,000.01 - £100,000.00||£80.00||£40.00|
|£100,000.01 to £200,000.00||£190.00||£95.00|
|£200,000.01 to £500,000.00||£270.00||£135.00|
|£500,000.01 to £1,000,000.00||£540.00||£270.00|
In every transaction involving land, it is necessary to think about tax; be the transaction a sale or a purchase, or both. We are not tax experts. We cannot give any form of tax advice.
The type of tax most people think about when they are involved in transactions about land is stamp duty land tax. The rules about stamp duty land tax used to be fairly simple. As with life these days, the rules have become quite complex. For this reason and to act in your best interests, we will often recommend that you take your accountant’s advice about stamp duty land tax. If you do not have an accountant, we can recommend and liaise with the accountant about the matter and about any potential fees that will be incurred. In most cases, it is not necessary to involve an accountant, but in those cases where it is, the average costs would be somewhere in the region of between £100.00 to £150.00 plus VAT.
We cannot stress the importance of dealing properly with stamp duty land tax (and indeed any other tax), the return and payment for which has to be dealt with within 14 days of completion, otherwise there will be sanctions and penalties. For this reason, we would generally start to think about stamp duty in between exchange and completion.
|Property purchase price||% of purchase price (accumulative)|
|£125,000.00 to £250,000.00||2%|
|£250,000.00 to £925,000.00||5%|
|£925,000.00 to £1,500,000.00||10%|
|Bank transfer fee||£30.00 plus V.A.T|
The Government Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator can be found at:
Additional costs for Leasehold titles
In the case of transactions involving leasehold property, there will be other disbursements associated with the Lease; the cost of which will not become apparent until we begin the transaction. These can include:-
- Ground Rent apportionments
- Service Charge apportionments
- Deed of Covenant Fees
- Licence to Assign Fees
- Management Pack for sales (see below)
- Landlord Notice Fees for purchases (see below)
One of the main disbursements when selling a leasehold property, is the cost of the information that will need to be obtained from any management company. The information is usually provided by the Management Company in the form of a pack. The cost of such packs vary from company to company, but could be as much as £450 including VAT. The Pack will contain all the information that is relevant to potential expenditure in respect of maintenance of the building of which the property forms part and other useful and necessary information.
When buying a leasehold property, costs associated with the lease will usually be the cost of providing the Management Company and also the freehold owner with 'notices' following completion. Typically, the cost involved is £100.00 and £150.00, plus vat for each document that needs to be notified. It is possible that the total cost of the notices could be as much as £500.00 plus VAT.
If it seems likely that our costs will exceed the estimate, we will the cost the file on an hourly basis. We set out below the hourly rates for members of staff who may work on the file. Wherever possible, the work is delegated to a more junior member of the team to keep costs to a minimum, but only where this does not compromise the quality of our work and service to the client.
|Hourly Rate||Short letter and telephone call per item rate (6 minutes)|
|Principal Solicitor||£180.00 plus V.A.T.||£18.00 plus V.A.T.|
|Non-Fee Earning Solicitor||£140.00 plus V.A.T.||£14.00 plus V.A.T.|
|Post Graduate Legal Assistant||£120.00 plus V.A.T.||£12.00 plus V.A.T.|
|Undergraduate Legal Assistant||£10.00 plus V.A.T.||£10.00 plus V.A.T.|
When dealing with leasehold properties, we generally make a retention for future costs and VAT that will be incurred in respect of work that may have to be carried out when there are outstanding management accounts for year ends in respect of service charge. This work involves liaising with the Seller or Buyers’ Solicitor and you the client, to work out and agree apportionments between the parties. Such work generally takes about two hours. Hence, we generally retain £300.00 to £400.00 plus vat. Such monies could well be held for a period of up to 2 years depending on how long the Management Company takes to prepare the Accounts.
If a transaction begins, but does not proceed to completion, we reserve the right to raise an account based on the amount of time expended/work done and such charges are calculated on a hourly basis.
We set out below, an approximate estimate of the costs involved in reaching various stages of the transaction if it does not reach conclusion for any reason. We do stress that it is only an approximate guide and the actual fees chargeable will be commensurate with the work undertaken in the matter.