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Conveyancing in Bath Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 22/04/18

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in Bath -

By road: Bath is served by the A4, A36 and A46. By rail: The nearest train station is Bath Spa. By air: Bristol Airport is 19 miles from Bath.

Hospital: St. Martin’s, Midford Road, Bath, BA2 5RP. Council: Bath and North-East Somerset Council (www.bathnes.gov.uk).

Attractions: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, The Royal Crescent, Fashion Museum, The Jane Austen Centre, and Royal Victoria Park.

Q.

How do we get a discount conveyancing estimate for a house purchase in Bath?

Although there are many property lawyers who claim to offer 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes', additional costs are often hiding in their terms and conditions. Eager buyers and sellers wanting to get underway might ignore this small print when they instruct the conveyancer. Any charges listed in this way should be clear and fair. Homeward Legal’s quote calculator will generate an accurate statement of conveyancing fees, because we never hide any costs, and our quotes offer perfect clarity for a standard conveyancing transaction. Call our team of experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs and get a fixed-fee quote.

Q.

What length of time will it take our assigned conveyancer to finish the legal process for a terraced home in Bath that we intend to buy?

It is many people’s experience that conveyancing is a slow and tortuous process. The time needed to complete everything can take anything between one and three months, because the duration is established by several issues that may affect the smoothness of the transaction (e.g. slowness to respond somewhere in the chain, or someone awaiting confirmation of a mortgage application). With the experienced solicitors at Homeward Legal, every purchase is handled as fast as possible, without compromising on service, using solicitors who are highly proactive. We aim to complete the conveyancing work within six weeks.

Q.

Will we need searches for chancel liability? I am purchasing a property close to a 1300s church in Bath.

In a court case between a parish council and owners of neighbouring farmland liable for church repairs reaffirmed, the Law Lords decided that 'lay impropriators' of property must cover the cost of church repairs. Parochial Church Councils in Bath must have registered their interest over property, thereby simplifying the chancel search process. A solicitor will be able to advise further. Bath churches include:

  • St. John the Evangelist, South Parade, Bath, BA2 4AF
  • St. Michael’s, Broad Street, Bath, BA1 5LJ
  • Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath, BA1 2RH
  • St. Bartholomew, 1 King Edward Road, Avon, Oldfield Park, Bath, BA2 3PB.
Q.

Which Bath lenders do you work with?

Most mortgage lenders and brokers operating in Bath are on Homeward Legal’s solicitor panels. With Homeward Legal, who will also represent the lender, you will not be stung with unexpected legal bills passed on by the lenders. Local mortgage lenders and brokers in Bath include:

  • London & Country Mortgages, Beazer House, Lower Bristol Road, Bath, BA2 3BA
  • Rosemount Mortgage Planning, 2 Wood Street, Bath, BA1 2JQ
  • Holley & Co, 19 Newbridge Gardens, Bath, BA1 3LT

Your solicitor should be able to advise further. Give Homeward Legal a call on 0800 038 6699 for fixed-fee quote, backed with our 'No Completion, No Fee' guarantee.

Q.

The purchase of my Bath flat is scheduled to complete in the next few weeks. How is the stamp duty on it going to be assessed?

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate due will depend on the property's value (i.e. the price it was bought for). SDLT is currently triggered once the purchase price goes over £125,000. An example of the duty owed would a charge of £7,298 on a property bought for £345,950 (information retrieved on 15 February 2017). Note that the government’s budgeting

and housing policies may change the rate or the trigger value. You might wish to use a stamp duty calculator like the one at www.stampdutycalculator.org.uk.

Q.

Has soil in Bath been contaminated by nickel?

Bath and the surrounding region have legacies of chemical contamination from historical industry and agriculture. Metal contamination of topsoil in Bath is more likely to occur near ex-industrial sites or ex-landfills. This information will be found during the standard environmental search for your property. Data on other contaminants, such as hazardous gases and groundwater contaminants like landfill leachate, will also be included in the search.

Q.

Is your solicitor team able to very fast completions on residential property auction conveyancing in Bath?

Both buyers and sellers at local and national property auctions have appointed Homeward Legal's conveyancing team of specialist solicitors. As many shrewd auction buyers understand in their experience, the conveyancing process will be much smoother if they engage their solicitor as soon as practicable for a detailed review of all the legal documents.

Q.

Do I need to get a surveying expert to check for issues affecting the house purchase in Bath?

Homeward Legal firmly recommend that a structural survey be undertaken on your proposed Bath property before committing to it. There are many structural problems (e.g. chimney flue issues, rotten roof timbers, lead piping still in existence, etc.) that can raise problems in the smooth running of the transaction and these need to be identified by a qualified chartered surveyor. Note that the conveyancing solicitor will not be specifically looking for such issues, although they might highlight any concerns generated by their research, and, as such, these types of problem will not appear in the report of title. Instead, they should be highlighted in even the most basic of surveys.

Q.

In Bath, is topsoil remediation of contaminated land an option?

A.

Where property in Bath has been contaminated, remediation is possible is some cases, but costly. Speak to HL Mills Ltd, Glengariff Claverton Down Road, Bath, BA2 7AL for more details.

Q.

What average time should I expect it to take our conveyancing solicitor to finish all of the conveyancing work for a flat in a building?

A.

It can take anywhere between one month and twelve weeks dependent on any number of things for example the efficiency of the vendor's solicitor, or whether your solicitor has to act for your lender.

Our chosen property solicitors are highly focused on speed and communication you moving home as soon we can.

Q.

The current owner has unfortunately added incongruous PVC windows on the flat which we think may breach Midsomer Norton conservation area rules.

A.

A property lawyer will make enquiries to verify if your new home is located within a conservation area, and if so whether any alterations have essential permissions from the local council.

Q.

Has soil in Bath been contaminated by nickel?

A.

Bath and the surrounding region has a legacy of chemical contamination. Metal contamination of topsoil in Bath is more likely to occur near ex-industrial sites or ex-landfills. Data on other contaminants, like hazardous gases and groundwater contaminants like landfill leachate, will also be included in an environmental search.

Q.

Is your solicitor team able to very fast completions on residential property auction conveyancing in Bath?

A.

Yes - Our team work with auctioneers throughout Wiltshire and commonly do the legal conveyancing buyers and sellers at auction. Our auction team solicitors and licensed conveyancers have previously acted for numerous buyers and sellers at regional residential property auctions including Acuitus, Allsop (Commercial), Allsop (Residential), Auction House London, Award Property, Barnett Ross, Baxtons, Brendons Auctioneers, Countrywide Property Auctions and Drivers Norris.

Prudent buyers tend to get a suitable property lawyer as ahead of time as they can to give enough time for a review of the legal documents well in advance of the auction day itself. Subsequently, immediately after the day of bidding your instructed lawyer is thoroughly ready for completing the conveyancing inside the usual 28 days as required .

Q.

Our purchase will complete on 22nd April, what will be calculated for stamp duty tax?

A.

The Stamp Duty Land Tax you will owe is dependent on the purchase price. For a residential property purchased for £758000, stamp duty is £30320.*

*Accurate as of 12/03/2013

Q.

What do fixtures and fittings relate to?

A.

New owners in Bath are regularly frustrated by a lack of clarity around what fixtures and fittings ought to be included. Conveyancing solicitors recommend a formal fixtures and fittings form to avoid later disagreements, confirming what will be sold with the property.