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Conveyancing in Bishops Stortford Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 15/10/17

Transport and public service information if you’re buying or selling residential property in Bishop’s Stortford

By road: Bishop’s Stortford is served by the M11, A120 and A1184. By rail: The nearest train station is Bishop’s Stortford. By air: Bishop’s Stortford is closest to these airports: London Stansted Airport (6 miles), London City Airport (34), London Luton Airport (35), Southend Airport (39), London Heliport (44), and London Biggin Hill Airport (48).

Hospital: Herts and Essex Community, Cavell Drive, Haymeads Lane, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 5JH. Council: East Hertfordshire District (www.eastherts.gov.uk).

Attractions: Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village, Cammas Hall Farm, Stansted Raceway, and Bishop’s Stortford Museum.

Q.

We have found a buyer and have organised a quote from you, but might we have to pay any unexpected extra fees?

Homeward Legal never hides extra fees from you. It might transpire that a separate legal task is also required (e.g. the need to make a will), which is unpredictable at the outset, but you will be made aware of any fees relating to this as soon as it arises. Homeward Legal’s quotes are clearly laid out so you know what you are paying and what your final bill will be. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to obtain your fixed-fee quote backed up with our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

Is your solicitor team experienced enough to handle fast completions on property auctions in Bishop’s Stortford?

Our team deals with auctions throughout the UK and are frequently instructed by both auction-buyers and -sellers. Homeward Legal encourages buyers to formally instruct their property lawyer well in advance of the day of the auction to allow adequate time for a review of the auction legal pack. After the auction day, the solicitor is completely focused on finishing all of the legal work within the limited time as typically required by the terms if sale. Give our team of auction experts a call on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your auction needs.

Q.

Would you advise me to get a chancel search for a home in Bishop’s Stortford?

There are thousands of ecclesiastical parishes in England and Wales. Property-owners within some of these may be required to contribute towards the cost of the repair of a local church. Parochial Church Councils in Bishop’s Stortford must have already registered their interest over property, which simplifies the chancel search process. A solicitor will be able to advise further and also recommend any indemnity insurance, should it be required. Bishop’s Stortford Church of England properties include:

  • Holy Trinity, Hatfield Heath, Bishop’s Stortford, CM22 7EA
  • St. James the Great, Church Lane, Thorley, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 4BE
  • St. Michael’s, 1 Windhill, Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 2ND
Q.

What will be the SDLT for a £525,000 residence I am buying in Bishop’s Stortford?

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate depends on a number of factors but principally on the purchase price, for any value over £125,000. In the example cited, the duty on a property bought for £525,000 would be £16,250. 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.

What is the council tax on a Forties, converted, Band C property in Bishops Stortford?

The solicitor will consult with East Hertfordshire District Council to ascertain the most up-to-date council tax rates and to confirm your property’s tax band. This information will be detailed in the resultant conveyancing report on title. Council tax rates for properties in Bishop’s Stortford are tabled online at the council site (see the head of these FAQs for a link to click). The 2016/2017 council tax rates were:

  • Band A - £1,038.19
  • Band B - £1,211.22
  • Band C - £1,384.25
  • Band D - £1,557.28
  • Band E - £1,903.34
  • Band F - £2,249.40
  • Band G - £2,595.47
  • Band H - £3,114.56

Retrieved on 14 March 2017

Q.

What can we do to speed up the conveyancing process for buying a £574,000 home in Bishop’s Stortford?

The key to increased conveyancing speed is to use a proactive, diligent solicitor. At Homeward Legal, our solicitors are chosen for their proactive communication methods and the use of leading-edge technology to speed up the conveyancing tasks. Give Homeward Legal’s team a call on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your conveyancing requirements. Don’t worry about incurring costs on solicitors’ fees by appointing your lawyer early. Homeward Legal provides a fixed-fee quote, which is backed up by our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee. In addition to appointing your solicitor early, there are various jobs that you, as the purchaser, can also do to speed up your conveyancing, including:

  • calling or emailing your solicitor
  • chasing them if you suspect any delays
  • arranging any finances require to complete the purchase
  • answering any queries raised by your solicitor as soon as possible
Q.

We are thinking of using Paragon Mortgages as our mortgage lender, but what do we need to know before committing to them?

Almost all solicitors could perform legal work for both buyers and mortgage-lenders. Some lenders have reduced the number of firms on their approved panel, resulting in increased legal costs for buyers if the lender insists upon their own lawyer. Homeward Legal, though, will act for many mortgage-lenders so that you will not be required to pay the lender's legal fees.

Q.

We are buying a cottage in Bishop’s Stortford that we really want, but are worried about gazumping. How do we avoid it?

Gazumping is the practice of rejecting an offer, which has already been accepted, once another buyer makes a bigger offer. Although being gazumped is less common in a declining market, there will always be a chance of it happening. Instructing a fast, efficient solicitor as soon as you can to handle your transaction should help to reduce the likelihood of gazumping. Give a team of solicitors a call on 0800 038 6699 to find out more.

Q.

What are fixtures and fittings?

A.

In the main, there is not a strict definition of fixtures and fittings. For many purchases, this is overlooked, making the approval of the list of fixtures and fittings essential.

Q.

Will a Bishops Stortford solicitor get any property on the Hertfordshire Fifties semi-detached house I am buying?

A.

The customary procedure is to obtain Local Authority, Drainage Search (Con29DW) and Environment Search and occasionally less common searches such as Bankruptcy Search (K16).

Q.

We are buying a 1930s property in one of the conservation areas, how does one find more details on the present standard of repair?

A.

Conservation areas in Bishops Stortford are nominated by East Hertfordshire who preside over everything from what can be demolished to the stoppage of poorly maintained public spaces. English Heritage, a government body, have produced a list of the state of conservation areas.

Q.

For a residence valued at £1.161mil. What should be calculated for stamp duty?

A.

The Stamp Duty rate due is calculated based on the house or flat's price. It will be £58050 on a £1.161mil property.

Q.

Is your solicitor team experienced enough to handle fast completions on property auction conveyancing in Bishops Stortford?

A.

Our team deal with auctions throughout the UK and frequently get instructed by auction buyers and sellers. Homeward Legal often encourage buyers to formally instruct their property lawyer well in advance of the day of the auction to allow adequate time for a review of the auction legal pack,

Post property auction date the solicitor is completely focused on finishing all of the legal work within the limited time as typically required by the terms if sale.

Q.

In what ways can a lawyer in Bishops Stortford investigate the risk and history of possible flooding in the Bishops Stortford area?

A.

An important component in the conveyancing process involves the solicitor making an application for conveyancing and environmental searches that offer some details with respect to Bishops Stortford flood risk area data.

Q.

Is contaminated land in Bishops Stortford a problem?

A.

Land in Bishops Stortford may be contaminated by a broad range of natural causes and human activities, and factors including infilled land should be reported on during conveyancing searches.