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Conveyancing in Brentwood Q & A's

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By

Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 12/01/18

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

By road: Brentwood is served by the M25, A12 and A128. By rail: The nearest train station is Brentwood. By air: Brentwood is closest to these seven airports: Southend Airport (20 miles), London City Airport (26), London Biggin Hill Airport (30), London Heliport (34), London Luton Airport (45), and London Gatwick Airport (47).

Hospital: Brentwood Community, Crescent Drive, Brentwood, CM15 8DR. Council: Brentwood Borough (www.brentwood.gov.uk).

Attractions: Old MacDonald’s Farm, Warley Place Nature Reserve, Shenfield Common, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, and Weald Country Park.

Q.

When do we need to get a conveyancer involved in selling our property in Brentwood?

If you choose a solicitor with 'no move, no fee' protection, the earlier you appoint them, the better, as there are a number of tasks which may be carried out immediately. Early instruction of a solicitor to act on your Brentwood sale can significantly reduce the likelihood of the transaction stalling. Try Homeward Legal’s quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to obtain your fixed-fee quote backed up with our ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

Which mortgage-lenders in Brentwood do you work with?

Of the many lenders with branches in Brentwood, Homeward Legal works with the majority, so we are able to represent their legal needs without them passing on their costs to you. Lenders and mortgage specialists in Brentwood include:

  • Mortgage Business, 14 St. Thomas Road, Brentwood, CM14 4DB
  • Linden Rooke, 105 High Street, Brentwood, CM14 4RR
  • JMS Financial Services, Mainard, Alexander Lane, Shenfield, Brentwood, CM15 8QE
Q.

What will the searches for our house on the outskirts of Brentwood cost?

Searches range in cost, and this amount is subject to the types of searches that your mortgage-lender requires. Searches are paid to a third party, passed on to you at cost, and are not included in a quote for solicitor's fees. Homeward Legal’s quotes make the distinction between solicitors’ fees and disbursements (such as searches) very clear. Try our online quote calculator or call our experts on 0800 038 6699 for your fixed-fee quote.

Q.

Environmental searches are all well and good but, in light of recent climatic events (e.g. the catastrophic flooding in the UK in April 2012), are they thorough enough to advise us about the changing flood-risk in the Brentwood area?

Standard conveyancing searches carried out by a property solicitor will include an environment search, which will assess the level of the risk of flooding at your property and its environs. Your solicitor will also include a more specialist search (Landmark) if the risk of flooding warrants it. If you are still nervous, you might try to get in touch with a close neighbour or a nearby Essex flood damage builder, like P J Gibbons Building Services, 26 Bishop’s Hall Road, Pilgrims Hatch, Brentwood, CM15 9NX (Tel: 01277 201629).

Q.

Is a'deed of assignment' a fee or a disbursement?

It may be unclear if a particular cost is a fee or a disbursement. This charge, for example, is a fee not a disbursement, and should be included as part of your quote for solicitors’ fees and not as a separate charge. Any associated disbursement costs will, however, be passed on to you at cost. Homeward Legal’s quotes always make these distinctions clear. Try our online quote calculator.

Q.

Will we need a Homebuyer Report for our prospective Brentwood property purchase?

It is highly recommended that all purchasers in Brentwood arrange a surveyor to check out the structural issues. Buyers should be aware that there are a range of defects that can affect a property (including cracked roof tiles and insect infestation). These will not be reported on by a solicitor, and so should be checked out independently.

Q.

What is the council tax on a period, detached, Band A house in Doddinghurst near Brentwood?

You should be told about your property's council tax band, and the associated tax rate, as part of the report on title prepared by your conveyancing lawyer. The latest figures are available on Brentwood Borough’s website (see the public service information section at the head of these FAQs for a link). The tax rates for Doddinghurst in the 2016/2017 tax year were:

  • Band A - £1,050.26
  • Band B - £1,225.30
  • Band C - £1,400.34
  • Band D - £1,575.39
  • Band E - £1,925.48
  • Band F - £2,275.56
  • Band G - £2,625.65
  • Band H - £3,150.78

Retrieved on 14 March 2017

Q.

What local factors can impact the state of land in Brentwood, and are they going to be an issue if we want to buy a house there?

Several contaminants can damage property, or impact human health, such as environmental radon sources, and proximity to scrapyards or waste management sites. Your property lawyer will initiate an environmental search as part of the standard conveyancing bundle, which will give more information about any existing contamination, or risk from contaminants in the area. This will be added to the solicitor’s report on title.

Q.

Might the conveyancing fees in Brentwood conceal any additional charges?

A.

Our solicitors will never charge any additional charges to buy or sell a home in Brentwood. Some websites offer unrealistically low 'quotes' which are in fact estimates. The final bill you receive may be much more.

Q.

Will we need a Homebuyer Report for this Brentwood property purchase?

A.

It is highly recommended that all purchasers in Brentwood arrange a surveyor. Buyers should be aware that there are a range of defects that can affect a property. These can include cracked roof tiles and insect infestation. These will not be reported on by a solicitor.

Q.

First Active will be our mortgage lender, what do I need to be aware of?

A.

Buyers in Brentwood need to be aware that a small number of lenders have decreased the number of firms on their approved panel, potentially creating greater conveyancing costs for buyers. Homeward Legal can act on behalf of most lenders in the UK.

Q.

What kind of research about the risk of floods in the Essex region will my conveyancing solicitor in Brentwood check?

A.

A vital part of the legal due diligence procedure involves a conveyancing lawyer applying for conveyancing and environmental searches that provide information about the potential Brentwood flood risk.

Q.

We are buying in Brentwood. Can we verify if the house is in a conservation area?

A.

These areas safeguard local areas of historical merit. You may wish to contact the local council for more detail, but your solicitor will investigate the impact of conservation areas or other planning restrictions.

Q.

What does our searches cost?

A.

Searches range in cost, subject to the searches your lender requires. Searches are paid to a third party, and are not included in a quote for solicitor's fees.

Q.

We plan to purchase a church rectory in Wormingford. Will a chancel search be specified?

A.

A conveyancing lawyer may suggest that a chancel search is ordered. In older areas of Brentwood, chancel repair has the potential to be charged on the owners of a building where parish councils may have spared previous owners or tenants, so the solicitor will be unable to make any guarantees, and will recommend insurance.