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Conveyancing in Bridgend Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 14/01/18

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

By road: Bridgend is served by the M4, A48, A4061 and A4063. By rail: The nearest train station is Bridgend. By air: The closest airports to Bridgend are Cardiff Airport (17 miles), and Swansea Airport (30 miles).

Hospital: Princess of Wales, Coity Road, Bridgend, CF31 1RQ. Council: Bridgend County Borough Council (www.bridgend.gov.uk).

Attractions: Newcastle Castle, Parc Slip Nature Reserve, Tusker Rock, Bryngarw Country Park, and Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes.

Q.

Do Homeward Legal get involved in the conveyancing of auction properties in Bridgend?

Yes, we do. Homeward Legal’s auction experts have frequently been instructed by both sellers and buyers for the conveyancing work on properties in both local and national auctions. For the best auction experience, it is critical that you appoint your solicitor as soon as is practical and far in advance of the auction day. This allows the legal work to be started, and, for sales, for sellers’ packs to be prepared, or, in the case of buying a property, for the paperwork on the prospective purchase to be reviewed. With your solicitor completely briefed, the conveyancing can then be completed well within the legally-stipulated four-week timeframe following the auction. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of auction experts on 0800 038 6699 to obtain your fixed-fee quote.

Q.

As our move to Bridgend is an expensive business, we need to cut costs where possible. We’ve heard about schemes to avoid paying stamp duty, but how do we go about taking advantage of them?

Stamp duty avoidance schemes are very risky and uneconomic. Homeward Legal therefore strongly advises that you don’t get involved with any of them. If the scheme fails, you could be liable for a financial penalty of up to 100% of the stamp duty, plus the amount of the outstanding duty, which could run into thousands of pounds. The government occasionally runs legitimate schemes to assist home-buyers (such as relief for first-time purchasers). Your solicitor will be able to tell you if any such schemes are in operation, and, if so, whether you are eligible.

Q.

In about four weeks, we are hoping to move from our detached home in Bridgend into a house in Blaenau Gwent, but what is the right point to line up a house removal firm?

It is very tempting to appoint all the firms and people involved in your move early on in the process, because with the excitement of your move, that makes it feel more real. While appointing a solicitor early is key to a smooth and swift transaction, the opposite is largely true with removals firms. Because your move date is not fixed until the exchange of contracts, to pencil in a date for removals prior to that is risky, since they may charge you a rearrangement fee.

Q.

What will be the SDLT be for a £320,000 residence I am purchasing in Bridgend?

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate depends on a number of factors but principally on the price you bought your property for. If your building was purchased for under £125,000, you will not have to pay any stamp duty. In the example cited, the duty owed would be £6,000 on a property bought for £320,000. 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.

Of the main Bridgend mortgage lenders, which have joined your panel?

Our solicitors have a vast amount of experience working with the majority of the Bridgend lenders listed with the Council of Mortgage Lenders. A number of mortgage specialists operate in Bridgend, such as:

  • Willows Finance Ltd., 6 Bank Buildings, Bridgend, CF31 3SB
  • NatWest Bank PLC, 28 Adare Street, Bridgend, CF31 1EN
  • Financial Solutions Unlimited, Wyndham House, 1 Wyndham Street, Bridgend, CF31 1EF

The lawyer handling the work for your Bridgend purchase or sale should be able to advise further.

Q.

What is the council tax on a Sixties, terraced property in Pencoed?

Your appointed solicitor, as one of the common components of the conveyancing process, will contact the civic authority responsible for council tax (here Bridgend County Borough Council) to ascertain the precise band and the tax rates you will be required to pay. This information will be detailed in the report on title. For the 2016/2017 tax year, Pencoed’s rates were:

  • Band A - £1,032.45
  • Band B - £1,204.52
  • Band C - £1,376.80
  • Band D - £1,548.67
  • Band E - £1,892.82
  • Band F - £2,236.97
  • Band G - £2,581.12
  • Band H - £3,097.34
  • Band I - £3,613.57

Retrieved 2 March 2017

Q.

Will a property survey be required if we are buying a residential property in Merthyr Mawr?

Homeward Legal supports the position of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which advises property-buyers to order a structural survey. There can be many unforeseen issues with a house that might affect the purchase, such as insect infestation, falling roof timbers, broken drainage and so on. These are not part of the remit of the conveyancing process, so it makes sense to instruct a building surveyor for peace of mind.

Q.

For a speedy exchange and completion on the purchase of a £326,000 Bridgend property, what should we do to guarantee the acceleration of the transaction?

Key to an increase in the pace of the conveyancing transaction is to instruct a property lawyer as early as possible. When choosing a property lawyer, you should consider these questions:

  • Do they offer 'no move, no fee' protection? This can incentivise a faster transaction.
  • Do they offer 'instant' online quotes?
  • Are phone, fax and email their preferred methods of contact?

Homeward Legal offers this and more. To discuss your needs and to obtain your fixed-fee, ‘No Completion, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

Is a home in Maesteg East eligible for disadvantaged area stamp duty relief?

A.

Disadvantaged areas are identified by ward, and impacted wards currently include Caerau, Bettws, Blackmill, Llangeinor, Blaengarw, Cornelly, Maesteg West, Morfa, Nantyffyllon, St. Bride's Minor, Pontycymmer, Nant-y-moel, Pyle, Maesteg East, Ogmore Vale and Cefn Cribwr. Update: As of the 2013/14 tax year, stamp duty relief for disadvantaged areas is no longer available.

Q.

How long on average does it take the lawyer to carry out all of the conveyancing work for a detached building?

A.

The conveyancing process can take anywhere from 3 weeks and three months, which can depend on any number of factors, for example the speed of the seller's conveyancer, or the time taken getting replies to enquiries. Our lawyers are very results-focused with a view to you moving home as promptly as achievable.

Q.

Please advise how to bypass paying out for SDLT?

A.

Homeward Legal do not recommend conveyancing clients get involved with any form of stamp duty scheme, as such schemes are highly expensive and HMRC may challenge a scheme up to six years later meaning that the full stamp duty amount, interest and additional fines will be imposed. There have been several legal initiatives, such as higher thresholds for first-time buyers. You will be able to confirm your eligibility for any such active initiatives with your solicitor..

Q.

At what point is it appropriate to instruct a conveyancer in Bridgend?

A.

The short answer is, instructing as early as possible is better, as there are several tasks which may be performed straight away. Early instruction of a conveyancing firm to act on your Bridgend sale or purchase can reduce any chance of the transaction aborting.

Q.

Is contaminated land in Bridgend an issue for properties?

A.

Residential property in Bridgend would be contaminated by many natural and human-influenced issues, like waste disposal sites and environmental radon sources. An environmental search will give more information.

Q.

I have read about the flooding in 2012 I am concerned that flood searches may not be detailed enough?

A.

Flood searches handled by the property solicitor in Bridgend will include the more thorough search (Landmark) if the risk warrants it.

If you are still apprehensive you can get in touch with a neighbour or local Wales flood damage builder try: Property Sprayers, Parc Lodge Bryntirion Hill, Bridgend, CF31 4DA Tel: 01656 663290.

Q.

I am buying a sixties house in one of the Bridgend conservation area. How does one get more data in relation to the standard of upkeep?

A.

Conservation areas are created by the local Bridgend planning authority, who regulate things like paths and footpaths to the halting of street clutter.

English Heritage, a government body, keep a list of the state of repair of conservation areas.