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Conveyancing in Dunstable Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 17/10/17

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

By road: Dunstable is served by the M1, A5 and A505. By rail: The nearest train station is Dunstable Town. By air: Dunstable is closest to these six airports: London Luton Airport (9 miles), Elstree Aerodrome (22), Wycombe Air Park (29), Northolt Jet Centre (35), London Heathrow Airport (36), and London Heliport (41).

Hospital: Luton and Dunstable University, Lewsey Road, Luton, LU4 0DZ. Council: Dunstable Town (www.dunstable.gov.uk).

Attractions: Ivinghoe Beacon, The Little Theatre, Dunstable Downs, Whipsnade Zoo, Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, and Dunstable Priory.

Q.

We've got a quote from you, which looks quite cheap. Will we be charged any supplementary hidden charges later on?

It is unfortunate but buyers must be aware of considerable extra costs hidden in the small print of some lawyers’ terms of engagement. At Homeward Legal, though, we will not charge any hidden costs. It really is as simple as ‘what you see is what you get’ with us. Sometimes a large volume of additional work is necessary (such as sorting out a will or ordering additional searches). Homeward Legal’s quotes ensure clarity in the distinction between what comprises the solicitor’s fees and what constitutes the disbursement costs. 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.

Would you advise me to get a chancel search for a flat I am buying in Dunstable?

Chancel liability repair costs can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds, which owners of affected property will be compelled to pay on demand to the Dunstable Church council. Some names or words such as 'priory' or ‘rectory’ give an indication of a property's history, and thus whether chancel liability might apply. Ecclesiastical properties in this area include:

  • Priory Church of St. Peter, 4 Church Street, Dunstable, LU5 4NA
  • St. Augustine of Canterbury, Oakwood Avenue, Dunstable, LU5 4AR
  • St. Fremund the Martyr, Westfield Road, Dunstable, LU6 1DR
  • St. Katherine of Genoa, Katherine Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4NT
Q.

I am interested in purchasing a house in Dunstable. Are there any areas of conservation?

With 9000 conservation areas throughout England, the streets and neighbourhoods in or near Dunstable will include a number of areas of architectural or historic interest, which are registered as protected. Dunstable itself is named as a conservation area. Your solicitor will be able to provide more details as part of the standard search bundle.

Q.

What will be the SDLT for a £475,000 residence I am purchasing in Dunstable?

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 £13,750 on a property bought for £475,000. 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.

Will the property report compiled by the conveyancing solicitor detail the relevant council tax rate for a flat in Dunstable prior to contracts being exchanged?

The solicitor will consult with Central Bedfordshire council to ascertain the most up-to-date council tax rates and to confirm your property’s tax band, which will be detailed in the conveyancing report on title. Council tax rates for properties in Dunstable are tabled online at the council site. The 2016/2017 council tax rates were:

  • Band A - £1,192.73
  • Band B - £1,391.49
  • Band C - £1,590.29
  • Band D - £1,789.07
  • Band E - £2,186.65
  • Band F - £2,584.21
  • Band G - £2,981.80
  • Band H - £3,578.14

Retrieved on 11 March 2017

Q.

We have found several useful guidebooks giving details on bypassing the solicitor (for example, House Buying, Selling and Conveyancing by Joseph Bradshaw). Do we have to use conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable?

There is absolutely no legal issue with you performing the conveyancing without the help of a property solicitor. That said, a conveyancing solicitor carries out a large number of jobs (such as drafting contracts or locating

planning documents), some of which need adequate training and experience. DIY-conveyancing, by its nature, can lead to delays and may jeopardise your move entirely. More importantly, amateur lawyers take huge risks in operating without applicable insurance that legal practices are obliged to get. Give Homeward Legal’s team a call on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your conveyancing requirements and to obtain a free fixed-fee quote.

Q.

Would acquiring a house survey be necessary if we are buying property in Dunstable?

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 £389,000 semi-detached house in Dunstable, 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 Move, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

Will the property report compiled by the conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable give information the relevant rates of council tax for a flat prior to contracts are exchanged?

A.

The solicitor will consult with the Central Bedfordshire local council to ascertain the most up to date council tax rates, which will be detailed in the conveyancing report on title.

Council tax rates for properties in Dunstable are tabled online at the Central Bedfordshire council site. On, 02 September 2012, the rates are:

  • Band A - £1,098.00
  • Band B - £1,281.00
  • Band C - £1,464.00
  • Band D - £1,647.00
  • Band E - £2,012.00
  • Band F - £2,378.00
  • Band G - £2,744.00
  • Band H - £3,293.00

Q.

The owner has added inappropriate satellite dishes to the maisonette which we think might possibly break the Rothwell conservation area rules.

A.

Your instructed conveyancing solicitor will make enquiries to find out if the property is inside a conservation area and whether any modifications have required permission from the local council.Should no authority consents be produced the solicitor will inform you of the options such as purchasing an indemnity policy or seeking retrospective consent from Central Bedfordshire council.

Q.

Would acquiring a house survey be necessary if we are buying property in Dunstable?

A.

We heavily advise that Dunstable property purchasers book a home surveyor to carry out a survey. A range defects can negatively affect a property. These include ground movement. Such issues will not be considered during the conveyancing work itself.

Q.

What factors can impact land in Dunstable?

A.

A range of contaminants caused by natural causes and human activities has the potential to affect property, and factors such as limestone or gypsum quarrying will be considered as part of the environmental searches.

Q.

If I am intending to purchase near Dunstable, in the parish of Shillington, do we need a chancel search?

A.

The property solicitor may suggest that a chancel search be taken out. In Dunstable's much older areas, chancel repair has the potential to be charged on current owners of a home where parish councils may have spared previous owners or tenants. It is not safe to rely on the historical behaviour of the parish council alone as a guide.

Q.

What do we need to calculate Stamp Duty Land Tax, and what will it be on a £879000 Dunstable residence?

A.

Stamp Duty is calculated based on the house's value. On a £879000 house, stamp duty will be £35160.*

*Accurate as of 01/02/2013

Q.

We have found abundant useful guidebooks giving details on by passing the solicitor for example Bradshaw's Guide to Diy House Buying Selling and Conveyancing . Do we have to use conveyancing solicitor in Dunstable ?

A.

There is absolutely no argument why you should not carry out the conveyancing without the help of Dunstable property solicitor.

That said, a conveyancing solicitor carries out a large number of jobs such as drafting contracts or locating planning docs some of which need adequate training. More importantly amateur lawyers take huge risks in operating without applicable insurance that legal practices must get.