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Conveyancing in Dunstable Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 18/04/18

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 Completion, 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 Completion, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

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.

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.

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

A.

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 registered as protected. Dunstable itself is named as a conservation area. Your solicitor will be able to provide more details.

Q.

How long on average should I expect it to take my designated conveyancing solicitor to conduct the conveyancing work on the top floor of property we hope to buy?

A.

It can take anywhere between 1 month and twelve weeks contingent on any number of factors, for example the efficiency of the vendor's conveyancing solicitor, or re-negotiations following a survey.

Q.

Which local authority is responsible for Dunstable?

A.

Dunstable is located in Central Bedfordshire Council, Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Bedfordshire, SG17 5TQ, Tel: 0300 300 8000

Q.

Would you advise that I get a chancel search? I am buying a flat in Dunstable.

A.

Chancel liability repair costs can run into £100,000s, which owners of affected property will be compelled to pay on demand to the Dunstable Church council. Some names or words such as 'priory' give an indication of a property's history, and thus whether chancel liability may apply. Ecclesiastical properties in this area include Priory Church of St Peter, St Augustine of Canterbury, St Fremund the Martyr and St Katherine of Genoa (LEP).

Q.

Unexpected circumstances dictate that we really need to complete on the legal work on our co-owned freehold flat in a very limited time, do you any auction specialist fast home moving solicitors in Dunstable ?

A.

Our lawyers always take an extremely speed focused approach to concluding the conveyancing to suit a clients time frame. We always work with conveyancing solicitors that always communicate to the whole home buyer and seller chain . Moreover our conveyancing solicitors are actually chosen because they always employ expensive fast response technology to push through your house move in minimum time.