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Conveyancing in Harrow Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 14/10/17

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

By road: Harrow is served by the M25, A404, A409 and A410.

By rail: The nearest train station is Harrow and Wealdstone.

By air: The nearest airports to Harrow are Northolt Jet Centre (5 miles), Elstree Airfield (6 miles), London Heathrow Airport (11 miles), London Heliport (15 miles), London Luton Airport (23 miles) and London City Airport (29 miles).

Hospital: Northwick Park, Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3UJ. Council: Harrow London Borough Council (www.harrow.gov.uk).

Attractions: Headstone Manor and Museum, Wembley Stadium, Eastcote House Gardens, Harrow School, Royal Air Force Museum, and Pinner Memorial Park.

Q.

What do you charge for the legal fees on the purchase of a £721,000 house? We are looking for discount conveyancing.

There is a problem with a number of firms’ claims that they offer 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes', because there are often other costs hidden in the terms of engagement. This is an estimate rather than a quote and they therefore cannot be held to it. All pertinent fees and disbursements should be clearly laid out in any conveyancing quote.

At Homeward Legal, we never hide any costs, and our quotes provide a clear statement of all your legal fees for a standard conveyancing transaction. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs.

Q.

Do I need to instruct a conveyancing solicitor offered by my agent for the conveyancing on a semi-detached house in Hatch End?

Agent recommendations are a commonplace way to find a solicitor and it might well seem that you are somehow tied into appointing the referred lawyer. However, if the agents are paid a referral fee, there is a risk that an agent may choose the firm which plays to the largest referral fee, and not the law firm with the best reputation. You should look around at alternatives before choosing someone to represent you.

Q.

Do ‘fixtures and fittings’ include things like curtain rails?

In general, as the name suggests, fixtures are fixed items (such as light switches or floors, walls and ceilings) and fittings are free-standing (such as furniture, lampshades, or curtains). Completion or agreement of a fixtures-and-fittings form is unfortunately often left to the last minute, at which point a dispute may jeopardise the entire transaction. The fixtures-and-fittings form is critical to the success of your move and you should complete yours as early as possible.

Q.

Are there any lenders with Harrow branches?

Of the lenders and brokers with branches and offices around Harrow, Homeward Legal work in conjunction with the majority. Lenders and mortgage specialists in Harrow, approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, include:

  • Practical Mortgage Solutions, 310 Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2DX
  • Paul Ripley Financial Consultants, 87 Paines Lane, Pinner, HA5 3BZ
  • NatWest Bank PLC, 80-82 High Street, Harrow, HA1 3LW
Q.

I need to exchange on the legal work on my leasehold apartment in Harrow inside a month. Are you really fast conveyancers?

Our property lawyers take a speed-focused approach when concluding the conveyancing process to suit a client’s timeframe. Homeward Legal’s carefully-selected solicitors attempt to communicate efficiently from the beginning to the end of the chain. In addition, we have invested in conveyancing technology integrated with organisations such as HMRC, and the Land Registry, to complete on your sale fast.

Contact us on 0800 038 6699 for your fixed-fee quote backed up with our ‘No Move, No fee’ guarantee.

Q.

How much would the charges for conveyancing searches on my Harrow property come to?

As with all areas in the country, Harrow searches will range in cost, depending on what is asked for and the depth they go to. Unlike some firms, Homeward Legal’s quotes clearly state the conveyancing searches as disbursements (a third-party charge passed on to the buyer at cost).

Q.

Moving house is an expensive business, and we have a severely limited budget for our terraced house purchase in Harrow. I’ve heard about schemes to avoid paying stamp duty, but is it worth pursuing?

Any stamp duty reduction scheme is not recommended for purchases in Harrow, because these schemes are expensive and uneconomic. Besides, HMRC can review a scheme up to 6 years after a sale is completed, which means that you may have to pay a penalty of up to 100% of the duty plus the original duty.

There have been certain government initiatives, however, such as higher thresholds for first-time buyers. Your solicitor should advise you of any applicable authorised schemes and whether you can take advantage of them.

Q.

What is the council tax on a Fifties end-of-terrace house in Harrow?

The title report, prepared by your conveyancer, should supply the appropriate council tax band and its associated charge. The latest tax charges for Harrow are set out in detail at the Harrow local authority site (see the public service information at the start of these FAQs). For the 2016/2017 tax year, the council tax bands and charges for the London Borough of Harrow were:

  • Band A - £1,039.74
  • Band B - £1,213.03
  • Band C - £1,386.32
  • Band D - £1,559.61
  • Band E - £1,906.19
  • Band F - £2,252.77
  • Band G - £2,599.35
  • Band H - £3,119.22

Retrieved on 17 February 2017

Q.

Please address how to bypass paying for SDLT?

A.

Stamp duty reduction scheme is not recommended for purchases in Harrow. These schemes are expensive and the HMRC can review a scheme up to 6 years after a sale is completed . There have been certain government initiatives, however, such as higher thresholds for first-time buyers.

Q.

Is a house survey sensible if we are purchasing a property in Harrow?

A.

It is advised that all purchasers instruct a home surveyor. Buyers should be aware that there are many concerns that will impact a property, which include failed double glazing and rotten roof timbers, and these will not be addressed by your conveyancing solicitor.

Q.

Will the Harrow solicitor carry out official or personal searches on my property purchase?

A.

The conveyancing solicitor will inform you regarding the most appropriate type of search, depending on issues like lender requirements. If personal searches are used the property lawyer will consider a local search agent such as Apex Property Searches, 204 Devonshire House, 582 Honeypot Lane, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 1JS Tel: 020 7112 8210 Fax: 020 7112 8210

Q.

I am buying a house in the parish of Harmondsworth. Do we need a chancel search?

A.

The property lawyer might recommend a chancel search. Chancel repair dues can be collected on owners of a property where parish councils have not imposed the same liability on the last owners.

Q.

Do fixtures and fittings include things like curtain rails?

A.

In general, fixtures are fixed items, such as light switches to floors, walls and ceilings and fixtures are free-standing. Completion or agreement of a fixtures and fittings form is unfortunately often left to the last minute, when a dispute may jeopordise the transaction, and this makes a fixtures and fittings form so necessary.

Q.

What are the reasons why Harrow property legal work for a sale goes on for so long?

A.

Conveyancing could potentially be delayed. We seek to diminish their cost where feasible to do so by using fast search providers. Delays may include slow third parties such as landlords or managing agents.

Q.

How much would the charges for conveyancing searches come to?

A.

Harrow searches ranges in cost. Conveyancing searches are will be charged at cost.