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Conveyancing in Hastings 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 Hastings -

By road: Hastings is served by the A21, A28 and A259. By rail: The nearest train station is Hastings. By air: There are four airports within reasonable reach of Hastings: Rochester Airport (38 miles), Brighton City Airport (44), London Biggin Hill Airport (51), and London Gatwick Airport (53).

Hospital: Conquest, The Ridge, Hastings, St. Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 7RD. Council: Hastings Borough (www.hastings.gov.uk).

Attractions: Hastings Castle, De La Warr Pavilion, East Hill Cliff Railway, St. Clements Caves, The Stade, and Hastings Fishermen’s Museum.

Q.

How soon should we instruct a conveyancer in Hastings?

The general rule of thumb is: the sooner you instruct a firm, the better. Some firms would advocate postponing instruction until an offer has been firmly agreed, but you will then be at a serious disadvantage in the event of a contract race, or at the mercy of a buyer eager to move quickly. At Homeward Legal, we have a fixed fee that is backed up with our ‘No Move, No Fee’ guarantee, which means that you don’t have to worry about appointing a solicitor early. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

Why can the legal work for a Hastings property sale take such a long time?

The legal work required to buy or sell a house or flat could be delayed even in the best of circumstances. Sometimes, these delays are beyond the solicitors' influence. At Homeward Legal, we seek to curtail the impact of any delay if it can be achieved, by proactively managing the communication along the entire property chain, using solicitors incentivised to complete early without compromising the quality of our service.

Q.

Our estate agent has referred us to a solicitors’ firm they frequently work with. Will it be more cost-effective to instruct this solicitor or look around?

If you instruct a firm referred in this way, you may have the advantage of the agent being able to move the conveyancing process along. However, you should carefully consider what these referrals mean to you, because the agent may recommend whichever firm pays the most per referral, and not necessarily the best value for you. You should weigh up their offer against those available from other firms online or in the high street. Give Homeward Legal’s conveyancing experts a call on 0800 038 6699 for more advice and to receive your free, fixed-fee quote.

Q.

What will be the Stamp Duty for a £625,000 residence I am purchasing in Hastings?

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate depends on a number of factors but principally on the price you bought your property for, if it was over £125,000. In the example cited, the duty owed would be £21,250 on a property bought for £625,000. Note that the government’s budget policies may change the stamp duty rate or the trigger value. You could use a duty calculator like the one at www.stampdutycalculator.org.uk.

Q.

What particular property searches should my conveyancing lawyer order for a Hastings building I am looking to buy?

For Hastings, the standard procedure will be for your solicitor to obtain a Local Authority (council) Search, a Drainage and Water Search (CON29DW), an Environmental Search, and a Gypsum Search. There may be other searches that are ordered (like Planning or local information), which are requested from other sources, such as your mortgage-lender. These are all disbursements and will be passed on to you at cost.

Q.

In about five weeks, we are expecting to move from our terraced house in Hastings to our next flat in Hartfield, so at what stage should we select a removal firm?

Homeward Legal would usually advise home-sellers to wait until the point of contract exchange, since an agreed move-date will not usually have been agreed. In addition, if you line up a removals firm before this and the date shifts, the firm may impose a rearrangement fee. For local East Sussex removals companies, you could try:

  • Chapmans Removals, Brook Way Business Park, Block 3 Brook Way, Ivyhouse Lane, Hastings, TN35 4NN (Tel: 01424 433563)
  • Easyway Removals, 93 Elphinstone Road, Hastings, TN34 2BP (Tel: 01424 436127)
Q.

Which of the Hastings mortgage-lender panels is Homeward Legal on?

Most lenders and brokers in Hastings, approved by the council of Mortgage Lenders, are on our panels. Lenders and mortgage specialists in Hastings include:

  • Andrews Financial Services, 59 Robertson Passage, Hastings, TN34 1HY
  • Resident Broker Ltd., 45 Robertson Street, Hastings, TN34 1HL
  • Options Independent Mortgage Centre, 177 Queens Road, Hastings, TN34 1RN
Q.

Could our legal bill for our purchase in Battle reveal any hidden costs later on?

Not with Homeward Legal, where it’s a case of ‘what you see is what you get’ with our quotes. It is unfortunate that some high-street and online firms provide little more than estimates, with several costs hidden in the small print. This can mean that you end up paying much more when you complete than you had budgeted for. Homeward Legal’s quotes are clearly laid out and make the distinction clear between solicitors’ fees and other costs (called disbursements), so you will know how much your final bill will be. To discuss your needs and to obtain your fixed-fee, ‘No Move, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

Is there a risk that we will be gazumped?

A.

This takes place when an offer is rejected, following initial acceptance, by the home owner, in favour of another buyer's offer. Though being gazumped is uncommon when property prices are falling, there is still a chance. The first step in reducing the chance that gazumping will effect you is to instruct a conveyancing solicitor early.

Q.

What particular property searches conveyancing searches should my Hastings lawyer order for a Hastings building?

A.

The standard procedure will be to obtain Local Authority (council), Drainage and Water Search (CON29DW), Environmental and Gypsum, and possibly particular searches, like Planning and local information.

Q.

Does your firm look after the conveyancing for property auction properties in Hastings?

A.

Our company is able to work with bidders at auction. Our panel of lawyers have previously been instructed by many bidders at local auctions including Acuitus, Allsop (Commercial), Allsop (Residential), Auction House London, Award Property, Barnett Ross, Baxtons, Brendons Auctioneers, Countrywide Property Auctions and Drivers Norris.

Adept bidders tend to formally instruct a property lawyer as rapidly as they can to allow for a full review of the legal papers in advance of the auction day.

Immediately following the property auction date your instructed lawyer is fully ready for completing the purchase inside the limited time frame as typically required .

Q.

Will I need a chancel search? We are purchasing in Hastings.

A.

Owners of property in a neighbourhood near church property in the locality may be required to subsidise repairs. This is referred to as chancel repair liability. As a result of the Land Registration Act 2002, interest over any affected land must be registered by October 2013. Church lands in the local area include Emmanuel Church, Emmanuel Church, Christ Church & St Andrew and Emmanuel Church.

Q.

How is Hastings contaminated land checked when purchasing a house?

A.

Numerous of contaminants could lessen the value of land, such as civil aviation activity in the area and proximity to landfill sites. An environmental search can provide much more clarity.

Q.

What can I do to bypass paying stamp duty?

A.

Stamp duty is usually payable for purchases sold for more than £125,000. Stamp duty scheme must be treated with caution. These schemes are highly expensive and HMRC may challenge a scheme up to six years later.

Q.

Which of the Hastings mortgage lender panels are you on?

A.

Most lenders in Hastings are on our panels. Lenders and mortgage specialists in Hastings include Andrews Financial Services, 59 Robertson St, Hastings, TN34 1HY, Resident Broker Ltd, 17 & 45 Robertson St, Hastings, TN34 1HL, and Options Independent Mortgage Centre, 177 Queens Rd, Hastings, TN34 1RN.