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Conveyancing in Hastings Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 13/04/18

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.


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 Completion, 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


    The property seller has installed unsympathetic roof aerials on the maisonette in Hastings which might possibly infringe on local conservation area criteria


    Your instructed property lawyer will carry out searches to check if the property is affected by a designated conservation area, and if so, whether any modifications have requisite consents from the Hastings council.


    Will the Hastings conveyancer investigate the risk of floods at Hastings for an Edwardian maisonette we are buying?


    A solicitor conducts standard property conveyancing searches, which include Hastings flood risk information. Furthermore a Hastings lawyer may recommend a significantly more local Hastings search.


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


    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 .


    Is a chancel repair liability search a fee or disbursement?


    Comparing quotes can be difficult, considering wide variations in formatting and terminology. This charge is a disbursement not a fee, meaning the solicitor passes on the charge at cost.


    We are buying on a ex-industrial use land. Is antimony top-soil contamination likely?


    Extensive measures are taken on a national level to remediate top-soil contamination. The local authority for Hastings will be able to provide more detail on cases of contamination.


    Is there a risk that we will be gazumped?


    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.


    When buying a renovated flat in a designated Hastings conservation area. Where does one find more data concerning the present state of upkeep of the area?


    Local conservation areas are nominated by the local authority (Hastings) who preserve conservation area concerns from what can be demolished to the halting of poorly maintained pavements. English Heritage, a government body, have put together details of the state of repair of conservation areas along with the vulnerability of the area.