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Conveyancing in Hemel Hempstead Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 17/01/18

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

By road: Hemel Hempstead is served by the M1, M25 and A41. By rail: The nearest train station is Hemel Hempstead. By air: London Luton Airport is 11 miles from Hemel Hempstead, while Elstree Aerodrome is 13, London Heathrow Airport and Northolt Jet Centre are 24 miles, Wycombe Air Park and London Heliport are 32 miles, London City Airport is 39, and Turweston Airfield is 41 miles.

Hospital: Hemel Hempstead, Hillfield Road, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4AD. Council: Dacorum Borough Council (www.dacorum.gov.uk).

Attractions: Museum of Technology, Gadebridge Park Roman Villa, St. Alban’s Cathedral, Shrubhill Common, Chenies Manor House.

Q.

We have had a conveyancing quote from you for a cottage in Boxmoor. Could there be any additional fees that we are unaware of?

No. Homeward Legal never hide any extra costs for conveyancing. Be aware that some firms only provide estimates disguised as quotes. The final bill you receive may be much more than you thought you were going to pay. Homeward Legal’s quotes provide clear statements of your legal fees and disbursements 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.

Are the many areas of conservation in Hemel Hempstead likely to affect us?

These areas pinpoint areas recorded as being of historic or architectural significance. Your conveyancing solicitor will be able to provide more details, with regard to the relevant conservation area restrictions in Hemel Hempstead, and whether a potential purchase falls within one of them.

Q.

I am on a deadline and would like to get fast conveyancing for a purchase in Hemel Hempstead, so what can we do to speed up our conveyancing process?

Absolutely crucial to a fast conveyancing transaction is to instruct an experienced and communicative property lawyer early. Our solicitors at Homeward Legal are trained to communicate along the entire property chain, thereby removing any issues in a proactive way. We have also invested in state-of-the-art case management systems fully integrated with HMRC, the Land Registry, and various other bodies involved in the conveyancing tasks. Call our team of experts on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote backed up with our ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee.

In addition to this, there are several tasks you can also do, such as:

  • quickly answering your property lawyer's questions (by email if possible)
  • regularly requesting status updates from the property lawyer
  • ordering a property survey early in the transaction
  • organising any finance you need early in the process
Q.

Is a building survey sensible when purchasing a house or flat in Hemel Hempstead, regardless of its age?

Homeward Legal highly recommends that all buyers in Hemel Hempstead arrange a building survey, whether you are purchasing a new-build or an older property. Several structural concerns (e.g. roof damage, broken chimney linings, insect infestation, etc.) can negatively affect a property, and issues such as these are not within the remit of the conveyancing itself.

Q.

Is a drainage search a fee or disbursement?

It is not always obvious whether a charge is a disbursement or fee, particularly with the different jargon and technical language used by solicitors. A drainage search charge is a disbursement and not a fee, and is passed on to the buyer at cost. Homeward Legal’s quotes are not estimates, and make the distinction between solicitors’ fees and disbursements very clear, so you will be able to manage the legal expenditure during your move. Use our online quote calculator, or call us on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote reinforced with our ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

How would a property lawyer advise us on the risk of floods in the Hemel Hempstead area on a buy-to-let building we are hoping to buy?

A qualified property conveyancer applies for formal property conveyancing searches that incorporate Hemel Hempstead flood risk area information. If, however, the level of risk is considered significant, a more in-depth, inexpensive (around £20) flood search can be requested.

Q.

What will be the SDLT be for a £408,000 residence I am purchasing in Hemel Hempstead?

The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate due will depend on what 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 a charge of £10,400 on a property bought for £408,000. 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.

I’m going to need a mortgage for my mid-terrace house in Hemel Hempstead and I know you work with lenders and brokers in the area, so which ones are they?

The Homeward Legal partnership has solicitors with great experience of working with all the major lenders approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. A number of mortgage specialists operate in Hemel Hempstead, including:

  • Independent Mortgage Associates, Ltd., 20-22 High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AE
  • One-Stop Finance, Charleston House, 13 High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AA
  • Charleston Financial Services, Charleston House, 13 High Street, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3AA
Q.

What can a Hemel Hempstead property lawyer do if the home we are planning to buy is situated in a local authority conservation area and has unfitting cladding installed?

A.

Your property lawyer will carry out searches verify whether the property is inside a designated conservation area, and if so, whether any alterations have essential permissions from the local authority.

Q.

As a result of the fact that 4 of the top 5 wettest years recorded were in last 10-12 years we are worried that flood risk searches won't be thorough enough?

A.

Environmental searches carried out by your conveyancer in Hemel Hempstead will include the far more in depth search (Landmark) if the risk is deemed significant.

If you are still worried you could attempt to visit a neighbour or local Hertfordshire flood repair expert, e.g. T Woodman Builders, 8 Edenhall Close, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4ND Tel: 01442 260617.

Q.

Would you recommend taking precautions to bypass paying out for stamp duty?

A.

Stamp duty is generally due for home purchases sold for more than one hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds. We do not recommend any stamp duty avoidance. These schemes are highly expensive and , if a scheme is challenged, you can be fined up to 100% of the amount owed, in additional to the tax itself.

Q.

We have had a conveyancing quote from you. Could there be any additional fees?

A.

Homeward Legal never hide any extra, hidden costs for conveyancing in Hemel Hempstead. Be aware that some firms only provide estimates disguised as quotes. The final bill you receive may be much more.

Q.

What is the council tax on a Sixties semi-detached Band E dwelling in Hemel Hempstead?

A.

You should be include your new property's council tax band as part of the report on title.

The latest tax charges for residents of Hemel Hempstead are published online at the Dacorum local authority website. At the time of authoring (13 November 2012) rates are:

  • Band A - £964.00
  • Band B - £1,125.00
  • Band C - £1,286.00
  • Band D - £1,447.00
  • Band E - £1,768.00
  • Band F - £2,089.00
  • Band G - £2,411.00
  • Band H - £2,893.00

Q.

Is it advisable to get a chancel search if we are purchasing by a church in Hemel Hempstead?

A.

Repair costs resulting from chancel liability can total hundreds of thousands of pounds. Parochial Church Councils in Hemel Hempstead must register their interest over property by October 2013, simplifying the chancel search process. Your conveyancing lawyer will suggest an appropriate indemnity policy to address chancel liability. Hemel Hempstead churches where chancel liability may apply include St Mary and St Paul's Church, Highfield, The Parish of St. Mary and St. Paul.

Q.

Are the many areas of conservation in Hemel Hempstead likely to affect us?

A.

These areas pinpoint areas recorded as being of historic or architectural significance. Your conveyancing solicitor will be able to provide more details, in regard to relevant conservation area restrictions in Hemel Hempstead.