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Conveyancing in Lichfield Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 17/10/17

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

By road: Lichfield is served by the A31, A38 and A515. By rail: The nearest train stations are Lichfield City, and Lichfield Trent Valley. By air: Lichfield is closest to Birmingham Airport (20 miles), East Midlands Airport (33 miles), and Coventry Airport (35 miles).

Hospital: Samuel Johnson Community, Trent Valley Road, Lichfield, WS13 6EF. Council: Lichfield District (www.lichfield.gov.uk).

Attractions: Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Beacon Park, Lichfield Canal, National Memorial Arboretum, Castle Ring, and Lichfield Cathedral.

Q.

We are buying a house in Lichfield, and have a very reasonable conveyancing quote from you, but will there be any extra fees?

No. We never charge any additional fees. Some other firms put extra fees in the small print of their terms of engagement, which means that, unless you study it carefully, your final bill will probably be far higher than you were expecting. At Homeward Legal, our quotes lay out everything clearly so you are always in charge of your legal costs. For the best and clearest quote, why not try our quote calculator? Or, if you want to talk to someone, you could call our expert team on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

Is it a good idea to hold off paying for stamp duty?

Stamp duty avoidance must be treated with great caution, as such schemes are often uneconomical and HMRC may challenge a scheme up to six years later. If they do, the total stamp duty tax may be payable, along with interest and penalties, which could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Q.

Do we need a chancel search if we are purchasing in the parish of Cauldon, near Lichfield?

A conveyancing lawyer could advise that a chancel search is taken out, irrespective of the parish in which the house is being purchased. Although some parish councils have taken the decision to impose chancel repairs on owners of land, a solicitor cannot state with certainty that, where repair costs have not been paid before, this will not be so in future. Therefore, indemnity insurance may be advisable, even if liability is unlikely.

Q.

We are buying a property where the seller has unfortunately installed cladding on the property, which we think may break Guisborough conservation area guidelines. What do we need to do?

Your solicitor will make local authority enquiries as part of the standard search bundle. This will confirm if the property is inside a conservation area and whether there is proof of council approval for additions to the property. If no evidence is found, your solicitor can then advise you on the next steps, which might include taking out indemnity insurance (to protect you from the costs of restoring the house to its original state), or seeking retrospective planning approval.

Q.

We have found plenty of documents and books on the subject of do-it-yourself conveyancing. That being the case, do I have to use a conveyancing solicitor for my purchase in Lichfield?

There is absolutely no legal argument why a buyer or seller can’t decide to embark on the greater majority of the legal work without the help of a specialist property lawyer. However, a property solicitor typically handles a significant number of complex activities (such as stock transfer forms, and applying for searches), many of which need experience. More importantly, DIY-conveyancers are not covered by the appropriate professional indemnity insurance that all practices and their solicitors are obligated to carry. Why not talk to one of our experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs and to receive your free, fixed-fee quote?

Q.

What level of scrutiny will my solicitor go to on an Edwardian property I am intending to purchase in Lichfield regarding the risk and history of flooding in the Staffordshire area?

A conveyancer will conduct official environmental searches that will include historical flood-risk data for Lichfield and the surrounding area. A more specialist flood-risk search (for instance, the Landmark search) could be advocated by your property lawyer in the event that the initial conveyancing searches highlight a significant flood-risk.

Q.

We are going to purchase with Yorkshire Building Society, but what do we need to check?

Some lenders have limited the solicitors’ firms who can act for them. For property-buyers, this can result in significantly increased legal costs when they apply for a mortgage. Homeward Legal can act for most lenders to ensure that you will not need to pay any additional legal fees to your lender's solicitor.

Q.

How long will it take our property solicitor to conduct the legal work for the lower floor of a building in Lichfield?

The process can take anywhere from three weeks to three months. The duration is dependent on a number of things, like the efficiency of the seller's property solicitor, or any unforeseen issues arising at a property. Homeward Legal's conveyancers are extremely focused on speed and communication, with a view to completing in as short a time as is practical, with a target of under six weeks. To discuss your needs and to obtain your free, fixed-fee, ‘No Move, No Fee’-guaranteed quote, contact our team on 0800 038 6699.

Q.

We are going to purchase with Yorkshire Building Society, what do we need to check?

A.

Some lenders have limited the firms who can act for them. For property buyers, this can result in significantly increased legal costs. We can act for most lenders to ensure that you will not need to pay any additional legal fees to your lender's solicitor.

Q.

Property lawyers in Lichfield order a variety of searches when instructed to act for a home buyer, but which specific searches?

A.

If purchasing and applying for a mortgage, your lender expects a solicitor to get at least - Local Authority Search, Drainage Search and Environment Search,, and possibly area-specific searches, which may include a HS2 Search.

Q.

Which local authority is responsible for Lichfield?

A.

Lichfield is located in Lichfield District Council, District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6YY, Tel: 01543 308 000

Q.

Do we need a chancel search if we are purchasing in the parish of Cauldon, near Lichfield?

A.

A conveyancing lawyer could advise that a chancel search is taken out, irrespective of the parish in which the house being purchased is found. Although some parish councils have taken the decision to impose chancel repairs on owners of land subject to chancel liability, a solicitor cannot state with certainty that a parish where repair costs have not been paid before, that this will not be so in future, so indemnity insurance may be advisable even if liability is unlikely.

Q.

In about five weeks we are looking to be moving from our terraced property on the outskirts of Lichfield to a newer flat in Leek . What is the best point to appoint a home removal firm?

A.

Homeward Legals advice is to avoid booking a removal company until such time as you have formally agreed a formal moving date that occurs after exchange of contracts. Speak to Move Corp, Norton House/Lynn La, Shenstone, Lichfield, WS14 0EA Tel: 01543 483600 or Lichfield Self Storage, Upper St. John St, Lichfield, WS14 9DT Call: 07966 575264.

Q.

If Lichfield land is contaminated, can the soil be remedied?

A.

In Lichfield, remediation can often be possible. Speak to Grassland Turf Growers, 19 Birmingham Rd, Shenstone Wood End, Lichfield, WS14 0LQ for more detail.

Q.

What is the council tax on a semi-detached Band A house in Lichfield?

A.

You will be give detail the houses band with the title report. Council tax rates for Lichfield are tabled at the Lichfield local authority website. On (16 March 2013) rates are:

  • Band A - £972.00
  • Band B - £1,134.00
  • Band C - £1,296.00
  • Band D - £1,459.00
  • Band E - £1,783.00
  • Band F - £2,107.00
  • Band G - £2,431.00
  • Band H - £2,917.00