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Conveyancing in Southend On Sea Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 19/04/18

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

By road: Southend-on-Sea is served by the A13 and A127. By rail: The nearest train station is Southend Central. By air: From Southend-on-Sea, Southend Airport is 3 miles, London City Airport is 37 miles, London Stansted Airport is 40 miles, London Heliport is 46 miles, and London Biggin Hill Airport, 48 miles.

Hospital: Southend University, Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0RY.

Council: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (www.southend.gov.uk).

Attractions: Chalkwell Park and Beach, Southend Pier, Adventure Island, Prittlewell Priory, Southend Central Museum, and Two Tree Island.

Q.

Might the charges for our conveyancing take into account any hidden fees?

At Homeward Legal, we never hide any costs to transfer a property, and our 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.

As a consequence of the fact that four of the top five wettest years recorded were in last 15 years, will the flood-risk searches for Southend-on-Sea are sufficient?

Your assigned lawyer will request a standard set of searches for the Southend-on-Sea property you are buying. The environmental search will include an element of the level of flood risk for the building and its environs. If the risk is deemed significant, a far more rigorous Landmark flood search will be organised. If you are still apprehensive, you could try speaking to a future neighbour. Or perhaps look up a local building expert for a discussion.

Q.

Can you tell me how I can avoid paying stamp duty in on a property I am buying in Shoeburyness?

Homeward Legal firmly advises against any stamp duty mitigation scheme, because these are very risky, expensive. If the scheme fails, you may be charged a penalty of up to 100% of the stamp duty amount owed in addition to the remaining duty, which might run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Q.

How much is the council tax on a Forties, detached house in Southend-on-Sea?

For Southend-on-Sea, council tax is managed by the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, and up-to-date rates for each band may be found on their website (see the public services information section at the head of these FAQs for a link). Your conveyancer will establish the precise band and tax rate for your property and highlight the information in the title report. For the tax year 2016/2017, Southend-on-Sea’s council tax rates were:

  • Band A - £950.40
  • Band B - £1,108.80
  • Band C - £1,267.20
  • Band D - £1,425.60
  • Band E - £1,742.40
  • Band F - £2,059.20
  • Band G - £2,376.00
  • Band H - £2,851.20

Retrieved on 27 February

Q.

How much will the total charge for our conveyancing searches be on a flat in Southend-on-Sea?

The cost of conveyancing searches substantially varies, depending on what is ordered and the depth of the required search. Searches are disbursements, which are paid out to a third party, charged to you at cost. They will not be included in a quote for solicitor's fees, but instead in the additional costs that might need to be paid. 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.

We are on a deadline and would like to organise a fast purchase of a flat in Leigh-on-Sea, so what should we organise to speed up the process?

There are numerous actions you as the purchaser can do, including

  • clarifying your mortgage lender's requirements
  • replying to your conveyancing solicitor by phone, fax or email
  • calling or emailing your conveyancing solicitor, chasing them if you suspect any delays

But, above all, instructing a proactive and experienced conveyancing solicitor is crucial to fast conveyancing.

Q.

Is the cost for postage, photocopying and phone-calls a fee or a disbursement?

Comparing quotes is not always easy, considering the differences in terminology and legal jargon used by solicitors. This administration cost is a fee, not a disbursement. It should be included as part of the quote for your conveyancing and not be charged separately.

Q.

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

The Homeward Legal partnership has solicitors who have a wealth of experience working with all the major lenders approved by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. A number of mortgage specialists operate in Southend-on-Sea, including:

  • Affinity Mortgages Ltd., 15 Nelson Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1EF
  • Finance Plus, 152 Westborough Road, Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9JF
  • L & P Mortgage & Financial Services Ltd., Viscount House, Southend Airport, Southend-On-Sea, SS2 6YF

The lawyer whom you have instructed can advise further.

Q.

How much time will conveyancing to buy property require, in your experience?

A.

Generally speaking, the time taken to transfer property varies. This wide range results from several issues which may affect the property, such as where a party does not quickly respond an enquiry. With Homeward Legal, each client receives fast and efficient service.

Q.

Might the charges for our conveyancing take into account any hidden fees?

A.

Homeward Legal's solicitors do not charge any hidden fees to transfer a property.

Q.

We are buying on a Southend On Sea brownfield site. Is the topsoil potentially contaminated?

A.

Southend On Sea's local area has a history of contamination from industrial or agricultural, like much of the UK. Also considering issues such as water contaminants such as petrol and trichloroethylene, contaminants affecting Southend On Sea property will be factored into an environmental search.

Q.

Should we get a chancel search if we are purchasing in the parish of Coggeshall, near Southend On Sea?

A.

Your solicitor instructed to handle the transaction might recommend that a chancel search is ordered. Although some Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) have determined to charge chancel repairs on the current owners of affected property, there is no way to be certain that a parish which has not been subject to chancel liability in the past will continue to be free from liability, so the solicitor will be unable to make any guarantees, and will recommend insurance.

Q.

Do I need a home buyers survey?

A.

We firmly suggest that property purchasers order a survey. There can be a range of defects that will impact a property, that will not be addressed during the conveyancing process. These include ground movement and settlement.

Q.

At what point do you need to arrange a solicitor in Southend On Sea?

A.

If you choose a solicitor with 'no move, no fee' protection, the sooner the better, as the legal work can start immediately. Promptly instructing a conveyancing firm can reduce the likelihood of the other side pulling out.

Q.

Do we need a chancel search? We are buying a flat in Southend On Sea.

A.

Potentially amounting to over £100,000 in repair cost obligations, chancel liability should be considered by buyers of Southend On Sea property likely to be affected. A chancel search will confirm whether liability for Southend On Sea properties is likely to exist. Your conveyancing solicitor will suggest an appropriate indemnity policy to address chancel liability.