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Conveyancing in Watford Q & A's

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Ask Lorraine a question lorraine@homewardlegal.co.uk

Updated: 18/04/18

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

By road: Watford is served by the M1, M25 and A412. By rail: The nearest train stations are Watford High Street and Watford Junction. By air: In miles from Watford, Elstree Aerodrome is 6, Northolt Jet Centre (10), London Luton Airport (18), London Heathrow Airport (20), London Heliport (26), Wycombe Air Park (26), and London Stansted Airport (47).

Hospital: Watford General, Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0HB. Council: Watford Borough Council (www.watford.gov.uk).

Attractions: Cassiobury Park, The Forties Experience, Bhaktivedanta Manor, Oxhey Woods, Watford Colosseum, and Watford Palace Theatre.

Q.

We are trying to find low-cost conveyancing in Watford. What will the overall charge be on the sale of a £439,000 property?

There are many attractive-looking offers available from high-street and online firms claiming to provide 'the cheapest conveyancing quotes'. However, an assessment of the small print in the terms of engagement may reveal additional costs. Such extra charges need to be fair and clearly stated. At Homeward Legal, we never hide any costs, and our quotes provide a clear distinction in the statement of your legal fees and disbursements. Try our quote calculator, or call our team of conveyancing experts on 0800 038 6699 to discuss your needs.

Q.

We are on a very short deadline, and need to ensure fast conveyancing on a property we are buying in Watford. How can we speed things up?

The key action you can take is to appoint a proactive and communicative conveyancing solicitor, such as those on the panel at Homeward Legal. Our solicitors are trained to talk to everyone along the chain and to push for answers to questions and requests for information. This is backed up by our investment in cutting-edge case management systems, ensuring that your conveyancing is done in as short a time as possible, without compromising on quality.

There are other actions you could take to assist in the smooth transaction, such as:

  • asking for property searches to be ordered immediately
  • promptly answering your conveyancing solicitor's questions
  • organising your finances
  • filling in all your forms as soon as they arrive
Q.

Is Homeward Legal able to act quickly on the conveyancing for auction properties in Watford?

Homeward Legal’s expert auction conveyancing team have frequently been appointed by buyers and vendors at local and national auctions. Shrewd auction-goers will know that, to guarantee as speedy a conclusion to the conveyancing as possible, they should appoint a solicitor well in advance of the auction day, so that all legal processes can be started. As it is a statutory requirement for completion to occur within a four-week timeframe, your solicitor will be sufficiently briefed to ensure this can happen Contact Homeward Legal on 0800 038 6699 to talk through your needs and to obtain a fixed-fee, ‘No Completion, No Fee’-guaranteed quote.

Q.

We want to buy a maisonette in Watford for £235,000, but what will be the council tax due on it?

Council tax is set by the local authority (in this case, Watford Borough Council). Your conveyancing solicitor will contact the council to establish the band into which your property falls, and therefore the amount of tax due. This information will be presented in the title report prepared by the solicitor. Current tax bands and rates can be found on the council website (refer to the public information section at the top of these FAQs). For the 2016/2017 tax year, the bands and rates were:

  • Band A - £1,055.64
  • Band B - £1,231.58
  • Band C - £1,407.53
  • Band D - £1,583.46
  • Band E - £1,935.34
  • Band F - £2,287.21
  • Band G - £2,639.10
  • Band H - £3,166.92

Retrieved on 23 February 2017

Q.

Ideally, we want to complete on the selling of our auctioned share of freehold flat within 6 weeks. Are you fast solicitors in Watford?

Shockingly, a high proportion of property law firms are slow in reacting to the conveyancing tasks, which brings a lot of annoyance and stress to the buying or selling process. The approach to conveyancing

by Homeward Legal’s expert panel of solicitors is different from other firms, because we have invested in leading edge technology and productivity systems. We also assign clients a qualified solicitor who will always exert pressure with the complete property chain. Call our skilled conveyancing team on 0800 038 6699 to arrange a fixed-fee quote, backed up by our ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

We are buying on a new-development, brownfield site in Watford. It seems that chromium soil contamination may be an issue. Is this right?

Extensive measures are taken in the areas in and around Watford to resolve topsoil contamination, which may have been caused by historical agricultural or industrial use, or the proximity of a waste management site, for example. The local authority for Watford will be able to give more detail on cases of contamination. Your solicitor will provide any information arising from the conveyancing searches.

Q.

Our mortgage lender will probably be Barclays Bank for the purchase of a flat in Watford, but what will I need to consider before I commit?

Some lenders have limited the number of solicitors who can act for them. In such a case, should they require additional legal representation while sorting out your mortgage, those costs may be passed on to you, inflating your final house-move bill unexpectedly. Homeward Legal can act for all large mortgage lenders so that you will not be required to pay legal costs to your lender's solicitor. Contact us on 0800 038 6699 for a fixed-fee quote reinforced with our ‘No Completion, No Fee’ guarantee.

Q.

How long will it take our assigned conveyancer to finish the legal process for a terraced home in Watford that we intend to buy?

Conveyancing can be notoriously slow, with the time needed to complete everything being anything between one and three months. Unfortunately, the duration of buying or selling residences can vary a great deal, and is predicated on several issues which may affect the smoothness of the transaction (e.g. if a third party is slow to respond, or someone in the chain is waiting to confirm a mortgage application). With the experienced solicitors at Homeward Legal, every purchase is handled as fast as possible, without compromising on service, using solicitors who are highly proactive. We aim to complete the conveyancing work within six weeks. Give us a call on 0800 038 6699 to talk through your needs.

Q.

What do 'conveyancing searches' refer to?

A.

These searches are a standard bundle of questions carried out on behalf of the party intending to buy the property, such as a chancel liability search. Searches are very useful whether buying with a mortgage or not, but only relate to issues with the property's title.

Q.

Do you recommend taking steps to circumvent paying for stamp duty on buying in Watford?

A.

Stamp duty avoidance is not advised when buying in Watford. Such schemes are often uneconomical and the HMRC can review a scheme up to 6 years after a sale is completed .

Q.

Will we need a survey?

A.

Homeward Legal suggest that home buyers arrange a house surveyor to carry out a survey. There can be a range of issues that can negatively affect a property. These include severe weathering or poor drainage, and issues such as these are not likely to be investigated as part of the conveyancing itself.

Q.

Do we need searches for chancel liability? We are purchasing a Watford house near a 1500s rectory manor.

A.

Property owners in an area near nearby church land must contribute towards the cost of repairs, where chancel repair liability exists. Terms used in a property's name, like 'rectory', may indicate chancel liability. The solicitor acting on your behalf will confirm that a chancel search is appropriate. Watford churches where a chancel search may be appropriate include St Andrew, St Mark's, St Peter & St Paul and Christ Church.

Q.

When in the process do I need to get a conveyancing solicitor?

A.

In simple terms, the sooner you instruct a conveyancing firm, the better, as conveyancing involves several tasks that can begin straight away. Early instruction of a conveyancing solicitor to act on your Watford sale or purchase can limit the risk of the other side pulling out.

Q.

Do it yourself conveyancing without the help of a Watford conveyancer appears to be becoming possible as a buyer and seller of a flat. However actually be shrewd ?

A.

Legally speaking there is no argument why you cant opt to embark on the majority of the legal process on your own.

However, a lawyer handles a significant number of jobs e.g. chasing replies to enquiries or applying for searches many of which are better done by someone with adequate training.

Q.

Could charges for the conveyancing have any additional costs?

A.

Homeward Legal's solicitors will never charge any hidden costs regardless of circumstances. You should be aware that some conveyancers give 'quotes' which are in fact estimates, which they will not be bound to.