Freehold and leasehold
There is a difference between freehold and leasehold properties which will affect your costs. Generally, the costs for purchasing a leasehold property are higher because of the additional work involved in reporting on the terms of the lease and considering replies to enquiries from Managing Agents and/or the Management Company and because there are often additional fees involved for informing these entities that you have purchased the property (see below for details of the additional disbursements often involved).
Owning the freehold of a property means owning the property outright, including the land it’s built on, whereas owning a leasehold property means you own the property for the length of your lease agreement with the freeholder. When the lease ends, you return ownership to the freeholder unless the lease is extended.
We have set out this guide of our pricing for property purchases, however the best way to get an accurate estimate of the cost of our assistance is to speak to us on 01823 745777 (for our Taunton office) or 01643 707777 (for our Minehead office), to give us a full appreciation of the details of your intended transaction which will enable us to give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction.
We will always advise you about any complication and discuss the potential impact before any additional charges are incurred. Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase, including dealing with the Land Registry, dealing with any lender involved and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.
In the large majority of residential property purchases we will be able to give to you specific details upfront of legal fees and the disbursements which you will incur. In a few limited instances, where it is particularly difficult to determine what the transaction will involve at the outset, we might deal with the matter based upon the time spent in completing the transaction at an agreed hourly rate. However, for transactions involving residential property, this is rare – we can usually provide you with accurate details of the legal fees upfront.
Range of Maitland Walker LLP’s legal costs
For a freehold purchase
Our typical legal fees involving a residential property purchase of a freehold property start from £700 (+ VAT) for a simple transaction to £3500 (+ VAT) for a generally larger property with associated complexities.
For a leasehold purchase
Our typical legal fees involving a residential property purchase of a leasehold property start from £850 (+ VAT) for a simple transaction to £3500 (+ VAT) for a generally larger and higher value leasehold property with associated complexities.
Please note that any reference to VAT is at the rate applicable at the time of the transaction, currently 20%, unless otherwise stated.
We will also charge the following fees:
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties – we handle the payment of such costs on your behalf as part of the service we offer. These disbursements are payable in addition to our costs. The likely disbursements that will be incurred in a residential property purchase are:
The above fees vary from property to property and can, on occasion, be more than the ranges given above. We can give you accurate figures once we have had sight of the lease and the replies to enquiries from the Managing Agents. You should also be aware that ground rent and service charge are likely to apply throughout your ownership of the property and some payment for these costs might be required upfront on completion. We can advise you of the anticipated service charge and ground rent when we receive replies to enquiries from the Managing Agents.
The above figures are either inclusive of VAT or no VAT is payable. When we provide you with detailed costings we confirm the VAT payable.
Factors that will determine Maitland Walker LLP’s legal costs within the range above
The assumptions upon which the range of costs above is given are: (a) that property is not a farm or agricultural land (b) the transaction is not a purchase of part where titles are being split and detailed consideration needs to be given to the grant and reservation of easements (e.g. rights of way and rights for services) and the relevance and effect of covenants (things which a buyer cannot do or is obliged to do); (c) the property does not have a complicated unregistered title. If any of these assumptions do not apply to your transaction then this could bring our costs outside of the given range of costs.
Work excluded from our costs that will involve supplemental fees
Some transactions will involve additional features that will result in us having to carry out additional work. We charge the following additional fees in these scenarios:
How long will my purchase take?
How long it will take from the offer being accepted until completion will depend on a number of factors. The average transaction takes between 6-12 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on factors such as: the number of parties in the chain; the time it takes for finance to be arranged; title problems needing to be resolved; surveys revealing items of disrepair which require rectification; some parties in the chain not wanting to complete quickly.
For example, if you are purchasing an empty freehold property with no mortgage required, the purchase could complete in 4 to 6 weeks. However, if you are buying a property where there are a number of parties in the chain (and especially if issues arise which need to be resolved), this can take significantly longer – commonly 3 months or more. In such a situation additional charges are likely to apply.
What are the stages in the process?
The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, below we have set out some common key stages on sales and purchases:
Who will do the work for me?
Please view the following link to view our legal advisers who deal with residential property transactions. This details the advisor’s experience and qualification.
One of these advisers will be allocated to your transaction and will liaise with you directly.
Residential Property Hourly Rates
|Partners and solicitors of 8+ years experience
|£200 – £275
|Solicitors of 4+ years experience
|£160 – £200
|Other solicitors and experienced paralegals
|£110 – £160
|Trainee solicitors and paralegals
|£90 – £110