Richard Wollacott

Director and Solicitor

Residential Property

Guide to Fees

Richard Wollacott

As a firm, we wish to be open and transparent about our costs and the options for payment. When a transaction becomes more involved due to additional requirements or complexity, further charges may be applicable. This guide is by no means exhaustive but is intended to clarify the different types of fees and charges, and to set out the more common situations where an additional fee may become payable. If you have any questions about the contents of this fees guide, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist. 







Type of Charge







Mortgage Redemption





If we are required to deal with repayment of a secured charge or mortgage registered against the property on a sale, or to deal with any other matter registered against the title such as a Restriction or Notice, this fee will be payable for the additional legal work involved in liaising with the Lender and repaying the charge on Completion.






A Transfer Deed of a freehold property is usually a single page document, whereas a Lease can be anything between 18 or 80 pages long and is far more complex. If you are buying a property which is leasehold, we will need to examine and advise you on the Lease and make detailed enquiries of the Landlord and Management Company. If you are selling or remortgaging a property which is leasehold, considerable extra time is spent checking and preparing the documentation.






Most properties sold or remortgaged in the last 15 years are already registered at the Land Registry. However, if the property being purchased or remortgaged is unregistered, it will require compulsory first registration at the Land Registry, which involves detailed investigation of old Title Deeds and preparing the documents for first registration. Similarly, if the property to be sold is unregistered, the Title Deeds will need to be collated and summarised in order to prove good title to the Purchaser.







If you hold or wish to purchase or remortgage a share of a property under a Shared Ownership scheme, we will be required to make detailed enquiries of the Housing Association.


New Build




If you are purchasing a newly built property the contract documentation is generally lengthy and complex. Often, the property is not ready for occupation at the time of Exchange of Contracts so the Contract needs to contain additional clauses in the event the property is not ready within a reasonable period of time. In addition, the Transfer Deed is several pages long containing numerous restrictive covenants which all need to be examined and advised upon.


Fast Track





If you have agreed a quick exchange date or there is an exchange deadline, (or you just want to move quickly!), we will prioritise your transaction over all others and ensure it is dealt with first in line.


Sale of Part




If you are selling part of a plot of land, the Sale Contract will be more complicated than usual and the Transfer Deed will have to be specially drafted and is likely to be several pages long containing numerous rights, burdens and benefits which affect both the land to be sold and the retained land.


Buy to Let




If the property being purchased or remortgaged is a Buy to Let property, additional work will be involved checking through the terms of the mortgage and any Tenancy Agreements.



Company Ownership





If the property you are purchasing or selling is owned by a limited company or LLP, we are required to investigate and check the Company's Memorandum and Articles of Association and conduct due diligence enquiries.


Deed of Variation, Rectification, Postponement or Substitution








If any if the following Deeds are required during the course of the transaction, we will be required to draft and arrange for their registration at the Land Registry. The fee is variable depending upon the length and complexity of the document required – this fee is for a standard document.


Declaration of Trust





If two or more of you are purchasing a property jointly, a Declaration of Trust may be required outlining the individual contributions made to the purchase price and the ‘portion’ of the property intended to be owned by each person. The fee is variable depending upon the length and complexity of the document required – this fee is for a standard document.




Statutory Declaration





A defect in the title of the property may require a Statutory Declaration (a sworn statement) from you or a previous owner which must be registered at the Land Registry. The fee is variable depending upon the length and complexity of the document required – this fee is for a standard document.




SDLT Submission




All purchases, leases and transfers of equity of property in England and Wales require the submission of a lengthy Stamp Duty Land Tax return form to HM Revenue and Customs within 30 days of Completion, even where no duty is payable. Failure to submit the form within the strictly defined time limits results in an immediate financial penalty.




Identity Verification






If we are required to conduct additional ID checks (usually on behalf of a mortgage lender), or where you are unable to attend the offices in person, an online ID Verification fee will be payable.




Bank Transfer Fee





A bank transfer and administrative fee for transferring funds electronically to the Seller’s Solicitors on a purchase, or to send funds to you or to the Lender to repay a mortgage on a sale or remortgage.




Telephone & Postage




£12.00 (variable)


A charge made to cover telephone calls and postages throughout the transaction.


All charges are exclusive of VAT at the current rate and subject to variation. 

Any additional work not listed above will usually be charged at an hourly rate unless a fixed fee can be agreed. Hourly rates are determined by the experience and qualification of your solicitor or conveyancer. Full details and hourly rates can be found in our terms and conditions.

Payments to Third Parties
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In addition to the payment of legal fees, you will also be required to reimburse us for any payments we make to third parties on your behalf throughout a transaction, such as to the Land Registry or the Local Authority. We call these payments 'disbursements', and the most common of these are listed below.








Type of Disbursement







Title Documents





These include Official Copies of the Registered Title from the Land Registry (often referred to as ‘Office Copies’), or Official Copies of individual documents or deeds relating to the property which were retained by the Land Registry when the property was first registered.


Local Authority Search





Local Authority searches are mandatory if you are purchasing a property with the aid of a mortgage, and include essential information such as details of nearby road schemes, Compulsory Purchase Orders, breaches of Planning Permission and whether the property is in a conservation area. Prices for Local Authority searches vary widely and depend on the location of the property and the individual Council concerned.


Drainage Search





A Drainage and Water search is also mandatory and confirms whether the property is connected to the mains water supply and public sewers. The information is provided by the local water company.





Environmental Search






An Environmental search provides information relating environmental hazards, such as nearby landfill sites or contamination.


Mining Search





A Mining search is only necessary if the property is located within a mining area and will confirm if the property is at risk of subsidence.


Chancel Search





A Chancel search will confirm whether the property is in an area at risk of Chancel Repair Liability.


Land Registry Search




This search will reveal whether any new or pending registrations have been made against the property since the contract documents were first received.


Land Charges Search






If a mortgage is required to assist the purchase, the Lender requires us to carry out a bankruptcy search to confirm whether or not you (and any co-purchaser) have been the subject of bankruptcy proceedings.


Land Registration Fee





All purchases, lease and transfers of property must be compulsorily registered at the Land Registry following completion. This is their fee for registering ownership on the central Land Register and for issuing fresh Title documents. The price varies according to the value of the property or payment made.



Stamp Duty Land Tax


1 – 5%






Stamp Duty Land Tax is a tax paid by a purchaser of a property to HM Revenue & Customs on completion of a purchase (or by a lessee on the grant of a lease). Currently, if you buy a property for £125,000 or less you pay no Stamp Duty. Purchases from £125,001 to £250,000 are liable to pay Stamp Duty of 1% of the whole of the purchase price. From £250,001 to £500,000 the Stamp Duty is 3%, between £500,000 and £1m it is 4%, and above £1m it is 5%. In certain circumstances, First Time Buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty on purchases of up to £250,000.



Figures quoted are inclusive of VAT at the applicable rate.  

All disbursements are estimates only and subject to variation.

Methods of Payment

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The options below give you information on how to pay and the timings of such payments. 










If there will be sufficient money paid into the firm as a result of a transaction, you can elect to pay our bill and any amounts due to third parties by deduction, before the remaining balance is sent to you.


Telegraphic Transfer (CHAPS)



This method is the only guaranteed method by which you can provide us with immediately cleared funds on the same day. However, please note, your bank is likely to charge you a fee for this service.  Please also be aware that although banks undertake same day delivery within a certain timeframe, they do not guarantee the time that the funds will actually arrive. If the timing of receipt of funds is vital, for instance, in a property transaction where purchase monies are required to arrive by a specific time, we recommend that you send funds to us the day before funds are needed to prevent delays and the imposition of financial penalties due under the contract for late completion.



Bankers Draft


Bankers Drafts are cheques drawn by your bank or building society on your account. We are happy to accept a cheque of this kind but, please be aware, we still require 7 clear working days for the cheque to clear from the date we present it to our bank.


Bank Transfer (BACS)


A BACS transfer is the electronic transfer of funds between banks, (not to be confused with telegraphic transfers), which takes 4 clear working days from the date your bank sends it. This is the method used if doing an online bank transfer.





We are happy to accept personal cheques in payment of our accounts. However, some transactions require cleared funds before the transaction can complete. Because of the banking system and the time limits set on recalling a cheque, we must have any cheques presented to our bank 10 clear working days prior to the money being needed.





Due to Money Laundering Regulations, we are unable to accept cash payments in excess of £500 per transaction.

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