Garner & Hancock, Property Law

Residential conveyancing

Guide to Residential Conveyancing


  • What will you do to sell my house?
  • What will you do to buy my house?
  • What will you do when you receive the draft contracts?
  • What happens after Exchange of contracts?
  • What disbursements will you charge me?
  • What is the stamp duty at the moment?

Selling your Property

When selling your Property, Instruct your solicitor as soon as possible. We will then:

  • Obtain the deeds
  • Upon agreed sale send draft contract to buyer’s solicitors
  • Obtain from seller replies to Property Information and Fixtures and Fittings Forms and/or replies to enquiries raised by buyer’s solicitors
  • Agree completion date and form of contact and send to seller for approval and signature
  • Exchange contracts
  • Approve form of Transfer and send to seller for signature
  • Obtain up to date redemption statement
  • Complete sale and discharge seller’s mortgage
  • Send deeds to buyer’s solicitors


Buying your Property

Upon instructions we will make some or all of the following searches:

Local Authority Search

This will check if there are any: Conveyancing Disbursements

  • Road building proposals
  • Planning permissions
  • Charges on the property
  • Outstanding notices
  • Public or private drains
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders
  • Railway Construction Proposals

Commons Land and Town and Village Green Search:

  • To ascertain if the property is subject to any Rights of Common or is part of a Village Green.

Mining Search:

  • To see if the property may be adversely affected by past or future coal mining activities.

Water Authority Search:

  • This may be required in addition to a local search

Upon receipt of draft contract we will:

  • Investigate the seller’s title
  • Check the Information Forms and raise any further enquiries needed
  • Agree form of contract with seller’s solicitors
  • Agree completion date

Specific matters that will be checked are:

  • Any rights over the property
  • Any rights with the property
  • Boundaries
  • Restrictive or other covenants relating to the property

In the purchase of Leaseholds we also investigate the terms of the Lease to ensure:

  • That the tenant has the right to assign and sublet
  • That the Landlord’s covenants are acceptable
  • That the service charge provisions are adequate
  • That the lease is enforceable between all tenants
  • That the building is insured by the Landlord

We will:

  • Ensure the buyer has received an acceptable mortgage offer and then meet with buyer to advise on the contract or send the buyer a Report on Title. Just prior to exchange of contracts the deposit, normally 10% of the purchase price, will be required.
  • Exchange contracts
  • Draft Transfer or other purchase Deed
  • Prepare and obtain signatures to Mortgage Deed
  • Obtain Mortgage advance from lender and any balance to complete from buyer
  • Make Title searches
  • Complete and obtain release of keys
  • Stamp Transfer, register Title and send deeds to lender


Local Searches

These vary from Council to Council but some examples are:

Kensington & Chelsea – £200.00
Ealing – £130.00
Hammersmith – £120.00
Camden – £115.00
Richmond – £140.00
Westminster – £115.00
Hounslow – £135.00
Wandsworth – £165.00

Stamp Duty

Payable by the buyer on the Purchase.

£0-£60,000 – Nil
£60,001 – £250,000 – rate of 1.0%
£250,001-£500,000 – rate of 3.0%<
over £500,000 – rate of 4.0%

On the grant of a new lease duty is also payable on the amount of rent payable e.g. on a ground rent of £300 p.a. and a lease of under 100 years – £36.00

Land Registry Fees (to register title)

These are on a fixed scale and vary from time to time. Current examples are:

Value of Property

£70,000 – 100,000 Land Registry Fee: £100.00
£100,001 – 200,000 Land Registry Fee: £200.00
£200,001 – 500,000 Land Registry Fee: £300.00

Other Land Registry Fees

Office Copy Title: £4.00
Office Copy Plan: £4.00
Office Copy Document: £4.00
Title Search: £4.00
Bankruptcy Search per name: £2.00

Other Fees

Bank Transfer Fees: £24.67
Copy Documents (from local Authority) approx.: £10.00
Landlords Registration Fee approx.: £20.00
Company Search approx.: £30.00
Water Utility Search: £35.25
Managing Agents Fees approx.: £50.00
Commons Search: £ 6.00


This Article is written by Brenda Zoller,  a Partner at Garner & Hancock.

Garner & Hancock Property Department

Kiran Walia deals with Commercial Property and Commercial Leases

Julian Hutson is the senior consultant Partner specialises all property matters


Free Consultation

If you would like some help or advice, then please feel free to call to arrange a conversation on 0208 232 9560, or drop us a note using the form below and we can book you a call with a solicitor.