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Conveyancing Clients’ Questions on Money, Fees and Disbursements

Following are our answers for some popular questions we receive from our clients relating to fees, monies and disbursements.

How long does it take before monies that I transfer can be utilised?

Your conveyancing solicitor cannot use monies transferred until it has cleared through your solicitor’s bank. Please allow the following time for payments to clear:

1. Cheques, banker’s drafts and international transfer take at least 5 clear working days to clear.

2. Online transfers take up to 3 working days to clear.

3. Credit Card payments take 3 working days to clear and there will be a handling fee depending on the type of credit card the client uses.

4. Telegraphic transfers take up to 24 hours to clear.

Your conveyancing solicitor may decline to accept anything more than £500 in cash.

Do I receive interest on client monies that my conveyancing solicitor holds?

In conveyancing transactions your solicitor may not pay interest accrued on any money kept in their client account for less than ten working days. If you do not agree with this, you should advise your solicitor in writing prior to transferring monies.

What is a Deposit

A deposit is the amount of money that a purchaser gives us to transfer to the seller on exchange of contracts. It is usually 10% of the house purchase price.

What is a Financial Statement?

This is a detailed breakdown of all the costs and disbursements involved in your conveyancing transaction.

If you require clarification of your financial statement please refer this to the conveyancing solicitor.

If there is a balance required from you in order to complete, your conveyancing solicitor will need that amount in cleared funds, prior to completion of the house purchase. Any balance due back to you at completion will be sent by cheque unless your solicitor is instructed otherwise in writing before completion.

What is a Bill of Cost?

A Bill of Cost deals with the legal fees that the conveyancing solicitor charges you. It generally does not include disbursements.

What’s the difference between a Fee and a disbursement?

Fees

  • Fees are related to our professional legal services.
  • Typical Fees = professional fees, mortgages fee, TT fee etc …

Disbursements

  • Disbursements are incurred on the client’s behalf and paid to a 3rd party.
  • Typical Disbursements = Office Copy Entries, searches, management enquiries, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees.

What is the Telegraphic Transfer (TT) fee?

This is the fee for electronically transferring monies from your conveyancing solicitor’s bank account to another bank account.

When do conveyancing solicitors use TT in conveyancing transactions?

Conveyancing solicitors use TT when there are large amount of funds to transfer. Also on completion, solicitors send monies by TT because completion of the house purchase cannot take place until the funds are cleared. And cheques can take up to 7 working days to clear. Furthermore, a standard agreement for sale will state that completion funds are transferred by telegraphic transfer.

Why don’t conveyancing solicitors send cheques to clients on completion?

Usually when there is a large amount of money to send to clients, solicitors avoid the use of cheques because a cheque takes 7 working days to clear, which means a client could suffer interest for at least seven days. A TT clears within hours if sent before 3.p.m. Therefore it generally works out cheaper for the client to use a TT and incur a TT fee than lose interest on monies while a cheque clears.

What if I want a cheque to be sent on completion?

Your conveyancing solicitor can send you a cheque if you require. However, you could possibly be losing out on interest that could accrue in a high interest rate saving account.

What is a mortgagee’s/ lender’s fee?

This is a conveyancing solicitor’s fee for acting for your mortgage lender. Most solicitors act for both the client and the lender in a purchase as it is the quickest and most cost effective way of doing the conveyancing.

What is the leasehold fee?

Leasehold transactions involve much more work than freehold and as a result additional fee is charged for leasehold properties. In freehold transactions there is no lease and no enquiries to be made of the Management Company or Landlord.

What is the Land Registry Fee?

This is a disbursement fee for registering the property at Her Majesty’s Land Registry after completion has taken place. This fee is charged by the Land Registry on a sliding scale according to the value of the property and is imposed by the government. Conveyancing solicitors do not keep this fee, they just pass this forward on the clients behalf.

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp Duty is a government tax payable to the Inland Revenue assessed on the value of the property. It is charged on a sliding scale and is not payable on properties valued under £125,000.

If I have more than one lender; will I still be charged the one mortgage fee or more?

Generally conveyancing solicitors would charge extra for each lender they have to deal with.

Will I be charged more if their case becomes complicated or delayed?

No, not because a case becomes complicated but there are additional charges for example dealing with property indemnity insurance, preparing statutory declarations etc.. A full list of additional fees can be view below.

Can I make an online payment?

  • You can access the firm’s online payment gateway by contacting us and make a card payment.
  • If you have an online banking facility then you may transfer money online direct into your conveyancing solicitor firm’s account but you must quote your full reference.It may take between 3 to 5 working days for the money to be received into the firm’s client account.

NB: If you fail to quote your full reference or fail to notify us that a cash deposit has been made there may be a delay in identifying your money.

Photo courtesy: Chicagogeek

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