A guide to conveyancing disbursements

Conveyancing disbursements are a part of the overall cost of purchasing or selling a property.

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The disbursements element relates to third-party services which your conveyancer will have paid on your behalf during the process. It is important to enquire from the outset for a full breakdown of the costs you are likely to incur.

This is relatively straightforward since in most transactions the disbursements will be common charges, or the rate at which they will be charged will be widely available.

In order to get a good understanding of what disbursement charges you are likely to incur, it is advisable to get a clear understanding of the house conveyancing process, especially if you are a first-time buyer. This kind of house conveyancing information is widely available online.

Fees and costs your conveyancer may incur are those relating to searches and Stamp Duty. Here is a brief explanation of both.

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Searches

These are the enquiries the conveyancer makes on your behalf highlighting any issues which may affect the property.

The main one of these is the Local Authority search which will reveal information about the property and its environs. It may be in a preservation or conservation area, which would affect planning permissions should you anticipate carrying out any improvements on the property once you move in. Any restrictions on the surrounding land will also be revealed, such as tree preservation orders.

An environmental search will also ensure that the property is not prone to environmental issues, either resulting from contaminated land or potential flooding problems.

A drainage and water search will also check whether you are connected to mains water and sewerage services.

Meanwhile, your conveyancer will check with the Land Registry and carry out a search to ensure that the vendor is the legal owner and has the right to sell the property.

Stamp Duty

You will pay Stamp Duty on any property valued above £125,000 on a percentage scale, although you will still have to submit a Stamp Duty Land Tax form, even if the property is valued below that level. Different rules apply to first-time buyers, who can claim relief up to £300,000 and pay just 5% from £300,001 up to £500,000.

Vendors face disbursements on Land Registry searches and telegraphic transfer fees when paying off their mortgage.