What are conveyancing disbursements?

Conveyancing disbursements are fees which your solicitor will pay on your behalf for services other than the legal services they provide. Disbursements typically include conveyancing searches and Stamp Duty Land Tax. The cost of these disbursements should be included within your conveyancing quote, however, if they are not then it is advisable to request a full breakdown of fees from you solicitor or licenced conveyancer.

Disbursements when buying a property

The most common conveyancing disbursements when buying a house are listed below:

Local Authority Searches

A vital search when buying a house to give information about whether your property is a listed building, in a conservation area or is subject to any other conservation policies.

Environmental searches

This is an important search that provides detail on the property’s risk of flooding, subsidence or whether it has been built on or near contaminated land or a landfill site.

Water & Drainage Search

This will tell you where the pipework that feeds water to your property and drainage system that takes wastewater away from the property are located. Important to know to determine responsibility if something should go wrong to a section of these facilities or if you plan to extend the house in the future.

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Stamp Duty Land Tax

This is often the costliest of all of the disbursements, particularly for more expensive properties. There are currently SDLT holidays in the UK until June 2021 for Properties up to £500,000 to September 2021 for Properties up to £250,000. It is vital to budget for SDLT when budgeting for a move.

Bank Transfer / Telegraphic Transfer Fees

The bank charges these fees to cover the cost of transferring funds to the seller’s solicitor.

Bankruptcy Search

Named parties on the mortgage will have to have their history of bankruptcy checked.

Land Registry Search

This is to ensure the vendor has the legal right to sell the property.

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Disbursements when selling a property

There are fewer disbursements to consider when selling a property and as a result they are less expensive. The fees required when selling a house are:

Land Registry Fees

These are the costs associated with obtaining the documents to prove you have the right to sell the house.

Bank Transfer / Telegraphic Transfer Fees

When you sell your property your solicitor pays off the remainder of the mortgage and transfer any sale proceeds to your bank account.

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When do I pay for disbursements?

Conveyancing searches should be expected to be paid upfront. Make sure you check your conveyancing quote for a breakdown of the costs for these disbursements. Other disbursements, such as SDLT are only payable upon completion of the sale.

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