Paytons solicitors

Simon Quilley (solicitor), Clare Malloy (solicitor) and Helen Gagen (a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Legal Executives) will deal with your sale or purchase. Judith Newman and Lauren Saunder will assist the lawyer dealing throughout. You will have direct access to your lawyer and their assistant.

What Happens?

On your PURCHASE we will investigate the legal title of the property, raise enquiries, commission searches and when those search results are back and the enquiries answered adequately, we will prepare our Report on Title for you to consider before getting signed up.

Alongside the title investigation we will undertake checks on your identity, your source of funds and any gifts you are receiving so that we can satisfy Anti Money Laundering Regulations requirements and “Know Your Client” checks.

When we’re a little closer to exchange of contracts (that’s when everything becomes binding and you have a set moving date called “completion”) we will prepare your financial Completion Statement showing the balance we will need from you to complete on the day.

We prefer to exchange a week or so before completion so that in the week between we can organise funds, drawdown of mortgage and you can organise removals etc.

On the day of completion, we do our final checks before sending the funds to your seller’s solicitor. We then wait for them to confirm receipt of the money and that they’ve released the keys via the estate agent. You will then be able to collect the keys (usually directly from the agents) and get on with the move.

We pay the Stamp Duty or Land Tax (in Wales) and submit the Return to the Revenue. We then move to registering the property in your name with the Land Registry and dealing with any questions they might have post-completion. Currently, Land Registry are taking quite some time to complete the registration process, but they are committed to working through the backlog so we’re hoping this speeds up soon.

If there are any funds left over once registration is dealt with, we will return these to you along with any deeds and documents we’re holding and of course an updated copy of the title Register showing you as the new owner.

On your SALE we will gather all pertinent documentation from you and send these out in a contract pack to your buyer’s solicitor.

Whilst waiting for enquiries from the buyer’s solicitor we will undertake identity verification checks so that we are satisfied you are the real owner of the property.

Once the buyer’s solicitor has had a chance to review the contract pack, they will raise enquiries with us and commission their searches. Any enquiries we can’t answer will be sent to you for your input along with the contract and transfer deed for signing. We hold these signed documents on file until your buyer is ready to exchange contracts.

We deal with redeeming your existing mortgage (if any), paying your estate agent’s fee and sending any proceeds to you/your onward purchase.


A quick example of the costs involved looks like this –

The table below gives an example of costs for a property transaction value of £250,000.00

Sale of a Freehold House

If you are SELLING a FREEHOLD property for £250,000 our fee is going to be in the region of £860 + VAT at 20% – total including VAT is £1,032.00.

Our telegraphic transfer fee is £25 + Vat at 20% – total including VAT is £30.00.

There are additional disbursements (meaning fees payable to third parties) of around £6 for Land Registry documents (can sometimes require an additional document at £3 each).

Our feesSale Freehold Registered Sale Leasehold Registered 
Our costs £860.00£1,250.00
Plus VAT 20%£172.00£250.00
Telegraphic Transfer fee£25.00£25.00
Plus VAT 20%£5.00£5.00
Portal Admin Fee£5.00£5.00
Plus VAT 20%£1.00£1.00
Land Registry office copies £12.00£12.00
Leashold Mangement Pack Fee  £0 to £500.00
Plus VAT 20% £100.00

Sale of a Leasehold Property

If you are SELLING a LEASEHOLD property at £250,000 our fee is going to be in the region of £1,250 plus Vat at 20% – total including VAT is £1,500.00.

Be aware that when you are selling a leasehold property you will need to pay for the landlord and/or management company’s sales pack. This is usually just one pack, but sometimes two. The price can range from free to £500 each (although that high is rare). We can’t confirm how much it costs until you’ve sold the property and we’ve contacted the landlord and/or management company, but it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re doing your sums.

Buying a Freehold House

If you are BUYING a FREEHOLD property for £250,000 our fee is going to be in the region of £870 plus VAT at 20% – total including VAT is £1,044.00.

Our Telegraphic Transfer (TT) fee is £25 plus VAT at 20% = £30 in total.

There are more disbursements when buying a property, these include:

  • Searches – we ask for £400 on account so that we can order searches. The cost of the searches differs from Council to Council, but not by too much.
  • Land Registry fees – again, this differs depending on the price of the property but for a £250,000 purchase their fee is £150 and we collect that from you. There are also additional Land Registry fees depending on whether you are buying with a mortgage or not and these come to about £5 or £6.
Our FeesPurchase Freehold Registered Purchase Leasehold Registered 
Our costs £870.00£1,190.00
Plus VAT 20%£174.00£238.00
Telegraphic Transfer fee£25.00£25.00
Plus VAT 20%£5.00£5.00
Portal Admin Fee£5.00£5.00
Plus VAT 20%£1.00£1.00
Post Completion Admin fee£8.00£8.00
Plus VAT 20%£1.60£1.60
Local Search-MHDC£173.00£173.00
Plus VAT 20%£34.60£34.60
Drainage & water 59.3359.33
Plus VAT 20%£11.86£11.87
Enviro Search £87.08£87.08
Plus VAT 20%£17.42£17.42
Land Registry Search £6.00£6.00
Bankruptcy Search £4.00£4.00
Land Registry fees £150.00£150.00
Leasehold-Notice fee £5.00 to £120.00
Leasehold -Deed of Covenant fee £20 to £400.00

Buying a Leasehold Property

If you are BUYING a LEASEHOLD property for £250,000 our fee is going to be in the region of £1,190 plus VAT at 20% – total including VAT is £1,428.00.

There are the same TT fee and disbursements as when buying a freehold property PLUS typical leasehold costs such as:

  • Notice fee – this involves us sending the landlord/managing agent (sometimes both) a document which tells them who you are, where your registered address is and whether you’ve got a mortgage. It enables the landlord/management company to easily recognise the new Leaseholder and who they should invoice for the ground rent, among other things. The administrative costs of the landlord/management company receipting this notice vary from landlord to landlord, but we’ve seen them range from £5 to £120, sometimes more.
  • Deed of Covenant – sometimes the lease says that you (an incoming leaseholder) must enter into a Deed of Covenant with the landlord and/or management company confirming that you have read the lease covenants and agree to abide by them. The landlord and/or management company will charge you a fee for signing this document, again it varies, but we’ve seen the price range from £20 to £400.
  • Service charge and ground rent apportionments – these are typical in nearly every leasehold purchase (and sale). If the seller has paid up to the end of the year, for example, then you’ll have to reimburse them for the period from when you complete (i.e. when you own the property, legally) to the end of the year. These will be worked out by your lawyer before completion and the workings sent to you.

We use InfoTrack as our online provider for searches, Land Registry documents, post-completion administration etc. On every sale or purchase there will be admin costs associated with the use of this online provider of around £15.00 (lower if you are only selling).

How long will the process take?

From year to year, the average length of time the conveyancing process takes changes (it seems to get longer!) and whilst we obviously can’t guarantee a timescale, we would hope to have the matter (sale or purchase) ready to exchange within 12 weeks of sending/receiving the contract pack.


When you buy a property, you will soon learn that solicitors are tasked with ensuring the money being used to buy the house (or apartment, or land) does not come from the proceeds of crime. These are called “know your client” or “KYC” checks.

You must be prepared to answer questions about your funding (outside of any mortgage) and if you are obtaining a gift from family or friends to assist with your purchase, they too will be subject to these enquiries.

You will have to prove you are who you say you are (by providing us with your ID) as will any donors (i.e. those who are gifting you funds for your purchase).  You and any donor will be asked to prove where your funds come from. These checks are sometimes called “proof of funds” checks but it’s more useful to think of them as “source of wealth” enquiries.

Unlike estate agents, we don’t need to see that you have the money to buy the property – we assume you do as you have instructed us to act – we do need to know where that money is coming from and so in our initial paperwork to you we will start to ask these questions. You must answer them sufficiently as we cannot proceed without being satisfied that your funds come from legitimate income (or an inheritance or sale of a previous property etc). It will not be enough to simply have the funds in your account. We must trace back their origin and satisfy ourselves that the money is not the proceeds of crime. Only once those checks are complete can we receive any money from you (outside of the first £400 on account for searches).

What If Your Sale or Purchase Doesn’t Go Ahead:

We do not offer “no sale/purchase, no fee” like some online conveyancing companies.

Depending on how far along the matter had managed to get, the lawyer acting for you will make a decision based on the time-spent on your abortive matter (which will include emails in and out, calls, time spent reading papers etc) and may decide to charge an abortive fee which covers their costs. This is always minimal and fair. We often do not charge for our time but must do where the money has already been paid out, for example on the searches (the costs of which are payable to a third party) and perhaps Land Registry fees for downloading title registers and plans.

Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty is complex. There will be situations where you may believe Stamp Duty is payable at the normal rate when in fact the second home surcharge (of an additional 3%) applies. If you have any queries, please do contact us or obtain independent advice from a tax specialist who can then pass their opinion to your lawyer. It is always (ALWAYS) best to get any queries about Stamp Duty out of the way first.

Unregistered Properties

Sometimes it becomes apparent that the property you are selling or buying is unregistered. If this is the case, we charge more to deal with it because it takes more time. The Land Registry also charge more to register the property for the first time, for the same reason.

If you are buying or selling an unregistered property, the legal fee will increase by £200.


If you are remortgaging using a typical high street lender, our remortgage legal costs fee is likely to be around £600 + VAT at 20% (£720 including VAT).

The TT fee is £25 plus VAT at 20% (£30 including VAT) and the Land Registry disbursements likely to fall around £50 or so.

Service team

Simon Quilley

Partner, Head of Property

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Clare Malloy


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Helen Gagen

Chartered Legal Executive

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Jude Newman


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Lauren Saunder


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