A beginner’s guide to conveyancing disbursements

If you’re purchasing a property for the first time, or even if you have been through the process before, you’ll need to understand how much it will cost you when it comes to paying your conveyancer.


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A part of your conveyancing bill will list conveyancing disbursements. They are additional to the handling fee you will pay to your conveyancing solicitors. These are payments or fees payable to a third party by your conveyancer solicitors on your behalf. They include the following, some of which may be familiar:

Stamp Duty

This tax is collected by the government and is calculated as a percentage of the value of the property you are purchasing, with a current threshold of £500,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential.

Local Authority Searches

These involve searching for issues which may affect the property such as land contamination, road schemes and planning issues. They should range between £100-£200 + Vat.

Water and drainage Search

Reveals information about water supplies and drainage and the cost is around £30-£40 + VAT.


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Environmental Search

Costs £35-£45 and covers flooding and subsidence as well as land contamination.

Land Registry Fees

Each property transfer in England is registered with HM Land Registry. Costs vary up to £135 depending on property value.

Land Registry Search

This confirms the vendor owns the property and costs £3.

Bank Transfer Fee

This is charged by your bank when transferring the funds to complete the purchase.

There are other possible fees applicable, such as Chancel Indemnity Insurance and Bankruptcy search to protect the purchaser.

Chancel Indemnity Insurance

It would be unusual if you needed this kind of service since it only applies if there is a possibility that you will become liable to contribute towards the maintenance and repairs of a local church. It is an ancient law and covenant dating back to the 16th century and the establishment of the Church of England. It will cost around £20. If needed it should be taken out, given the potential cost to the purchaser of church repairs.

Bankruptcy SearchAt a cost of £2 per person, this ensures that any named person on the mortgage document has not been declared bankrupt.

When seeking reliable advice, professionals such as conveyancing solicitors Sam Conveyancing can ensure you understand all potential charges.

With all the above in place, you can proceed with peace of mind.