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Conveyancing COVID-19 Guidance

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having an impact across the whole home moving industry. You will find the process very different from the way it was before the government took steps to restrict transactions.

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Meet the team

Here at Askews Legal LLP our Conveyancers are supervised by a qualified Solicitor. The Head of Department is Sunitum Dhillon and the person with overall responsibility is Kuljeet Sandhu (Partner). The Conveyancing team is made up of Solicitors and Trainee Solicitors all supported by paralegals who have undertaken legal qualifications.

You can find more about the Conveyancing team by reviewing ‘our team’ page.


We offer a wide range of services but primarily we undertake work within:

  • Sales
  • Purchase
  • Re-mortgage
  • Transfer of Equity


We offer a fixed fee service. Our fee is calculated upon the sale/purchase/re-mortgage value. Fees can range from £350-1000 plus VAT, depending upon the nature of the transaction.

In order to give a precise estimate, we will need to consider the following:

  • Whether there is a first time buyer
  • Whether the property is a freehold or leasehold
  • Whether the property is a new build
  • Whether first registration of title applies
  • Whether there is a mortgage or not
  • Whether there is an Islamic mortgage
  • In purchase cases, whether primary residence, buy to let or second/holiday home apply
  • Whether there are multiple owners or purchases
  • Whether there is a shared ownership scheme
  • Whether there is a help to buy scheme
  • Whether the purchase is under right to buy
  • Whether the purchase was at auction
  • Whether the property has been repossessed

NB: This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

For a no obligation quote please use our free conveyancing calculator.


All fees are quoted exclusive of VAT, we will charge VAT at the standard rate applied by the government which is 20%.


During the sale or purchase there will be a number of disbursements payable, these are costs payable to third parties that relate to the matter, for example stamp duty and fees payable to the HM Land Registry.

There will be additional disbursements payable for searches. A mortgage lender may insist searches are undertaken as part of the investigation of title. The searches we recommend are:

  • Local Search

This is a search that is almost invariably required on any purchase of a property. It is conducted with the Local Authority responsible for the property. The cost of this search varies all over the Country but is typically in the region of £80 to £140. This search looks into such matters as:-

  • Road Proposals
  • Adoption of the Highways
  • Planning Permissions
  • Environmental Health Matters
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders
  • Tree Preservation Orders
  • Enforcement Notices

Please note that the search only enquires about the property being purchased. It does not, for instance, enquire as to development in the vicinity of the property, such as adjacent vacant land or the proposed neighbour’s plans.

  • Mining Search

This report is only relevant in known coal mining areas of the Country, that is to say where coal reserves are known to exist or have been mined in the past. The cost of this report is dictated by the search provider and or Coal Authority Board, you can expect to pay £50-65. It is electronic and not involving any physical inspection.

Other similar searches are available, such as tin, china, brine and limestone mining.

  • Drainage Search

If purchasing with the aid of a mortgage, the lender will require a search application to the relevant water company for information as to whether the property is connected to the mains water supply and whether the sewers and drains are maintained and repaired by the water company or whether the owner of the property would be responsible for such work. This search varies according to the water company responsible, but it is usually around £55-70.

  • Environmental Search

Local Authorities must inspect and identify seriously contaminated sites. When a contaminated site is found, they can require certain persons to take remedial action. Liability falls primarily on those who cause the contamination. However, if that person cannot be found, liability falls on others, often the current owner or occupier of the land. Compliance can be costly, and may result in expenditure which could exceed the value of the property.

An Environmental Search may be necessary to ascertain whether the property you are intending to purchase may potentially be affected by factors such as flooding, subsidence or landslip. The search provides information on these factors together with information regarding air quality, landfill sites, waste sites or contaminated sites near the property. This again is a electronic search and usually costs in the region of £55-65.

Additional searches are sometimes also advisable such as:

  • Chancel Search

It is possible that the land on which the property is built may have a liability to contribute to the cost of repairs to the chancel of a church in the parish. This liability often will not be shown in the title to the property but may be binding on the current owners of the property. As it is linked to the land itself, it can affect old or new properties, urban or rural. The potential liability can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. You can obtain a search for around £40 to identify the risk

  • Plan Search

This is a report providing current and historical planning information. Plan search goes beyond the boundaries of the Local Authority Search by providing information on planning applications and land use policies for the property and the surrounding area. The fee for this search is usually around £30

  • Flood Search

These are searches carried out with the environment agency and home insurers where data is evaluated to check the risk or potential risk of flooding. Please note the result is based on the postcode for the property. Each search costs approximately £30.

  • Telecommunications. Railway, Electric and similar searches

This type of search is applicable where equipment runs near or through the property and is available with telecommunications companies such as BT, NTL and Telewest, regional electricity companies, Transco, Railtrack, London Underground, British Waterways Board and other similar bodies.

The search result will usually include details of any relevant infrastructure and rights or obligations affecting the property. The search fee varies considerably and can range from £20-100.

  • Commons Search

This search will tell you whether the land is registered as Common Land or Town or Village Green. The search usually costs around £15.

Key Stages


  1. Initial letter sent to client
  2. Client Care Letter and Questionnaire completed and received from client
  3. Protocol Forms received from client. We will now prepare the draft Sale Contract in readiness for submission to the Buyer’s Solicitors
  4. Memorandum of sale received from Estate Agents
  5. Initial letter sent to Buyers Solicitors informing them we have been instructed
  6. Contract package sent to Buyers Solicitors. We would normally expect a response from the Solicitors within 7 days and if no response received
  7. Leasehold Enquiries sent to Management Company for completion. Dependent upon the Management Company, this could take up to 21 days
  8. Replies to Leasehold/Freehold Enquiries sent to Buyers solicitors. We will chase the Solicitors for an update within 7 days
  9. Exchange of Contracts
  10. Completion

For a detailed breakdown of the key stages please see: Conveyancing Sale


  1. Initial letter sent to client
  2. Client Care Letter and Questionnaire received from client
  3. We have sent an initial letter to the Vendor’s Solicitors requesting the draft Contracts. If no Contracts have been received in 7 days, we will chase them until the draft Contract is with us
  4. Searches submitted and enquiries raised with Sellers Solicitors. We would normally expect replies within 7/10 days. If not received, we will notify the client and also send a reminder. Once all positive enquiries are received, we will prepare a report within 10 working days for Contract signature
  5. Searches submitted and Leasehold enquiries raised with Sellers Solicitors. Typically a response will be received within 14/21 days. Once we have received positive replies to all enquiries, we will prepare a report within the next 10 working days for Contract for signature
  6. Exchange of Contacts
  7. Completion

For a detailed breakdown of the key stages please see: Conveyancing Purchase

Transfer of equities and re-mortgages are similar to the sale key stages.

Time estimates

It is difficult to give you a precise time estimate as there are many variables that can affect how quickly the house sale/purchase proceeds, for example is there is a chain or if the matter is complicated such as a shared ownership. If the property is Leasehold, Enquiries will be raised with Management Companies, replies to Enquiries could take weeks to arrive. However our average time to conclude a Conveyance ranges between 6-12 weeks.

Referral Agreements

If the matter has been introduced to us via an Estate Agent or Mortgage Adviser with whom we have a business relationship, we are required by the Code of Conduct published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to notify clients that we will pay them a referral fee. That fee can range from £100-200 (plus VAT, if applicable) on completion of the case from our own funds. This cost is a standard authorised charge that a law firm may make to attract business. Any advice that we give will be independent and clients’ are free to raise questions on all aspects of the transaction.  If a matter arises where we are acting for the Introducer as well and a conflict of interest arises we might be obliged to cease acting.

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