At Canfields Law, we try to make the transfer of home ownership from seller to buyer and buyer to seller as simple as possible. This process is called Conveyancing.

We hope that the following will help you understand the conveyancing process.

If you have any further questions or wish to discuss your property enquiry, please call us on 0207 483 8644 and ask to speak to someone in our Conveyancing team.


Most Land in England and Wales is registered at the Land Registry which has simplified the conveyancing process over the years. There may be some land for whatever reason which is not registered at the Land registry in which case we will discuss  the transaction process with you. The information below refers to Registered Land.



Our conveyancing team has over 30 years of experience and skills in conveyancing to ensure that you are given a personal service to ensure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently.



Desmond Taylor
Desmond Taylor is a Director of Canfields Law Limited and he qualified in 1975 and has a wide experience in the law. He specialises in commercial and residential property law including, landlord and tenant, commercial and residential development, and financing. He also handles Business Acquisitions and Sales.


Diane Brodkin
Diane is a very experienced solicitor who  has been in private practice since being qualified in 1972. She specialises in residential conveyancing matters as well as undertaking Wills and Probate work. Her conveyancing expertise covers both leasehold and freehold sales and purchases as well as matters relating to lease extensions and enfranchisement. Diane’s undoubted expertise and vast wealth of experience, allied to a friendly, personal service provide a high quality of service to all her clients.


Luiza Abazi
Luiza qualified as a solicitor in November 2020, having completed her training contract with our firm and having previously worked as a paralegal in our firm and previous firms .She has therefore had over 5 years  experience working in various departments of law firms  and she now works in our Conveyancing , Commercial and Immigration departments. She is fluent in Albanian.


Harvey Shulman
Harvey Shulman was qualified in 1972 and has had nearly four decades of legal experience. In particular, Harvey works with early-stage start-ups in diverse industries, seeking to turn them into highly successful ventures. He has been involved with designing and implementing several highly successful investment schemes. Harvey has also been on the Board of numerous companies, both public and private. He has a master’s degree in Law (LLM) specialising in Company Law, Tax and Intellectual Property. Harvey regularly speaks at conferences and workshops relating to start-up companies and has a wide network of business contacts. He has a wide experience in most areas of law  including conveyancing and specialises in Tier 1 Immigration. Harvey is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.


Pauline Curham, Senior Legal Administrator (over 30 years working in legal practices)



(more detailed information is contained in our client care letter which will be sent to you once we have received instructions to act on your behalf).


A freehold property means the absolute ownership of land for an unlimited period in possession and generally applies to the majority of houses.


A leasehold property is on the other hand a right to possess the land or property under a lease for a fixed period and generally applies to flats/apartments.


If you are a leaseholder, you will normally have to pay an annual rent  (Ground Rent) to the person who owns the freehold  and a service charge as a contribution to the general upkeep of the common parts of the building.



At the outset we will meet you to discuss your transaction and give you initial advice.

We are also required to see all potential clients’ photo ID such as a Passport or Driving Licence and proof of address (e.g., Bank statement and utility bills not more than three months old).


We are also obliged to get to know you to ascertain the source of your funds and source of your wealth, so you should expect to be questioned about your income, salary, any inheritance gifts ,shares or other investments. During the Covid 19 pandemic when many of our team are working from home, they will arrange video calls if it is not convenient to meet face to face.


Your solicitor will need to be  informed what property you intend to buy/sell, the price, details of your estate agent, if any, and what is included in the sale/purchase e.g. curtains, furniture, light fittings etc.


You will also be asked to confirm if the property is for single use (e.g., does it include a granny flat or outhouse suitable for a separate dwelling in which case in certain circumstances you may have to seek separate advice from an accountant about (“Stamp Duty Land Tax”) SDLT multiple dwelling relief.



The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances.

However, below we have suggested some key stages that you may wish to include:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
  • Check finances are in place to fund purchase and contact lender’s solicitors if needed.
  • Receive and advise on contract documents.
  • Carry out searches.
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required.
  • Make any necessary enquiries of seller’s solicitor.
  • Give you advice on all documents and information received.
  • Go through conditions of mortgage offer with you.
  • Send final contract to you for signature.
  • Agree completion date (date from which you own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened. Before signing contracts, we will have been in touch with you to ensure,
    – That all enquiries have been returned satisfactorily
    – That you have agreed with the seller what fixtures and fittings have been included in the purchase
    – A completion date has been agreed usually between 1-4 weeks from exchange of contracts.
    – That you have made arrangements to transfer the deposit into the solicitors account, so it is in place ready for exchange. It is usually 10% of the purchase price.
    – That your mortgage arrangements are complete

You should inspect the property before exchange with the estate agent to ensure it had not been damaged in any way and the fixtures and fittings remain in place.


A time and date will be agreed for exchange of contracts which is conducted between us and the sellers’ solicitor. The exchange of the contracts process will normally take place over the phone.


We will confirm when exchange has taken place.

On exchange of Contracts, it is usual to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price but this may be negotiable.

The deposit is normally held by the seller’s solicitors as stakeholders (meaning that the sellers solicitors hold the deposit) pending completion.  The contract may allow the seller to use the deposit on a related purchase providing the deposit is held by that person’s seller’s solicitors as stakeholders.


Once the property is exchanged.

  • You are in a legally binding contract to buy the property with a fixed date for moving.
  • If you do not complete the purchase, you will lose your deposit and could be sued for any additional loss.
  • The seller has to sell, or you could sue them for any loss.
  • You cannot be gazumped as the seller cannot accept another offer.

Between exchange and completion

We lodge a priority search against the property at the Land Registry to bar any adverse registrations against the property.

We will undertake other pre completion searches, draft the transfer deed and arrange for it and the mortgage deed to be executed, raise requisitions on title and request mortgage funds from the Lender.

Requisitions on title are a set of questions designed to ensure that certain key information is obtained prior to completion. They are raised by the buyer’s solicitors with the seller’s solicitors  and deal with issues such as-

  • Any changes in the information given during the transaction.
  • What arrangements are there for handing over the keys?
  • What time the property will be vacated

If the property is not sold with vacant possession but subject to an existing tenant remaining in occupation, then there will be a request for a letter of authority confirming the tenant to pay rent to the buyer to be handed over on completion.

A request for any Deeds to be handed over on completion.

(nowadays completion monies are sent electronically and the deeds posted).

We will send you a Completion Statement itemising the final amount that you have to pay, and you will have to ensure the total amount is sent to our solicitor’s client account in cleared funds the day before completion day.

We will receive the mortgage advance and any balance from you.



The contract will specify a time by which completion is required. This is normally 1 pm. The sellers’ solicitor will confirm that they have received all that is due, and the seller will give the keys to the estate agent for your collection, and you can move in.


If the completion does not take place by the time imposed by the contract, then the party not responsible for the delay may seek interest for the late payment from the other party.

If you require completion to take place in less than 5 working days, then we reserve the right to make an additional charge of £150.00 to cover the additional work necessary in order to complete the transaction within a shorter period of time.



We will:

  • Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf. The amount will depend on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s calculator on their website or if the property is located in Wales by using the calculator on the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.
  • You will receive your legal documents about 20 days after we have sent them to the Land Registry.
    Send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender (if you have a mortgage) who will hold them until you pay off the loan.
  • Notify the freeholder if the property is leasehold.
  • Pay Land Registry charges in accordance with the value of the property ( see below).

There are things about the property which you will not be aware of from just viewing the property and we will carry out searches on the property. These searches are charged as Disbursements.



Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as Land Registry fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We are unable to provide you with a total amount for your particular transaction without knowing more information about your transaction such as, the value and location of the property, whether there are one or more buyers or sellers (as appropriate) whether you are a first-time buyer, whether there is a mortgage, etc. Please feel free to discuss this with our team on 0207 483 8644.



Local Authority Searches are a set of standard enquiries raised with the local authority and will reveal, amongst other things ,any planning permissions and building regulations for work undertaken on the property.

The search is only on the property itself and would not reveal proposals to develop or extend neighbouring land or property.


The cost of a local authority search varies from local authority to local authority but typically range from £150-£500 plus VAT. The search will reveal e.g.

  • .planning history and breaches of planning and building regulations.
  • public highways and nearby road improvements/schemes
  • railway schemes such as HS2 and Rail which may affect the property.
  • rights of way


Chancel check (Some property owners have a legal obligation to pay for  repairs to a local church which may or may not be the local parish church) The cost of this is typically about £25.00.plus VAT.


Drainage and Water authority searches –how water is provided to the property and if any public drains on the property might affect the property or any further building works in the future. The cost of this is typically about £65.plus VAT.


Environmental –This will disclose any contaminated land at or around the property, landfill sites, former and current industry, detailed flooding predictions, radon gas hazard, ground stability issues and other related information. The cost of this is typically about £53.00.plus VAT.


Bankruptcy search
As part of any mortgage offer (if applicable)the lender will require that this search is carried out to declare whether you have been declared bankrupt. The cost of this search is £2.00 per name.


Optional searches
E.g. tin mining in Cornwall, coal mining searches in various parts of UK, additional authority searches such as public paths, pipelines, noise abatement zones, common land London Underground etc.

Typically, these types of searches cover £0.00-£200.00 plus VAT.


Land Registry Title register/Title plan to check the legal ownership of the property and rights which have been granted and/or reserved and any restrictive covenants to which the property is subject. There may be a number of documents which make up the title. The cost of obtaining each document is £3.00 per document.


Land Registry Priority search

A priority search is used to protect a transaction and prevents a registration at the Land Registry of an adverse interest for 30 business days to allow the applicant to lodge the protected application. The cost of this search is £3.00.


Land registry Office Copy fee £3.00 per document

This is the fee to obtain copies of documents at the Land Registry.


Bank transfer fee

Where funds are sent electronically there is a bank transfer fee of £15.00
Faster payment £5.00
Next day 47p
3day 36p
All Bank fees are plus  VAT per transfer .


Indemnity policy

During the course of a transaction there may emerge an issue with the property for example a defect in the title to the property and you will be advised take out an indemnity policy to protect you /and or your lender if applicable , against such liability or defect.

The cost of an indemnity policy is linked to the purchase price and details of the cost will be provided if such a policy becomes necessary.



If the property which you are purchasing is leasehold, it will be important to check the number of years of the lease term which are remaining. The various institutional lenders require a minimum number of years remaining. Where the term remaining is below 80 years then the price required to purchase an extension to the term under statute will rise considerably and this will reduce the value of the property.


Leasehold property disbursements

The disbursements may vary according to the terms of the Lease, so we set out below a list of the more common type of disbursement but please note this is not an exhaustive list. Some charges can be significantly higher but will not be known until receipt of the relevant documents.


Notice of transfer fee.

This fee is chargeable Often it is between £75- £150 plus VAT.


Notice of charge fee (if it is set out in the terms of the Lease if the property is to be mortgaged. Often it is between £75- £150 plus VAT.

Deed of covenant fee. The fee is charged by the management company for the property and can be difficult to estimate. Often it is between £75- £150 plus VAT.

Certificate of Compliance fee – To be confirmed on receipt of the lease Can range  between £75- £150 plus VAT.



Stamp Duty Land Tax – This is quite complicated to calculate.

This depends on the purchase price of your property. You can calculate the amount you will need to pay by using HMRC’s website or if the property is located in Wales by using the Welsh Revenue Authority’s website.



A Mortgage is a loan provided on the security of the property. The lenders have a set of standard instructions and each lender also specifies what specific further information is required before agreeing to make the loan. The mortgage company will send its valuer to the property to ensure the property provides sufficient security for the loan and you will have to pay this fee in addition to any survey that you arrange. Note – such valuations are not surveying for structural or other inspections.


We will discuss the conditions of the mortgage offer with you. It is very strongly recommended that you arrange your own detailed survey of the property.


Factors that might increase the cost of the service.

  • If the legal title is defective or part of the property is unregistered
  • If it is discovered the building regulations and planning permission has not been complied with
  • If crucial documents are missing


Once you and we are satisfied with all the information provided about the property and the parties are ready to exchange contracts you will have to arrange building insurance for the property if the contract provides for the risk to pass to the buyer on exchange of contracts.  In any event you are strongly advised to effect such insurance on exchange of contracts


A housing chain.

Sometimes your purchase is dependent on the sellers’ purchase of another property and in some cases the chain might be even longer. In such cases the exchange will only happen if each person in the chain is ready to exchange. This means if one person is not ready the exchange everyone else in the chain is held up and we will do our best to speed the process up and keep you updated.

Land Registry fees

Value or amount Apply by post Apply on line through the Land Registry portal,
for transfers or surrenders which affect
the whole of a registered title
Apply online through the Land Registry portal, for registration of all leases and transfers or surrenders which affect
part of a registered title
Voluntary first registration (reduced fee)
0 to £80,000 £40 £20 £40 £30
£80,001 to £100,000 £80 £40 £80 £60
£100,001 to £200,000 £190 £95 £190 £140
£200,001 to £500,000 £270 £135 £270 £200
£500,001 to £1,000,000 £540 £270 £540 £400
£1,000,001 and over £910 £455 £910 £680


You will see that there is a considerable amount of work involved in the conveyancing process and you should have confidence that you will receive the highest standard of service to ensure this matter runs as smoothly as possible from our conveyancing team and a solicitor will be handling each stage of the process.


We set out our price structure below but please feel free to speak to Des, Diane, Luiza or Pauline  if there is any further information you require or if there are particular circumstances of which we should be aware.

We are here to help!



Our fees cover all of the work required to complete the purchase of your new home, including dealing with registration at the Land Registry and dealing with the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) if the property is in England, or Land Transaction Tax (Land Tax) if the property you wish to buy is in Wales.


Our fees are calculated dependent on the price or value of the property.

To assist you please look at the following table for our current fee structure. All fees are exclusive of VAT and disbursements.


We aim to give you the best possible information about the overall likely cost at the outset, but we will update you as the matter progresses if appropriate.


If we are unable to act for any Lender/Mortgagee which you have selected, we shall advise you immediately.

FEES cover all of the work required to complete the sale or purchase of your property. Our fees  assume that ,

a. this is a standard transaction and that there are no unforeseen circumstances that might arise including for example (but not limited to ) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion, or the property or part of the property is unregistered or building regulations or planning permission has not been obtained, or the preparation of additional documents in ancillary to the main transaction.

b. the transaction is not unduly time consuming, is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complications arise.

c. all parties to the transaction are cooperative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation.

d. in the case of the sale of a leasehold property that it is the assignment of an existing lease that does not require the landlord’s consent to assign, and a lease extension is not required. Additional charges would apply in such situations.

e. no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.

Any of the above factors would typically increase the cost of the service.

These are examples of the sort of disbursements that might be incurred on a typical residential sale, but this is not intended to be an exhaustive list.


Land Registry Title Documents to check the legal ownership of the property and rights which have been granted and/or reserved and any restrictive covenants to which the property is subject. There may be a number of documents which make up the title. The cost of obtaining each document is £3.00 per document.


Bank transfer fee
Where funds are sent electronically there is a bank transfer fee of £15.00
Faster payment £5.00
Next day 47p
3 day 36p

All Bank fees are plus VAT per transfer .


Leasehold Information Pack

This information is typically prepared by the managing agents of the building. It includes information about the Service Charges and the Ground Rent and other information I about the building and common parts including for example plans of the building. The cost of the pack varies from managing agent to managing agent. Often the cost is between £150 to 300  plus VAT .


How long will the sale take?

We would normally expect a sale transaction with no unforeseen problems to take between 10-12 weeks from the date of the offer being accepted until completion .#it can be quicker or slower depending on a whole range of issues which may not be in our control .

If you are selling a leasehold property that also requires a lease extension the process can take much longer and there will be additional charges.


Stages of the process

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
  • Contact your lender if any to obtain redemption statement if needed.
  • Prepare contract documents.
  • Reply to any necessary enquiries of buyer’s solicitor.
  • Obtain further planning documentation if required.
  • Send final contract to you for signature.
  • Agree completion date(date from which you cease to own the property)
  • Exchange contracts and notify you that this has happened.
  • Completes sale.
  • Arrange for mortgage to be redeemed if applicable.
  • Send sale proceeds to you.


Up to £250.000 925.00 185.00 1100  
£250,000-£500,000 1200.00 240.00 1440  
£500,000-£750,000 1800.00 360.00 2160  
£750,000-£1,000,000 2200.00 440.00 2640  
£100,000-£1,500,000 2800 560.00 3360  
Over £1.5m We will discuss and agree a fee on request      
If Leasehold Property Add 450.00 90.00 540.00  



Up to £250.000 875.00 175.00 1050.00    
£250,000-£500,000 950.00 190.00 1140.00    
£500,000-£750,000 1300.00 260.00 1560.00    
£750,000-£1,000,000 1750.00 350.00 2100.00    
£100,000-£1,500,000 1950.00 390.00 2340.00    
Over £1.5m We will discuss and agree a fee on request        
If Leasehold property Add £400.00 £80.00 £480.00    



Remortgage 750.00 150.00 900.00  
Transfer of Equity 850.00 170.00 1,020.00  
Lease extension 1950.00 390.00 2340.00  


The above fees are on the basis that the transaction proceeds in a timely manner with no unforeseen technical or other issues arising which result in unusually protracted correspondence.

We will let you know of any unforeseen complexity arising at the earliest opportunity.




Most transactions complete between 8-12 week to completes. .In the event that transactions do not complete within 6 months then we reserve our right to review our quotation.


It can be quicker or slower, depending on the parties in the chain and other factors beyond our control.

However, if you are buying a leasehold property that requires an extension of the lease, this can take significantly longer, between 2 and 6 months. In such a situation additional charge would apply.




Purchase of a residential freehold property value -£1m and no mortgage (1 Purchaser)

(assuming for example not a first time buyer and not owner of other properties and is a UK resident )

Charges (£)Amount Disbursements(£)Description Disbursements(£)Amount VAT(£) Total(£)
Our Fees 2800.00     560.00  
Bank charges
1 BACS (3 days)


Bank transfer fee (same day)

    Land Registry registration fee 270.00    
    Local Authority  Property Search fee (depends on location of property ) 250.00    
    Land registry search fee 3.00    
    Land Charges search fee 2.00    
    Stamp Duty Land Tax (assuming for example not a first time buyer and not owner of other properties 43,750.00    
    Completion after 30th September 2021     47,638.00


Sale of a residential freehold property value -£1m and no mortgage (1 Seller)

Charges Description Charges (£) Amount Disbursements(£)
Our Fees 1950.00     390.00  
    Land Registry registration fee  6.00