Davies Bays & Co trading as

John Bays & Co Solicitors

Incorporating Windsor & Co and Denis Mann Bays & Co

240A High Road, Wood Green, London N22 8HH
TEL: 020 8881 3609
FAX: 020 8889 2855
EMAIL: law@johnbays.co.uk for enquiry purposes only.

We do not accept service by email.

Conveyancing: Buying a leasehold flat

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

Legal Fee: These will usually range between £950.00 - £1500.00 plus VAT (currently 20%) and will be dependent on the type and value of property being purchased. In addition, there are always costs (known as disbursements) related to your purchase which have to be paid to third parties. We pay these on your behalf to ensure a smooth process. These include local authority search fees, land registry fees, notice fees and fees for the electronic transfer of money and often, but not always, Stamp Duty Land Tax  and we explain more about this below:

Search Fees: The three main searches carried out for a purchase include:-

  • a drainage and water search which currently costs £56.00
  • an environmental search including flood data which currently costs £58.80
  •  a local authority search which can range between £100.00- £275.00 depending on which borough the property is located in.

The above search fees payable to third parties may increase and we will let you know if they do.  There are other searches such as a coal mining search, plan search and chancel searches which may apply depending on the location of the property.  We will advise you of the cost if any of these searches are necessary.

HM Land Registry Fee: This is on a sliding scale and could cost between £20.00-£455.00 depending on the value of the property where the application can be made electronically (£20.00 is payable for  properties worth up to £80,000.00 and £455.00 is payable for properties worth £1,000,001.00 or over).  If the property is a new build or involves a transfer of part or was previously un-registered H M Land Registry, the fees will on a sliding scale between £40.00- £910.00 (£40.00 is payable for properties worth up to £80,000.00 and £955.00 is payable for properties worth £1,000,001.00 or more)


Stamp Duty or Land Tax (on purchase):

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 here.. You must be aware of the potential additional 3% Stamp Duty for an additional residential property.
We do not pay or receive any referral fees for any agents or third parties.

Payment on account: we will request a payment on account at the outset of the transaction, currently £500.00.


EXAMPLE OF A LEASEHOLD PURCHASE : For the purchase of an existing leasehold flat (not a new build) with a purchase price of £460,000.00 in the London borough of Enfield with a mortgage, our fees and disbursements would be as follows:

Legal Fees:  £1,100.00
Local Authority Search: £237.00
Drainage and Water Search: £56.00
Environmental Search: £58.80
Notice of Transfer and Charge Fee(estimated)
Payable to Freeholder £100.00
Deed of Covenant fee (if applicable)(estimated)
Payable to Freeholder £100.00
Certificate of Compliance fee (if applicable)
(estimated) payable to Freeholder £100.00
Land Registration fee: £135.00
Land Registry Priority Search fee: £3.00
Bankruptcy Search fee (per name): £2.00
Anti Money Laundering Check fee (per name): £9.00 £800.80
Total £2,120.80

Stamp Duty (estimated) for the above example (estimated) for a buyer who is an individual replacing their existing home (so not a first time buyer or someone purchasing an additional property) would be £13,000.00 


Stages of the process

The precise stages involved in the purchase of a residential property vary according to the circumstances. However, we have suggested some key stages below:

  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice, complete client care documentation and due diligence
  • 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
  • Explain the provisions of the lease to you
  • 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
  • Arrange for all monies needed to be received from lender and you
  • Complete purchase
  • Deal with payment of Stamp Duty/Land Tax
  • Deal with application for registration at Land Registry
  • Serve notices on the Landlord

The example set out above is on the assumption that:

  • this is a standard transaction where the flat is being bought with mortgage funding and no unforeseen matters arise including for example (but not limited to) a defect in title which requires remedying prior to completion or the preparation of additional documents ancillary to the main transaction
  • this is the assignment of an existing lease and not the grant of a new lease
  • the transaction is concluded in a timely manner and no unforeseen complication arise
  • all parties to the transaction are co-operative and there is no unreasonable delay from third parties providing documentation
  • no indemnity policies are required. Additional disbursements may apply if indemnity policies are required.
  • The price will also be determined by a number of factors-
  • The value of the property
  • If you are a first-time buyer
  • Whether the property is a new build  (which can often result in a large number of additional matters to be dealt with) 
  • Whether the purchase will involve a first registration of title at the Land Registry
  • Whether a mortgage is required or not and the type of mortgage
  • Whether the property will be your primary residence, a buy to let or second/holiday home
  • Whether there are to be multiple owners
  • Whether the property being bought involves a shared ownership scheme
  • Whether the buyer is using a help to buy scheme, and whether there will be an equity loan or ISA
  • Whether the purchase is under the Right to Buy scheme
  • Whether the purchase is at auction
  • Whether the property has been repossessed

NB: This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

How long will my flat purchase take?

How long it will take from your offer being accepted until you can move in to your flat will depend on a number of factors, which are often largely outside your control or ours. The average process may take between 8 to16 weeks.
It can be quicker or slower, depending on the time taken to obtain any mortgage required and the parties in the chain. For example, if you are a first time buyer, purchasing a new build property with a mortgage in principle, it could take 8 weeks (on the basis that the property is already built and not “off-plan”).

Purchase not proceeding: If, for any reason, we are unable to complete the purchase of your property, we will make a charge which will be a proportion of the fixed fee quoted relative to the time spent. Purchases that fail to complete often involve as much work as those which reach completion. Any charge made will not exceed the amount of the fixed fee we have given.


Please note that we will always provide you with individual costs information and a copy of our terms and conditions of business.


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The partners in Davies Bays & Co are John Bays, Riyad McDoom, Naomi Bays and Michael Christopher. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority No. 070397  www.sra.org.uk