There are a number of fees and costs involved when it comes to buying a residential property, one of which is a Land Registry fee. Despite not being massively expensive in most cases it is still important to know what this fee is for, so you can understand why you need to pay it and its relevance to your house purchase. That’s why we have put together this guide explaining what Land Registry fees are, the exact figures involved etc.
Firstly, what is the Land Registry?
The Land Registry is a government body and essentially a database containing the details of all owned and registered properties within England and Wales. When it comes to changing the registered ownership of a property during a sale, there is a fee associated which the buyer is responsible to pay for.
Since the Land Registry transitioned to an online format in 1996 it is much more difficult for unregistered properties to escape through the net, so it is highly likely that the house you are buying is already registered and the ownership needs to be transferred to you. If you want to see who is registered as the current legal owner of a property you can do easily online costing only £3.
Land Registry fee costs
There isn’t one set fee when it comes to transferring property ownership with the Land Registry. It depends on a few different factors including the cost of the property and how you are registering it (whether it is by post or online). If you are applying for and paying the fee online then you will pay half the price compared to those using the postal option.
Keep in mind that Land Registry fees are not the same as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) which you might also have to pay. You can see some specific figures for the Land Registry fee costs below, but as an example if you purchase a freehold property worth somewhere in the region of £250,000 your fees will come in at roughly £330 if you pay by post and £150 if you pay online.
As you can see, this is a significant saving which becomes more and more valuable as the price of the property you’re buying increases, so there is certainly a big advantage to paying your Land Registry costs online.
|£80,000 or less
|£80,001 – £100,000
|£100,001 – £200,000
|£200,001 – £500,000
|£500,001 – £1,000,000
At what point during the buying process do you pay Land Registry fees?
During the residential conveyancing process with your solicitor, you will have a form to complete from the Land Registry. Once this has been filled in and the information is checked to ensure it is correct, you will send the payment to your solicitor who will then submit the application and money using the specific online portal.
When the application has been sent there is normally a fairly quick turnaround and the transfer of ownership for the property on the registry would take about 4 weeks for a freehold. Leasehold properties often take quite a bit longer at roughly 6 to 12 months.
In addition, the department has been trying to clear a backlog registrations since the coronavirus pandemic, so it isn’t uncommon for the process to take longer than 4 weeks. However, your conveyancing solicitor will be able to keep you informed of everything that is going on with your application.
Land Registry fees are an important part of your house buying process, so it’s helpful to understand what they are and why you are paying them, which we hope you have learnt in this guide. If you need help with residential or commercial conveyancing our team at Toomey Legal can help. Our property solicitors in Newcastle have extensive experience in helping buyers complete the purchase of their dream homes as smoothly and stress-free as possible.