In a bid to look at the charging practices of certain Conveyancing Solicitors, I will be going through the various Conveyancing Fees sometimes charged by property lawyer s, where to spot them (they are not always easy to find until you get an invoice) and what they are for.
This article will be the first of the Conveyancing Fees Spotlight series.
So if you are all sitting comfortably, I shall begin.
A is for 'Admin Fee'
Where applicable the admin charge ranges from £5 to around £50.
Often found on the front of the Conveyancing Quote (but sometimes found lurking in the Solicitors terms of engagement in tiny font size) these Conveyancing Fees are typically a catch all for phone calls, stationary, photocopying etc. .
Conveyancing Fees for photocopying - whatever next?
Nobody would argue that these are not all legitimate costs incurred by the Solicitor on your behalf, but aren't they just overheads like any business has to swallow? Well yes of course they are and any business you deal with will have to factor these in as part of their business overhead.
Some would argue that it seems a bit petty to itemise the 'admin fee'. Then again others would prefer to see how the Conveyancing Fees break down and that this is standard practice in most industries today (anyone bought an air ticket recently?).
Most Solicitors apply one set charge to all home buyers and sellers as it is just too unwieldy to expect the property lawyer to be recording every phone call, envelope and stamp.
Depending on your circumstances you might actually get the upside of this - there will in fact be winners and losers. For example, imagine you are working abroad - all of the call charges borne by your Solicitor will be included in these standard Conveyancing Fees. Bargain!
As is often the case, it is not the costs per se that home buyers and sellers object to, it is the way in which they are sometimes separated out and 'squirrelled' away to make the headline Conveyancing Fees appear more attractive.
In conclusion then, the Conveyancing Insider's view is that this fee is perfectly legitimate but must always be brought to the client's attention prior to taking instruction.
Fridaysmove do not charge Conveyancing Fees for administration as these form part of the core charges.