The overall purpose of the conveyancing process is to transfer the legal title of a property from one person to another. In practice, your conveyancer will help you navigate all of the complex legal procedures required throughout the buying and selling journey.
At various points of this journey, your conveyancer will talk about disbursements and will likely say you need to pay extra fees for them to be completed.
What are conveyancing disbursements?
‘Disbursements’ is fancy legal jargon for payments which your conveyancer has to make to other organisations in order to gain vital information about the home you are buying.
Some disbursements are essential for every property purchase, while others are only necessary with certain types of property or those found in certain areas.
Examples of disbursements are:
- Local Authority search
Your local authority must be contacted to make sure there are no unwelcome surprises coming your way. This might include a dog food factory which is scheduled to be built next door, a new A-road planned to cut through your front garden, or any building regulations attached to the property which might hamper your renovation plans in the future.
- Flood risk report
Homes near rivers or in coastal towns will often require a flood risk report. While not always mandatory, some mortgage providers will insist on one being conducted, as may your insurance provider.
- Environmental search
Carried out by private companies rather than government officials, an environmental search will essentially tell you whether it’s safe to live in your home. If, for example, the property sits near an industrial site of any kind, air quality might be jeopardised.
- Land Registry transfer fee
Believe it or not, after all of the money you’ve spent buying your new home and all of the hoops you’ve jumped through, the final thing you have to do is pay a little bit more money. This time, it’s for the property’s ownership to be officially transferred over to you on the Land Registry.
Do I have to pay for disbursements?
By and large, these fees are unavoidable and most conveyancers will not include them in the fee they quote you. We recommend budgeting for these costs.
If your conveyancer provides a ‘no move, no fee’ pricing model, be aware that disbursements may not be included so, even if your purchase falls through, you could still be out of pocket. You should ask for clarity on this as early as possible.
How much did you pay for disbursements and did they find anything unusual about your property? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
And if you have any conveyancing-related questions for our property expert, Russell Quirk, drop it in the comments and he’ll respond quick smart.