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Buy-to-Let Conveyancing Solicitors

Adele MacGregor

Written by

3rd Jan 2023 (Last updated on 5th May 2023) 6 minute read

The buy-to-let conveyancing process is followed for landlords who purchase properties with the sole purpose to rent out. Since buy-to-lets are classed as investment property, you will need a solicitor. They will offer you support and ensure you are ready to take on the legal responsibilities of a landlord. The conveyancing process is more complex due to the additional steps required.

In this guide, we take you through everything you need to know about buy-to-let solicitors and buying a buy-to-let property.

  1. What Do They Do?
  2. What is the Buy-to-Let Conveyancing Process?
  3. How Much are Solicitor Fees for Buy-to-Let?
  4. Stamp Duty for Buy-to-Let Properties
  5. Capital Gains Tax
  6. Buy-to-Let Mortgages
  7. Finding a Conveyancer

What Do They Do?

The buy-to-let legal process is different as it requires a specific type of mortgage and there are additional checks that need to be carried out. It’s essential to research as much buy-to-let property advice as possible before finding a solicitor.

Here are some of the duties your solicitor will be tasked with during the buy-to-let conveyancing process:

  • Checking for any problems or potential issues that could impact the sale
  • Liaise with other parties on your behalf and keep you up to date on the process
  • Review the terms of the contract and ensure they are understood by all parties involved
  • Submit documents and paperwork correctly
  • Handle the transfer of funds between parties and ensure other costs are paid for
  • Remortgaging a buy-to-let property in the future

Read our guide on the Conveyancing Process for Buying a House to find out more.

What is the Buy-to-Let Conveyancing Process?

When purchasing a buy-to-let property, you will need to instruct your solicitor when you make an offer. Due to the legal requirements involved, choosing an experienced conveyancing solicitor is essential. They will help you make informed decisions throughout the process.

Here is a step-by-step guide on the buy-to-let conveyancing process:

Step 1: Instruct your solicitor

Once you have made an offer, you need to instruct a solicitor to begin the process. You need to decide whether you wish to purchase the property as a private individual or as a limited company. Your solicitor will be able to give you legal advice as to which route you should take.

They will then contact the seller’s solicitor and receive the contract pack. The contract pack contains everything pertaining to the property. Your solicitor will explain everything in jargon-free terms. They will also provide you with sound advice through each stage of the process.

Read more about How to Find a Solicitor for Buying a House

Step 2: Conduct searches and submit documentation

The majority of the conveyancing process will be taken up by conveyancing searches. Your solicitor will conduct these searches to determine if there are any issues that could impact the property’s value.

Your solicitor will ensure there are no restrictions that prevent the buyer from having a tenancy agreement in place. This includes Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSE) forms which are specific forms designed for commercial properties. As buy-to-let properties are a source of income for the buyer, they are classed as commercial property.

Your solicitor will check whether you have landlord’s insurance in place as well as the appropriate building insurance.

Once this is done, they can submit the appropriate documentation and proceed with the transaction.

Step 3: Exchange of contracts

The buyer and seller’s conveyancing solicitors will then complete the exchange of contracts. This renders the transaction legally binding. Neither party will be able to withdraw from the sale without facing financial or legal implications. They will then agree on a completion date.

Step 4: Completion day

Completion day is when the buyer will receive the keys to the property. Depending on the case, the seller will either be required to move out of the property. However, if the buyer has agreed to purchase the property with the tenants in situ, then they will stay.

Step 5: Final steps

Once you have completed, you will need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax within 30 days of the sale. Your solicitor can do this on your behalf. They will register the property in the buyer’s name with the Land Registry.

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How Much are Solicitor Fees for Buy-to-Let?

Conveyancing fees are £1,939 when buying a freehold buy-to-let property and £2,109 when buying a leasehold buy-to-let property. This is based on the average property price of £277,000.

This cost considers the legal fees and disbursements and does not take into account any potential extra costs. This means that your total conveyancing cost may be higher if the transaction is complicated.

It’s always important to ask whether your solicitor provides an hourly or fixed fee. Fixed fees allow you to budget accordingly. Hourly rates can be extremely costly if the case becomes difficult.

Solicitor legal fees - £1,320 for freehold/£1,490 for leasehold

You pay legal fees to your solicitor for the work and time spent on the property transaction. Keep in mind this will differ depending on the complexity of the transaction.

Leasehold properties cost more due to the extra paperwork such as the Deed of Covenant and Certificate of Compliance.

Read more about Solicitors Fees for Buying a House

Disbursement Fees - £619

Conveyancing disbursement fees are costs that the conveyancer pays to third parties on your behalf. They include conveyancing searches and Stamp Duty. Your solicitor will also need to carry out additional searches to ensure that there are no rental restrictions on the property.

Use our Conveyancing Fees Calculator for an estimated cost.

Stamp Duty for Buy-to-Let Properties

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that is payable on homes that exceed a specified amount. It is higher on Buy-to-Let properties as they are classed as second homes. The total amount you will have to pay is dependent on the cost of the property and your current property.

In Wales, you must pay Land Transaction Tax (LTT). In Scotland, you will need to pay Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).

Find out how much Stamp Duty you owe using our Stamp Duty Calculator

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Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax is a tax that is payable if the property has increased in value after being purchased. This means you are only taxed on the gain and not the total sale price of the house.

The current CGT tax-free allowance is £12,300 for the current tax year. As of April 2020, CGT must be paid within 30 days of selling the property.

The total amount you will have to pay is dependent on the gain on the property and your rate of income tax.

Read more about Selling a Buy to Let Property

Buy-to-Let Mortgages

Buy-to-let mortgages are different from standard residential mortgages. The interest rate tends to be higher. Therefore, it’s important to look into various mortgage offers and determine which is the right mortgage deal for you.

Mortgage lenders will consider your property portfolio. They will ensure that you have the correct permissions in place. They may also carry out a mortgage valuation to ensure that you can handle the mortgage repayments.

A specialist buy-to-let mortgage requires a larger deposit. The minimum deposit for these properties is usually 25% of the property’s value but it can vary between 20-40%.

They come with strict criteria that consider the following:

Your age

Most lenders will have an age limit for when the mortgage term ends. It’s likely you will need to be 45 or under to qualify.


You must earn over £25,000 per annum.

Owning a property

You must have owned your own home for 6 months (with or without a mortgage).


The property must be located in the UK.

Credit score

You must have a very good credit score to apply.

To learn more on remortgaging, read our guide on How to Remortgage Buy to Let

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Finding a Conveyancer

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 licensed conveyancers who are able to assist you with your buy-to-let purchase. You can compare conveyancing quotes and save money on your fees.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over five years, Adele specialises in covering a range of surveying topics.

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