Stamp Duty Holiday – Move Quickly or Miss Out

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The current stamp duty holiday during which no stamp duty is payable on the first £500,000 of the purchase price is due to end on 31st March 2021.

We have seen a number of news articles recently regarding the stamp duty holiday coming to an end and the risk that many prospective purchases, including those who have recently had offers accepted, may well fail to complete by 31st March and not benefit from the stamp duty holiday.

One such article which was featured on the Estate Agent Today website on 9th November quoted a national conveyancing firm as saying “anyone ringing us will be quoted with SDLT at the normal rate, so that will set it out from the start that the likelihood is that they won’t be completing by 31 March.” The article goes on to note that Three weeks ago three conveyancing groups – The Society of Licensed Conveyancers, the Bold Legal Group, and The Conveyancing Association – warned in a statement: “The message that conveyancers would like clients and their estate agents to take on board is – understand that transactions are going to take longer than usual to progress and please be patient. Continually chasing your lawyer actually makes them less productive and indirectly is a further cause of delay in the process.”

There is no denying that the property market is busier than it has been for a very long time and this will inevitably lead to delays especially where a chain is involved. It seems to be taking longer than ever for mortgage offers to be issued and local authorities, many of whom are working under added strain due to the current pandemic, are experiencing significant backlogs in processing applications for searches and providing results.

Despite the pressures we are all under, we are not going to adopt a somewhat defeatist attitude and tell new clients that we best quote on the basis that they will miss out on the stamp duty holiday. We will continue to do all we can to progress matters as quickly as possible our end to minimise the impact of the current delays. There are, however, many factors which are entirely outside of our control and we would therefore recommend that anybody who wishes to purchase within the stamp duty holiday period finds a property and instructs a solicitor without delay.

If you have any queries regarding any aspect of residential conveyancing, please contact Stephen Carr on 01306 884432 or email scarr@meaby.co.uk