Residential property lawyers and Herald sponsors, THP Solicitors are warning people that they need to act now if they wish to take advantage of the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday that ends in March 2021. The stamp duty holiday means that buyers of homes valued at up to £500,000 will no longer pay any stamp duty on the purchase, resulting in a maximum saving of £15,000.
Emily Jones, a Conveyancing Executive in THP Solicitor’s Residential Property team said “Wednesday the 31st March is 11 weeks away – about the same time a straightforward property transaction is taking to complete in the current market – so if you want to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday you need to act now or risk missing the deadline”.
The stamp duty holiday has led to a huge increase of property transactions taking place and the sheer volume has unfortunately caused a backlog in valuations, mortgage approvals, and some conveyancing searches.
To put yourself in the best possible position to complete by the stamp duty deadline, and help reduce the inevitable stress of the house buying/selling process, here are a few of our do’s and don’ts…
- Instruct your conveyancers as soon as you put your property on the market, rather than waiting for an offer, as it enables them to run through mandatory preliminary steps such as anti-money laundering checks, and gather key information about your property that buyers will wish to review, such as Land Registry searches, copies of the property deeds, fixtures and fittings, warranties and guarantees etc.
- Make sure you have documentation such as wage slips, financial accounts or bank statements organised to help get your mortgage agreed in principle, have funds readily available for deposits etc
- If you are weighing up between two properties, consider chain lengths when placing an offer, as the more links the longer it could possibly take for every buyer in the chain to catch up/work at your expected pace.
- If buying a new build property, or if you have a new build in your property chain, ensure that it will be ready to legally complete on or before 31/3/2021 as otherwise that purchase will not be eligible for the SDLT holiday relief.
- Don’t delay in instructing surveyors or other property experts that maybe be required.
- Keep in regular contact with your estate agent and conveyancer and get back to them quickly if they request information, however let them lead the process as constant interruptions can slow things down.
- Do not proceed in a chain or on a purchase in hope that the SDLT will be extended. There have been calls for the stamp duty deadline to be extended but chancellor Rishi Sunak has indicated this will not happen, although the government may change its mind at a later date. It would be not advisable to proceed on the hope the extension will happen, unless of course you can afford and have budgeted to proceed worse case i.e. paying the full SDLT. See this calculator for more details.
For more information on buying or selling a property please contact THP Solicitor’s Residential Property team on 0118 920 9496 or email head of department Rachel Gaylor on firstname.lastname@example.org