A six-week stamp duty holiday extension ‘does little to help the impending deadline’

With just six weeks until the end of the stamp duty holiday, those working in the housing industry, including estate agents, are being urged to “manage buyers’ expectations” as there is now only a small chance of completing transactions before the cut-off date, O’Neill Patient LLP has warned.

The conveyancer says that buyers “purchasing property since the beginning of the year” are at greatest risk of missing out on the stamp duty holiday but that comes as little surprise.

The chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be considering a six-week extension to the stamp duty holiday to allow more time for existing deals to be completed.

However, O’Neill Patient argues that a six-week stamp duty holiday extension ‘does little to help the impending deadline’.

It adds that an extension to the existing tax break would merely add ‘newer buyers into the race to beat the cut-off’.

Andy Scaife, chief executive at ONP Group, said: “Some clients are understandably disappointed that they are likely to miss the stamp duty deadline. For some time now, we have been doing our best to manage buyers’ expectations by letting them know what the stamp duty charge will be if they cannot complete by 31 March.

“Whilst we will try to do everything we can to complete as many of those transactions in our pipeline, it is better to know now rather than on the day of completion so at least they can try to make some preparations to cover the extra cost, should it arise.”

The chancellor considers ‘extending stamp duty holiday by six weeks’


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  1. Typhoon

    Usual solicitor’s negative perspective   Half the trouble with the delays

    “If” the chancellor extends it he is unlikely to allow “new entrants”  to the scheme after March 31st, so it is VERY welcome news that doesn’t need a doom and gloom warning. It will give those already in the process of buying/ selling a fighting chance to get their deals over the line. Their greatest risk of failure  is the negativity and snails pace of many conveyancing solicitors

    1. Truthspeaks

      Rubbish!! It’s not negative it’s honesty.

      keep the deadline at the end of March, everyone has had time to prepare!


    A six week extension seems to pretty generous to me, no one expected an indefinite / open ended extension period, so 6 weeks will allow all those expecting to meet the deadline (and a few more) to benefit from the tax break.


  3. surrey1

    Agreed, we’ve known the timeframe since July. Not that I anticipate O’Neill Patient ever getting a deal over the line in a timely fashion. Dire in my experience.

  4. southernergonenorf33

    Absolute classic comment from probably the worst solicitors we are currently dealing with, and have dealt with for a long time. They never respond to our calls or politely worded emails which not only ask for an update but also offer our assistance if they could use it. Still, not sure why this continues to surprise me as they don’t even respond to their clients calls – who then call us and ask us to chase their solicitors as they won’t return their calls, who then don’t call us………and so it continues and then before you know it the 31st March is here!

    The way these guys work a six month extension wouldn’t make a difference.

    When are some of these solicitors going to cotton-on to the fact that we are all in this together and by the Government allowing us to continue trading through these times, we have a responsibility to assist our clients, get them moved, and ultimately stay in business – which is surely the goal isn’t it?


    1. forwardthinker

      I would like to know how O’Neil Patient were given this type of exposure on a supposedly respected industry platform.
      Possibly the worst solicitors I’ve come across, certainly up there with the worst.
      Really poor PIE

    2. Truthspeaks

      Could be worse, could be cook Taylor woodhouse!!! Utter joke of a firm, never return calls or emails,  takes them a week to do anything, they make countrywide look amazing 

  5. MarkJ

    Some people never seem to be happy ….even when they possibly will get something that they asked for.

    They should be grateful that theyre not NHS medics on the frontline dealing with more complex life and death situations.  I’d hate to think how theyd cope…..

  6. forwardthinker

    O’Neill Patient!?!?

    I would like to know how they get invited to comment on a respected industry media platform? Don’t have one positive experience to recall and when a buyer vendor gives their details the eyes roll.

    The whole process of conveyancing needs close inspection by the authorities anyway, we’re all frustrated by the lack of decent solicitors, usually rude and arrogant yielding their power to delay transactions, without any regard to sellers, buyers or agents.

    Notwithstanding chains, freehold transactions can easily complete in four to six weeks.

  7. AJL20

    Should there not be an ‘Advertorial’ notice at the top of this piece? I can only presume that OP have paid to have this feature, rather than been approached for comment due to their prowess and professional credibility.

  8. Essjaydee51

    If they are as bad as you say, and it seems you have support for that opinion here judging by these posts, why don’t you ask your client to make a call to them saying that if the call isn’t returned by end of todays business you will report them to the SRA, it puts the fear of God into most solicitors just like it would buck your actions up if your client said I’m going to the ombudsman.

    Unless this company wants to go out of business, I know the ultimatum works.

  9. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    The stamp duty holiday has been a usual Government mess, because they caused the rush of people and then mid way told lawyers to work from home without then extending it for a proportionate period. A plain and simple mess.
    However, the holiday has also highlighted the inferior conveyancers, those who:
    – have mismanaged their clients’ expectations and were not crystal clear at the outset that 1 April won’t be possible
    – took on too much work and have failed to service it (and will be the cause of people not making1 April)
    – have progressed the conveyancing in their usual snail pace (i.e asking pointless enquiries, not progressing every step they could on each occasion they looked at the file, being poorly trained and not really fit to offer conveyancing)
    – market themselves as fast and who can meet the 1 April deadline, but actually are skipping steps and overlooking issues
    On the other hand, vast numbers of law firms have never been as busy, yet who have had the best year on record and whose clients have all secured the stamp duty holiday.



  10. James White

    Lots of factors at play here of course.

    I do think a lot of conveyancers and estate agents kept their staff on furlough for too long, but then again the rush in the market was a surprise given what the country has gone through.

    The backlog still has not worked its way through.

    Agents and conveyancers have had it in their hands to manage buyer and seller expectations and if anyone has really budgeted for the SD saving at this late hour, then I am afraid they have been naive….

    1. Typhoon

      James the rush was six months ago !
      I bet you this firm has emails unanswered fir that long !!!

  11. htsnom79

    For the love of God just phase it out, 100% relief by end march / 75% April / 50% May / 25% June finished.

    Agents are accustomed and able to manage decline, the penalties for missing gateways are mitigated and where required likely negotiable.

  12. Gcdc

    As usual the solicitors get the bad press. Not for one minute saying there aren’t bad Solicitors but there are bad agents too that are equally responsible for managing clients expectations.

    Telling clients set dates of completion before a mortgage offer or searches have been received does nothing to help the situation. The best agents work with, rather than against which makes the process for the client a lot less stressful.

    No mention on here either that I’ve seen, of the massive delays in some cases that conveyancers have had in obtaining mortgage offers or searches. Just easier to remain ignorant of the process, apportion the blame and focus on the commission.

    Conveyancers do have a legal job to do and act for the lender in most cases as well as the client, also highly regulated in everything they do.Firms could be sued if something isn’t done properly.

    Not an agent hater and I have a lot of time and respect for some, but the ignorance and arrogance of some of these comments astounds me. Whole industry just needs to try and work together

    In any event reasons and blame aside, its not rocket science, everybody trying to hurtle through an open door at the same time is inevitably going to end in chaos, whether now or in six weeks time. And no i don’t work for O’Neil’s


    1. JELS

      Just reading all of these comments clarifies the following points;

      1) Stamp duty was a good incentive however the government did not and could not foresee the volume of sales that would attract.

      2) Everyone in a chain are desperately trying to get completed in the SD window. They should not be penalised as the congestion for searches, surveys, COVID two and three….are not their fault.

      3) Many agents in my area still have staff furloughed which in my opinion is a disgusting.

      4) Some good conveyancing firms stopped taking on new business in from November.

      5) Some conveyancing firms took so much business on that their service fell to the floor – but they don’t care. This was greed and not service.

      6) Gazumping has been a nightmare and should be stopped!

      7) Probate is still delayed.

      8) Now every time I refer a sale/purchase to a conveyancer, they are saying they are not interested in any lease properties, long chains or lower end sales!

      9) Agents and conveyancing firms on answer machine – they are still emailing they are busy and asking clients not to call their offices. This is fine if they responded to emails.

      10) Agents referring their clients to online conveyancers which are sold to them as they are cheaper……what the agents is not saying they get between a £100 to £300 introduction fee….so they are not really bothered.

      11) People have good memories, and for all the companies that have given such poor service………they will not get repeat business going forward!

      Oh, and agents and conveyancers have been told to take their holidays otherwise they will lose them. Also a lot of staff off sick with stress! More congestion!

      So, I feel even if the stamp duty extension is only six weeks, this will be a good thing.


      Stay safe everyone x

      1. forwardthinker

        Can’t disagree with any of those points. Particularly agree with 3 & 10, but that is perhaps connected to agents’ morals and ethics.

        1. JELS

          Yes it is sad for the rest of us forwardthinker – as people tend to blanket their comments. Anyway, it is Sunday and I am working to try to get my clients to completion!
          Have a good Sunday x

  13. Petter

    Schlüsseldienst regensburg bietet verschiedene offene Schlösser für Ihre Türen, Wohnungen und Büros an.




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