Conveyancers make last-minute plea for new approach to exiting stamp duty holiday – do you agree?

The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), the Bold Legal Group (BLG) and the Conveyancing Association, have united to pen a joint letter to the chancellor proposing that a completely different approach is taken to removing stamp duty on properties up to £500,000 which is currently due to expire on 31st March.

The proposed approach is simple – allow any transaction on which a conveyancing lawyer has been formally instructed by a buyer before 28th February 2021 to qualify for the exemption provided the property purchase completes within 12 months.

Simon Law, SLC Chairperson, said: “Restoring the property market to a sense of normality has to be the priority as we emerge from the effects of the Covid pandemic restrictions.

“The SDLT ‘holiday’ has had the effect of injecting an unsustainable stimulus into the market. Bringing it to an end with a ‘cliff edge’ expiry date will result in a post code lottery worth several thousand pounds to some and not others, and has already created considerable stress on buyers, lawyers, lenders, search companies and local authorities amongst others.”

By allowing ‘natural market forces to resume in the property market’, the post code lottery ‘would be removed, and transactions would follow their normal path to completion without an artificial time constraint’, it is claimed.

“The SLC believes that there are strong signs of a robust property market in 2021 without the need for further government intervention, a spokesperson added.

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10 Comments

  1. mattfaizey

    12months?

    Is this about stamp duty or granting conveyancers the right to be even more sloth-like?

    A well considered, tapered phase out would be easy.

    What complicates things are when matters requiring a logical financial and business minded approach are left to those without the know how.

    The last six months with desperate lobbying from all and sundry has been embarrassing.

    One day we will actually allow natural market forces to prevail.

    That day cannot come soon enough

     

     

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    1. Rob Hailstone

      It would be refreshing if after the SDLT news has been announced tomorrow, we could try to find a way to all work together that doesn’t involve stooping to the level of the average social media troll (me included on occasion). There could be another three months when we should all be making hay (and helping people move) whilst the sun shines. Anyone have a hymn sheet we could all try to sing along to?

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  2. Murray Lee

    Totally agree

    Been saying this for weeks

    Why should buyers who have genuinely agreed a sale prior to 31/3 be penalised due to our archaic system full of red tape (to protect a buyer of course)

     

    Simpoly allow any confirmed sales with a proven sales memo and lawyers instructed plus proof of a contact being issued satisfy the situation

     

    Anything agree AFTER 31/3 does not qualify

     

    #schimples

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  3. Property Poke In The Eye

    The sooner these short term schemes come to an end the better.

     

    These schemes just don’t allow the market to work organically and just creates uncertainty.

     

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  4. MurphyRobin

    Hold up, backlog, poppycock.

    I agreed to purchase a property on 3rd February and I am exchanging contracts tomorrow.

    Nothing unusual, four weeks is about right from mortgage application to offer, although that only took two weeks.

    Nothing unusual, four weeks is about right for a local search, although that only took three weeks.

    Nothing unusual, four weeks is about right for a solicitor to complete the conveyancing, although that only took three weeks.

    Moving house can be quick and stress free if you use professionals to act on your behalf.

    Stay away from online conveyancing companies, they’ve been holding up sales for as long as I can remember.

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  5. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    “Stay away from online conveyancing companies, they’ve been holding up sales for as long as I can remember.”
    If lockdown has shown us anything in the home moving industry it is that estate agents who recommend them = and factory style – should be boycotted.

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  6. Honest John

    With regard to the SDLT holiday I think we are all heartily sick of reading about it now. Especially some of the comments being made by people who set themselves up to know better but seem to have forgotten how to behave properly as evinced above and daily on social media.
    I think the last twelve months has been a period that will go down as one of the darkest times in Conveyancing and I hope a lot of people can look themselves in the mirror at the end of it.
    Anyway I have a radical suggestion. Why don’t we wait for the Budget announcement, see what that is, and comment then? Before getting on with our lives.

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  7. Ric

    How did we cope before the Stamp Duty holiday…

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  8. David Jabbari Solicitor CEO Muve

    Abolition of SDLT is the only way you can have so-called ‘normal’ market forces working in the property market.

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  9. biffabear

    The Government, should ‘get out’ of the housing market.

    Let the housing market rise and fall in line with affordability.

    Take stamp duty back to pre Gordon Brown levels, back to 1% across the board.  More people will move and they will get more revenue.

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