No time! Conveyancers’ anger over short gap between Budget and 3% Stamp Duty surcharge

Conveyancers have expressed serious criticisms about the short time frame between the Budget and April 1, when the new Stamp Duty surcharge is due to kick in.

The final rules on the 3% surcharge on purchases of all but first and only homes are due to be announced by the Chancellor on March 16.

That leaves barely two weeks before implementation.

Rob Hailstone, of conveyancing membership body The Bold Group, said that it does not give conveyancers nearly enough time.

There would be an insufficient period for conveyancers to understand the detailed impact of the provisions; advise clients; create processes to ensure that the correct returns are submitted within the short period; and obtain any additional tax that may be due.

In addition, Hailstone warns that purchases may not be able to fund extra tax that they have not budgeted for – for example, an extra £9,000 on a £300,000 purchaser.

Hailstone is also warning that, since the Land Registration does not process the registration of two transactions simultaneously, in most cases at least one of the buyers will legally own two properties for a number of days before both the registration of the purchase and sale are completed.

He said that very often legal ownership does not transfer until weeks or even months after the date of completion.

Hailstone is calling for implementation of the Stamp Duty surcharge to be delayed by at least three months.

Also calling for a delay is the Conveyancing Association, which said the time between the final policy details being revealed in the Budget and implementation was simply too short.

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One Comment

  1. Jacqueline Emmerson

    I think it should be a six month delay. If anyone is buying with a mortgage there is going to be delay from the lenders as everyone fights for a mortgage. Whenever a lender puts on a good deal there is a rush but never, it would seem, a corresponding rise in the number of staff processing the applications. It took me four months to buy a property last year. Lender Was slow, surveyor just as slow and finally structural engineer was slow. I might add that our solicitors firm was way ahead of everyone else’s game!

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