SDLT (STAMP DUTY) AND CHANGES DUE ON 31ST MARCH 2021

Recent government changes introduced a Stamp Duty holiday which means that no Stamp Duty will become payable for many transactions and will be significantly reduced on others.

However, property transactions are taking longer than usual. Delays are caused by many factors; busy lenders and local authorities, inundated conveyancers, sudden changes in client circumstances, backlogs at the Land and Probate Registries, and delays in the divorce courts, etc.

The current national average transaction time is now 18-20 weeks (nearly 5 months).

We will endeavour to improve on this average on as many of our transactions as is possible, but please note that we cannot guarantee the time your transaction will take. This means that if your purchase does not complete on or before 31st March 2021, you will have to revert to and pay Stamp Duty under the previous rules.

Experience suggests that there is rarely such thing as a “simple transaction” and as we get nearer the 31st March deadline, it is inevitable that stress and frustration will become greater for those involved in the buying and selling of property.

We are advising all our clients and potential clients to be aware of this issue and to be realistic. “Plan for the worst” by making sure that you have funds available to pay any additional Stamp Duty should that become necessary.

We also suggest you question any promises made by other legal professionals offering to guarantee a transaction time or to charge greater fees to “get it through in time”. We have chosen to be transparent with our clients and offer this honest advice at the outset.

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