Recent government changes have introduced a Stamp Duty holiday which means that no Stamp Duty will become payable for many transactions and will be significantly reduced on others. These changes apply only for purchases completed before 31 March 2021. If a purchase does not complete before that date Stamp Duty must be paid at the rate applicable before the changes.
We appreciate that many clients will be anxious to take advantage of the stamp duty “holiday” and we will do all that we can to help them do so. But property transactions are taking longer than usual. Many organisations have furloughed staff or have people working remotely. Lenders are taking longer to deal with mortgages, searches are being completed more slowly. We do all we can to turn things around swiftly when it is within our control to do so. There are many aspects of a property transaction where we are reliant upon third parties to respond to us.
We recognise that as we get closer to 31 March those involved in buying and selling properties will become increasingly concerned about achieving this deadline. We advise all clients that they should take a realistic approach and ensure they have funds available to pay additional Stamp Duty if it is simply not possible to complete their transaction by 31 March 2021.
We are aware that other organisations offering conveyancing services may be “guaranteeing” to complete transactions by 31 March 2021 or suggesting that they will do so if an enhanced fee is paid for their services. We advise you to treat such offers with caution. No organisation can provide such a guarantee regardless of the fees paid because they cannot control the speed with which third parties respond to enquiries.