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Expert's plea for compromise on Stamp Duty Holiday deadline

Expert's plea for compromise on Stamp Duty Holiday deadline

A Derby legal expert has appealed to Government to change its rules around the forthcoming Stamp Duty Holiday cut-off to avoid chaos in the property market.

The Government’s incentive to buyers of homes under £500,000 helps them save up to £16,000, but is due to end on 31 March.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Stamp Duty Holiday last summer, to help boost demand and drive sales in the UK property market, which had stalled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, when the time-limited tax break comes to an end, the threshold at which people pay Stamp Duty in England and Northern Ireland will return to £125,000, down from £500,000.

Tamara Dhesi, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Smith Partnership, said: “If clients have not instructed us during the next week they have no chance of taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

“Even if they do, we cannot guarantee the purchase going through because there are so many factors involved and so many people are wanting to take advantage of the offer.

“We are trying to meet the stamp duty holiday deadline but it would make much more sense if the government extended the period to include those who have instructed solicitors before 31 March.

“We had an influx of instructions in November and we are trying to push these through and chasing lenders who are also under heavy pressure.

“Some clients are getting upset because of delays but there are hold-ups for many reasons including people having to isolate because of Covid-19.

“We dare not push sales through without having been thorough in our work because we could miss something and clients would suffer in the long run when they come to sell.

“Any money they would save now would pale if they were forced to carry out major remedial work.

“Therefore, we would ask clients to be patient but also ask the government to show flexibility with regard to the 31 March deadline.

“It seems to make sense that the holiday should apply to anyone who has instructed a solicitor ahead of that date rather than purchased their property.”


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