Three of the UK’s leading conveyancing bodies have used blunt language to urge the government to revisit the stamp duty holiday deadline, claiming that “our members phones are ringing off the hook with distraught clients worried about completing their transactions”.
The Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), the Conveyancing Association (CA) and the Bold Legal Group (BLG), which together handle a majority of home sales in England and Wales, say the new variant of Covid and third lockdown are causing huge problems and delays for many transactions.
The trio wrote to the Chancellor in November last year but now say the situation is worse as viewings become more difficult and more professionals within the sales sector revert to working from home.
This is causing delays in procuring property searches, mortgage offers, mortgage redemption figures, leasehold information and property valuations.
The organisations want Rishi Sunak to at least taper the end of the stamp duty holiday deadline.
“The implications of home purchases costing thousands of pounds more than buyers have budgeted is potentially devastating. To retain the current expiry date of 31st March 2021 for removal of the SDLT holiday is simply unfair to consumers.,” says Lloyd Davies, Operations Director of the CA.
Simon Law (pictured), Chairperson of the SLC said ‘The spike in coronavirus infections and the third lockdown have created ever greater problems for home buyers and all the professions and industries serving them.
Rob Hailstone, Founder of the BLG, says: “Many [buyers] are saying that they will withdraw from their purchases if they do not complete by 31st March, causing chains to collapse and seriously damaging the property market.”