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Stamp duty extension must include tapering clause, warns leading conveyancer

Midlands and national firm Adcocks says tapering is needed to relieve pressure on an already stressed conveyancing system.

Nigel Lewis

hmrc conveyancer

A leading conveyancer has called for the Chancellor to introduce a ‘grandfathering’ or tapering clause when he announces his three-month extension to his stamp duty holiday next week.

Grandfathering is when buyers who have either exchanged contracts but not completed, or those who can demonstrate they have started a transaction before the deadline and have incurred solicitor costs, for example, are given more time to complete past the deadline.

The call has been made by leading Midlands firm Adcocks which says it has already seen buyers taking extreme and high-risk measures to get their sales over the line in recent weeks.

This includes skipping property searches, surveys and valuations as house purchases take 18 weeks to complete, on average, compared to the normal eight to ten weeks.

Tapering off period

hedley adock conveyancer“If an extension is announced next week, it is essential that a tapering off period is also granted, such as a paperwork deadline,” says director Hedley Adcock (pictured), whose family has run the firm for 112 years.

“This so called ‘grandfathering’ of the SDLT holiday would ease the pressure on the current backlog and ensure searches or valuations are not ignored in order to receive the tax relief.

“Our worry is that if the deadline is simply extended, we can expect to see buyers continue to take unnecessary risks to aid the moving process in a few months’ time.”

Research published by Zoopla today reveals that some 234,000 home movers who have already agreed a sale are set to benefit from the Chancellors’ mooted stamp duty holiday extension, saving them a total of £984 million.

February 25, 2021

One comment

  1. Totally agree
    As I have said yesterday all they need to do is allow any sales AGREED before 31/3 and with sales memo issued, confirmation of receipt from lawyers and proof of issue of contract to buyers lawyer, to take advantage

    Its a simple idea and, despite doubters, I cannot see why anyone NOT buying a property, would try and scam this?

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