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What's stamp duty?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax added on all land transactions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Currently, property buyers must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax if they buy a property or land over £500,000.

The Government's extended stamp duty holiday means that there will be no stamp duty payable on the first £500,000 of all property purchases in England and Northern Ireland until the 30th June 2021.   After that the rates will change so that properties below £250,000 will be stamp duty free until 30th September 2021, and thereafter the normal £125,000 threshold will apply.

This is for both first time buyers and those moving home.

For example, if the property is worth £350,000.00 the buyer will pay £0. 
If the property value is £650,000 the buyer will pay 5% (£7,500) on £150,000

An investor has pulled out causing our chain to collapse, what can we do?

The current market and national economy is so uncertain that people may choose to wait and indeed remove their risk by pulling out of the transaction.  Although there is no reason not to carry on as normal in terms of the legal process we have to consider slower transaction times or hesitant investors or buyers.

What happens if the house I am buying has quarantined owners in it?

Unfortunately, in this situation the seller will not be able to give vacant possession, which will lead to completion delays.  As a preventative measure, as per question 1, we can offer to exchange contracts and complete on the same day, which ensures that contracts are only exchanged if all parties in the chain are able to move on that day, thus reducing the risk to all parties.  This can be more stressful so we ask that clients be sensible and accommodating of the situation.

What happens if there are disruption to banking services due to coronavirus?

If banks or mortgage lenders are unable to move funds around due to staffing shortages then this will disrupt your completion, however, be reassured that they will be doing everything they can to prevent this scenario.

Will a surveyor/valuer attend the house I want to purchase or are they not carrying out surveys currently due to coronavirus?

Each company will be following their own policies and procedures as well as the government guidelines, which may result in a slower service or more precautions being put in place, or indeed surveys being cancelled.

Will removal companies be happy to enter properties during the coronavirus measures?

As things stand, it will be down to the individual companies who will have their own policies in place so the best thing is to contact our remover and discuss their policy with them.

Will the search providers be able to carry out searches during the coronavirus measures?

The majority of the searches are automated through computer systems and will therefore not be affected, however, the local authority searches are done by visiting the council offices.  Please therefore expect lengthy delays on the return of those searches as some council offices are not allowing visitors.

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