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O’Neill Patient: Government needs to take common sense approach

Jessica Nangle

December 15, 2020

Conveyancing firm O’Neill Patient is calling on the government to take a common sense approach to the stamp duty holiday deadline in March.

The Treasury recently revealed that it does not intend to extend the 31 March deadline for the stamp duty holiday.

The firm suggests that if not, many people will be disappointed when their transaction fails to complete in time as the market is “overheating”.

Andy Scaife, chief executive at O’Neill Patient, said: “Our concern is that the people in government making this decision do not at all appreciate the logistics around meeting this deadline and the fact that as it stands, many people will be disappointed when their transaction fails to complete in time as the market is over-heating.

“We feel the common sense approach would be, as a minimum, to soften this deadline, making it for exchange and not completion.

“That would take some of the pressure out of the system which is dealing with unprecedented volumes.

“The better approach would be to extend it or phase the holiday out.

“The reality is that for the cases which are already in the system to complete by March 31, it requires the many moving parts to come together, when there are already heavy constraints on the markets processing capacity in terms of searches, mortgages etc.

“The market is operating at significantly over-capacity and has been for a number of months. This will only worsen as we head towards the hard deadline.

“In addition, the logistics of physically moving towards the end of March will also be faced with its own unprecedented issues at that time.

“When a similar revision was taken to SDLT for buy-to-let investors some years ago there was no physical move required by the very nature of the transaction which made it slightly easier.

“This will be something we as an industry will never have encountered before.”


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