Lawson-West: Important Notice about SDLT - 31 March 2021



BY 31ST MARCH 2021

Due to recent government changes a Stamp Duty holiday was introduced on July 8th 2020 until 31st March 2021 which means that no Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will become payable for many transactions and will be significantly reduced on others.

The stamp duty holiday ends on 31st March 2021 and therefore from 1st April 2021 SDLT will become payable under the previous rules unless the current regime is extended by the Government.

Please note that property transactions are often reliant on a number of different parties and events falling into place before we can proceed and, as such, it is simply not possible for us to be able to guarantee that completion will take place on a certain date at any time.

At present (largely due to the Pandemic and the stamp duty holiday), property transactions are taking much longer than usual with many factors causing delays including (but not limited to) mortgage offers, valuations and surveys, local authorities and other searches, the current high demand and pressures experienced by all conveyancers and the backlog the Land Registry is currently dealing with.

The current national average time for a freehold transaction has now increased from 8-12 weeks to 18-20 weeks and leasehold transactions usually take an additional 4 weeks. This estimate is given by the Government taking into account the current guidelines, the issues referred to above as well as external factors beyond our control. 

We are therefore unable to guarantee how long your transaction will take.

If your purchase does not complete on or before 31st March 2021,
you will have to pay SDLT under the previous rules

If you are a seller, and your buyer experiences any additional SDLT costs then this is a matter for your buyer only.

We are aware that as we get nearer to the 31st March deadline, an already stressful time for all clients will become more so and therefore we are advising all our property clients and potential clients to be aware of this issue and to please be realistic.

  • You should ensure you have funds available to pay any additional SDLT that may become payable should your transaction not complete by the 31st March. 

  • It is important for us to ensure that you are fully informed of the risks and are still happy to proceed in full knowledge that completion by 31 March 2021 (and the financial benefit this may provide) is not a guarantee.  Should you have any concerns or queries, please let us know.

By continuing your instruction with us, you acknowledge that Lawson West Solicitors Limited has made no guarantees that your matter will be completed by 31st March 2021. In that event, Lawson West Solicitors Limited shall not be held responsible for any additional SDLT or expenses that may become payable, or such other financial implications that may arise if your transaction does not complete by 31st March 2021.

All quotes provided since early December have included the SDLT which may be payable in the event of completion taking place after 31st March but, if you are unsure of the amount which you would be required to pay, you can also check this using the calculator on the following link