3rd Mar 2021

The Stamp Duty Holiday – what you need to know

The 2021 budget has seen an extension of the 'Stamp Duty Holiday' for those buying homes. Here, we explore what that means. 

Stamp Duty – what has changed?

Earlier today, the Chancellor announced that the stamp duty arrangements will be extended until the end of June 2021. This means that the threshold for paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will remain at £500,000 for an additional three months. Then, the threshold will drop to £250,000 before returning to pre-pandemic levels of £125,000 in October 2021.

I am part way through buying a property – what does this mean for me?

If the property you are buying completes before the end of June, then the ‘holiday’ will likely apply to your transaction. This means that you will pay no SDLT on properties costing up to £500,000 or the first £500,000 for purchases over that figure. If your transaction completed before the end of September the figure is £250,000.  

This applies in most cases, though be aware that there are some exceptions such as second homes or investment properties or if you are not a UK resident.

What do I need to do?

The most important thing to do is keep Berwins updated of any changes in your plans.

This extension does not automatically mean that your transaction has changed – in fact, subject to the chain you are in, it is quite likely that the stages of the transaction will continue broadly as planned.  

If, however you do alter your plans, it is important that you let us know. Simply gives us a call or send an email and we can discuss these changes with you. 

What will Berwins be doing as a result of the changes?

Berwins’ property team will continue to offer proactive legal advice. We are here to support you throughout the process – answering your questions, taking your instruction and moving through the legal process on your behalf.

We will also work with you to understand what your priorities and timescales are in light of the recent changes – some transactions will carry on as scheduled, but the movement of the SDLT deadline from March to June may mean that others will relax a little to allow time for searches and other checks come through.

Whatever happens, we will keep you fully updated on the process. Alongside this, we will continue to work with the chain – estate agents, advisors and other solicitors – to ensure that appropriate action is taken as developments occur.

Berwins remains committed to supporting our clients to achieve their goals. We take a proactive approach to ensure this happens and you can rest assured that, whatever changes in policy or circumstance occur, we will be doing everything possible to ensure your transaction moves forward.      

Jo Randall is Head of Residential Property at Berwins 

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