Stamp duty surcharge: conveyancers "face mayhem" and may raise fees

The controversial three per cent stamp duty surcharge on buy to let and other second home purchases will cause conveyancing “mayhem” in early 2016.

The warning comes from Broker Conveyancing, a conveyancing comparison website, which warns that if there is, as predicted, a rush to buy investment properties by the surcharge deadline of close of business on March 31, the conveyancing sector may have difficulty coping with demand.

“The four month notice period is incredibly short and it is likely to mean a very busy time for all stakeholders, particularly the conveyancing profession who are going to be pushed by all concerned to try and complete purchases before March 31” explains Broker’s managing director, Harpal Singh.

“This will mean serious resource issues for these firms, especially when we factor in the double whammy brought about by the timing of the Easter break next year and the fact we’re not just talking about individual investment property completions but also the entire chains that they will sit within” he says.

Singh believes conveyancers may charge premiums.

“It seems almost certain that buy to let conveyancing fees will rise in order to cope with this, the extra workload, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some firms pulling back on their ‘no completion, no fee’ offers. It will be apparent to all advisers that ensuring their buy-to-let clients deal with specialist conveyancing firms is an absolute necessity in order to have that chance of securing a pre-April 1 completion.”


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