There is just four weeks left for the official consultation period set by the government over its controversial proposal to levy a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on the purchase price of most buy to let and second homes.
To the surprise of almost everyone within the industry, the government launched the consultation exactly a week ago on the Bank Holiday Monday between Christmas and New Year; here is our report from that day that appeared on Estate Agent Today.
The closing date for the consultation is February 1 - just four weeks today. The final shape of the surcharge will be revealed in Chancellor George Osborne’s next Budget in March, just before the implementation of the new duty from April 1.
The document makes it clear that the higher rates will only apply to purchases of additional residential property - buy to lets and second homes - which complete on or after April 1 2016. If contracts exchanged after November 25 2015 - when the surcharge was first announced - then the higher rates will apply if the purchase is completed on or after April 1 2016.
You can see the consultation document here.
It discusses issues that have exercised the agency industry in the past few weeks, including joint ownership, married and civil partners, buying properties by parents for their children, what happens when a completion is delayed, and so on.
There is also consultation over how Multiple Dwelling Relief and/or SDLT may be applied in cases of multiple property purchases, as well as the treatment of large scale investors.