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Conveyancers told: Manage agents' stamp duty expectations

The Law Society has published new guidance for what it calls “under-pressure conveyancing solicitors” as the stamp duty deadline of June 30 approaches.

The guidance covers managing clients’ expectations and offers practical suggestions for dealing with transactions.

“We understand the terrific pressure that conveyancers are under ahead of the June 30 deadline, pressure that many solicitors have now been under for some time as they continue to work under the most challenging circumstances” says Law Society of England and Wales president I. Stephanie Boyce.

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“Stressed and under-pressure solicitors have been working late into the night and over weekends, with little or no work-life balance, to ensure their clients’ transactions are able to complete according to their wishes.

“It is key at this stage for conveyancing solicitors to take steps to manage their clients’ expectations about completing in time to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.

“Many factors limiting the speed of a move – delays in the issuing of search results, delays in mortgage offers being issued, problems in the chain and with dependent transactions – are usually outside the control of the conveyancer. They cannot guarantee transactions will complete before the end of June.”

For England tips include informing clients of the reduced savings involved in the tapered stamp duty holiday arrangements running from July 1 until the end of September and, in the words of the society, “trying to make sure they have realistic expectations of the impact of not making the June 30 deadline.”

The Law Society also says arranging completion dates as much in advance of the end of June is also advised, where possible.

The full guide includes the phrase “Asking estate agents to keep you updated on the position across the chain may prove helpful” and can be seen here

Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the stamp duty land tax holiday in the March Budget until June 30 followed by a new tapered rate coming into force from start of July to end of September.

In Wales, the land transaction tax concession will come to a hard end on June 30 with no tapering arrangements after this date.

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