HM Land Registry advice ahead of SDLT holiday end

As the deadline for the stamp duty land tax holiday approaches, HM Land Registry has pledged to do everything it can to help Conveyancers under pressure to complete residential property transactions before the holiday ends on 30th June.

The current stamp duty suspension for properties in England ends on 30th June, followed by a tapered rate until the end of September. In Wales the land transaction tax concession will come to a hard end on 30th June.

The Land Registry is encouraging Conveyancers to take advantage of its “expedite” service which is available for fast-tracking applications in cases where a delay would cause problems not related to a land transaction, or put a property transaction at risk. The service, which has no additional charge, ensures that applications are fast-tracked and processed within 10 working days, subject to any outstanding applications or requisitions that may need to be completed first.

In addition, Conveyancers are reminded that instant updates on applications, including estimated completion dates, are available through the new “View My Application” tool accessed on the government’s land registration site.

Simon Hayes, chief executive and chief land registrar, said:

“HM Land Registry is committed to ensuring no property sale, residential or commercial, is put at risk. We have always prioritised the services that enable property sales to be completed. Most of our searches are instant and most changes to the register come at the end of the transaction. However, sometimes changes are needed urgently, and our expedite service means that anyone who has a concern about delays can contact their solicitor or contact us directly so we can investigate and quickly resolve any problems for them.”

Pressure on the conveyancing industry has not gone unnoticed with many professionals across the industry having shown their support recently, in addition organisations like the Law Society have published guidance around managing clients’ expectations of completion dates prior to 30th June.

This recent information provided by HM Land Registry is therefore a welcome reminder of the services available to Conveyancers to help them navigate the final stretch of what the Land Registry has also referred to as a “uniquely challenging time”. Not least because of surging demand and the tapering of the stamp duty land tax holiday in sight, but also because of the bottleneck in workloads, lockdowns and changing work practices brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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