Chancellor implored not to go ahead with ‘madness’ of property taxes

Posted: 13/3/2016

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Conveyancers have told George Osborne that he should scrap or water down his Stamp Duty Land Tax proposals.

Osborne is due to reveal the final detail on these in next week’s Budget – giving conveyancers only nine working days in which to implement the changes on April 1.

Yesterday, on Twitter, Stephen Hayter of My Home Move used the hashtag ‘madness’ to describe the timescale.

Now the Conveyancing Assocation has called on Osborne to favour stability over continual change when it comes to the housing and mortgage markets.

The Conveyancing Association says there has been a spike in buy-to-let transactions which has stretched all parties and “placed an unnecessary burden on conveyancers to meet an artificial deadline”.

It also claims there is a large degree of arbitrariness to key points, such as exemption given to larger landlords buying 15 properties in one deal.

Eddie Goldsmith, chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said: “Unsurprisingly, the conveyancing market is looking for a period of stability but I suspect we won’t be getting that post-next week’s Budget.

“The publication of the final rules for extra Stamp Duty charges on additional properties will be made available and one can’t help think there is likely to be some considerable confusion around them, not forgetting that the conveyancing industry will have to cope with these changes from the start of April.

“The small amount of time this provides firms to ready themselves and to ensure all stakeholders in the market are clear on these new rules is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

“Not only would we like to see these additional Stamp Duty charges dropped, or at the very least watered down but we feel any further change in the UK housing market, unless positively focused on areas like helping to increase property supply or supporting first-time buyers, will only add to the instability we (and many others) will have to cope with.

“We believe the Chancellor should allow the market time to breathe – in our view, it is much better served by supporting steady transaction numbers, rather than the artificially-created spikes that have been far too prevalent.

“The last three months of increased buy-to-let transactions have been a case in point.

“Instead, we would like to see the status quo post-April maintained and allow us to plan and prepare our resources adequately based on the market itself rather than deal with further uncertainty generated by ongoing intervention.”

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