Stamp duty land tax holiday – take action to protect consumers

The stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday is due to end on 31 March. Ahead of this date, we’re concerned that a cliff-edge end to the holiday combined with a bottleneck in the property market could see thousands of transactions collapse at the last minute, leaving consumers stranded and out of pocket.

Row of terraced houses

Our view

We believe that urgent action needs to be taken to address the cliff edge presented by the 31 March cut-off date for the SDLT holiday.

We’ve identified three different options for addressing this problem, to help ameliorate the situation for consumers who are currently in the process of buying a home. These are:

  • extending the SDLT holiday, to allow more time for buyers to complete transactions before the holiday comes to an end
  • implementing tapered transition from the full SDLT holiday to the end of the scheme, through the creation of an interim period in which buyers can benefit from a reduced SDLT concession, to help smooth the cliff edge and reduce the risk of a significant impact on consumers and the market
  • introducing a grandfathering scheme for transactions which have not completed by the cut-off date, so that buyers in transactions that have already progressed significantly by 31 March but which have not yet completed can continue to benefit from the SDLT holiday

We urge the government to take swift action ahead of the end of the holiday on 31 March, to protect consumers and support the orderly working of the property market.

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