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Showing posts from November, 2015

Are you prepared for the Stamp Duty changes?

In his Autumn Statement this week, the Chancellor announced a 3 percentage point surcharge on stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for people buying a buy-to-let or second home from April 2016.  For example, on a home worth £275,000, SDLT would rise to £12,000 from £3,750. A significant jump. 
Below are some of the common questions raised along with some guidance though please do note that the legislation has yet to be implemented, and that there could be changes made to the proposals during the consultation process.  It is therefore important not to rely on this guidance without first checking with your conveyancer. 
Are there any exemptions?
The change will not apply to buyers of caravans, mobile homes or houseboats, nor, subject to a consultation, to companies or institutions owning more than fifteen residential properties.
When will this all happen?
1st April 2016
On what value of purchase will it apply?
Treasury documents released immediately after the speech suggested  that the first £40,000 wou…

When is a bogus legal firm not a bogus legal firm?

We operate in a world in which we are constantly exposed to criminal activity undertaken by sophisticated crime syndicates, normally based outside the country.   There are several different types of crime and the type of scam is constantly evolving.  There is a need for both professionals and consumers to be on guard and to be educated to spot the true scam attempts and to know what to do when one is identified. 
A scam is a type of fraud that criminals use to trick both professionals and the consumer  into giving up money and personal details. Sometimes criminals will use the names of law firms, solicitors or other individuals regulated by us to make their scam seem genuine, either with or without their knowledge.
Scams can take the form of unsolicited emails, text messages, telephone calls or direct mail. Emails sent can also contain viruses some of which are designed to allow the criminal to gain access to your computer with a view to obtaining personal details of clients, bank detai…