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The reversal of Caveat Emptor - Response to the Government's Call for Evidence on improving the home buying and selling process

Introduction
The Government has recently issued a Call for Evidence  on improving the home buying and selling process (http://bit.ly/2ifAsig).This should be viewed as a pretty significantmove, especially when one reflects that, apart from a botched attempt in 2007 to make changes with the introduction of the home information pack, this country has not seen any major property legislation reform since 1925.


The question of whether there exists sufficient political will, and indeed strength, to bring about much needed change is debatable, and only time will tell if anything comes from this initiative. It marks a welcomed start however, and will at the very least, bring to the forefront some of the major deficiencies which exist within,what has become, a very archaic conveyancing system.

In this response to the Call for Evidence, I will outline my thoughts on what could be done to bring about an instant and simple change, and plans which would not take too much political effort and legislati…

SDLT- A Relationship Tax?

The changes to stamp duty (SDLT) last April were much publicised. 
Individuals purchasing second homes and buy-to-let properties now pay an additional 3% SDLT. It has clearly been a huge generator of revenue for the government, but the impact of the policy on certain individuals has been somewhat mixed. 
In my current role as head of New Business at MJP Conveyancing I am constantly fielding questions from prospective clients regarding their SDLT liability. 
For many there is a great sense of ambiguity about their individual liability, leaving for some a rather bitter feeling of injustice.
For the serial property investor the situation is however comparably straightforward. For each additional property they acquire they will be charged the higher rate. The shrewd will put their new assets under company names, or perhaps even the names of their children, to make the purchases more cost-effective. These clients understand their position, which makes it easier to advise them and answer their …