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Conveyancer choice vital as buy-to-let deadline looms

Buy-to-let investors have been urged to choose their conveyancer carefully if they want to beat the new stamp duty surcharge.

Specialist lender Fleet Mortgages said that choosing the right conveyancer has never been so important if landlords are to complete their transaction within the short timescale.

Buy-to-let landlords and second home purchasers are rushing to complete purchases before the new 3% surcharge on stamp duty is introduced on 1 April.

But Fleet Mortgages is concerned that large numbers of conveyancing firms lack the necessary commitment, resource and specialist skills to complete cases before this date. 

It said advisers should be actively recommending conveyancing firms that are prioritising buy-to-let and second home transactions.

Fleet picked out Goldsmith Williams as one conveyancer that has made extra resources available for such cases.

It warned that more specialist conveyancing firms will need to prioritise cases to ensure clients complete on time.

Bob Young, chief executive officer of Fleet Mortgages, said: “With the stamp duty deadline less than two and a half months’ away, there has been a huge amount of interest from buy-to-let landlords.

“Much has been said about lender capacity and whether we can deal with the rise in enquiries, however to my mind it is not the lender that the adviser or client needs to worry about.

“For instance, we can turn around offers and deal with full mortgage applications quickly. However, can the same be said of those in the conveyancing process?

“Not all conveyancing firms are the same, and choosing the wrong one at this juncture will mean the client probably has no chance of hitting that deadline, which will leave everyone frustrated.”

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