Solicitors in Wales have voiced dismay at the shock rise in stamp duty tax for landlords.

The Welsh Government has changed the rates and bands of Land Transaction Tax (LTT) from today, which president of The Law Society of England and Wales, David Greene, says is extremely short notice for both solicitors in Wales and those in England with clients buying homes across the border.

“These last-minute changes come at a time when solicitors are under enormous pressure, facing the challenge of operating in a pandemic – with Wales just having adopted stricter measures – and working all hours dealing with the usual Christmas rush, clients wishing to move before the 31st March LTT holiday deadline and record numbers of transactions, which are being hit by delays in searches,” says Greene.

“They now have clients who face paying thousands of pounds more if they are unable to proceed with their transaction within the very short notice period given.”

The new rates have each risen by 1% and are now: 4% up to £180,000, 7.5% on the portion up to £250,000, 9% on the slab up to £400,000, 11.5% on up to £750,000, 14% up to £1.5 million and 16% on anything over that.

LTT wales mark evans

Mark Evans, chair of the Law Society Wales Committee (pictured), adds: “Many people are still looking to move before the Christmas holiday and all those involved in the housing market have been working on the basis that the rates will not change until the end of March 2021.

“To be informed as to overnight changes to the rates of Land Transaction Tax is unfortunate and may impact on chains across England and Wales.”

The government has announced that, in most cases where buyers had already exchanged contracts, but not completed, they would be able to use the previous higher rates.

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