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Will the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday extend beyond 31st March?

Members of Parliament met over a video conference call yesterday to discuss the potential extension of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) Holiday.  The Stamp Duty Land Tax Holiday or Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief scheme was launched on the 8th July last year in an attempt to keep the property market afloat during the pandemic. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the SDLT holiday would apply to the first £500,000 of all property transactions in England and Northern Ireland.  Some people are already exempt from paying SDLT, regardless of whether there is a holiday or not. This
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Equity release plans go up in popularity with the over 55s

The number of people taking out equity release plans are up by 41% since June this year, according to figures released by the Equity Release Council.  There were 10,351 new equity release plans agreed between July and September this year. Over £963 million of property wealth has been unlocked this quarter.  Lump sum lifetime mortgages accounted for 4,545 of the new agreements at an average loan size of £99,691. This is up from £95,703 this time last year.  David Burrows, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “People are living longer and retirement finances are increasingly squeezed as generous final
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New Help to Buy Scheme to be launched by the Government

A new Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme will be available to eligible, first-time buyers from the 1st April 2021 year until 31 March 2023. First time buyers can apply for the scheme to a Help to Buy registered homebuilder from 16 December 2020. First-time buyers can borrow up to 20% of the cost of their home interest-free for the first five years of the loan. Those looking to purchase a property in London can borrow up to 40% interest-free for five years.  After five years, the interest rate will be 1.75% and will then increase each tax year. There
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Why is buying and selling a home taking longer during the pandemic?

Under normal circumstances, it is generally accepted that the conveyancing process can take between 6 to 12 weeks to complete but the process can be complicated by many factors, including a pandemic. When it comes to buying and selling a home, the housing market is not back to normal. Be prepared for delays. Post-lock down housing boom In July the market experienced a post-lockdown boom fuelled by pent-up demand, a rethink of our lifestyles and a stamp duty cut. According to Rightmove at the time, enquiries from potential buyers were up 75% in one year in Britain. August and September
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Road deaths highlight again the short comings of statutory bereavement damages

As drivers return to the roads in larger numbers and road traffic crashes inevitably increase as some drivers continue to ignore their own and others’ safety, we are reminded of the short comings of the UK’s bereavement damages system – writes Chris Bolton, serious and catastrophic injury specialist solicitor with Birchall Blackburn Law. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has long campaigned for bereavement damages to be reformed. APIL highlight the fact that people who have lost a loved one face a ‘lottery’ based on which UK jurisdiction they are in. The statutory fixed sum is only available to
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Pet Corner

It’s September and getting colder, so we need lots of pets to warm our hearts! Take a look at this month’s fluffy, cute and gorgeous photographs that you have sent to us of your lockdown pet superstars!                                                                                        
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The power of crochet

Some of you may already know that Debbie Housechild from our Preston office decided to teach herself crochet during lockdown. Those who do will have been the proud recipients of one of Debbie’s fabulous little and perfectly formed crocheted teddy bears. From all accounts they are a prized and sought after soft toy – and you can see why! The bear necessities Debbie says, “I’m crafty, but I usually do cross stitch pictures but wanted a challenge so tried crochet, which is not easy and there were many bits of the bears that ended up in the bin.” Crochet is
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Your days out recommendations

The easing of lockdown has meant that in July many of us have taken the chance to get out to places we’ve missed. Social distancing rules still apply but you have give us some wonderful suggestions and inspired days out to help shake off the cobwebs. As places started to open this month Hannah Smith, from our Family Team, took the chance to play crazy golf at The Flower Bowl in Preston. The Flower Bowl is an amazing family entertainment centre and just across the street is the award winning garden centre, Barton Grange. Hannah says, “It’s beautiful there and
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Stamp Duty Land Tax cut to help the housing market

With immediate effect the Chancellor has announced a temporary cut to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on the first £500,000 for all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. The SDLT holiday will last until March 31 next year to help boost the property market and help buyers struggling in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. According to the Halifax, house prices have fallen for four months in a row. The Stamp Duty Land Tax cut is welcomed Andrea Fairweather, Partner and Property Solicitor with Birchall Blackburn Law, says: “In the past few weeks there has been a post-lockdown boom
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Our Leyland office opens on Wednesday, July 1

We believe that our legal services are essential services, especially during periods of uncertainty and major change, which is why we have never stopped working since the Covid-19 lockdown began. We had to work a little differently, close our physical high street offices and work from home. It has been a steep learning curve for everyone but thanks to our investment in technology and flexible procedures we have been able to work with our clients by telephone, email and online video, which has been a great success. But we haven’t been able to offer our usual face-to-face service due to
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