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08 February 2021 Residential Conveyancing
  When the pandemic lockdown was imposed in March last year, the housing market came to an abrupt halt. Some of the reasons were clearly obvious – no mixing of households, no non-essential travel and work from and stay at home if at all possible. Another not so obvious reason was the fact that the Registers of Scotland closed the applications register. That meant the new deeds transferring ownership couldn’t be registered. Last June saw the housing market re-open and, after some tentative steps, the market took off! The property market continues to be very busy, despite almost the whole of Scotland being in a Level…
04 February 2021 Residential Conveyancing
In her draft Scottish Budget on 28 January 2021, Kate Forbes, MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance announced a change to the Land & Building Transaction Tax (LBTT) threshold. She advised that the threshold above which LBTT is payable would revert to £145,000 (£175,000 for first-time buyers). This change will come into effect on 1 April 2021. In July last year, following an easing of the lockdown which had, effectively, closed down the property market, the Finance Secretary announced that the LBTT threshold would increase to £250,000. This meant that anyone buying a property below £250,000 would pay no LBTT. It also meant that those…
07 January 2021 News
In accordance with the current UK and Scottish Government guidance, our branch offices are closed, but we continue to operate remotely and instructions can be taken by email, telephone or video conferencing and documents provided electronically or by post. Our property and legal teams are here to assist you with both ongoing legal and property matters, or a new enquiry. Our legal team remains fully operational and we continue to offer our usual conveyancing service for both sale and purchase transactions. We also continue to provide advice on wills, powers of attorney and executry work, family law, incapacity matters and advice for small businesses. Our property…
10 December 2020 Residential Conveyancing
Preparing your home for viewers (or “staging” as it’s often referred to) is really important when selling a property. Not only can it help your property to sell faster, but can also potentially add to its overall value.   1. Declutter – but don’t depersonalise   Get rid of all of the excess items that you have accumulated over the years. People need to be able to envisage what the property would look like if they were living there, without clutter.   Don’t make it look like a generic hotel though; leave some personality.   Consider removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small…
09 July 2020 News
The lockdown has been financial tough for many families, not least for those who were placed on furlough or, worse still, were made redundant. Losing your income or having it reduced makes it hard to get through the month at the best of times but during a pandemic when you can’t even leave your home to look for work, makes file extremely difficult indeed. In an effort to help those who are experiencing financial hardship during this time, the UK Government reached agreement with mortgage lenders to allow their borrowers to take a mortgage payment holiday for a period of time. Initially, lenders were accepting applications…
09 July 2020 News
Additional Dwelling Supplement reclaim time extended – but there’s a catch! As a result of the extended lockdown due to the coronavirus, the Scottish Government has extended the length of time within which the Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) can be reclaimed. The provision was included in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 and it now means that where the ADS has been paid and where the individual is eligible, the timescale for reclaiming it is now 36 months. Why would an individual pay ADS? ADS is paid by an individual who already owns a residential property when they buy another residential property or by a company…
09 July 2020 News
The Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme extended The Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme was scheduled to end in March 2021 but the Scottish Government recently announced its extension until March 2022. They claim that this will help an additional 2,000 households whilst at the same time supporting housebuilders. An additional £55 million has been allocated and will be available for the year 2021/22. The housing ministers, Kevin Stewart, MSP, said: “Extending this scheme will help more people to buy a new-build property, particularly those who have suffered lower levels of income and have used up savings due to the impact of COVID-19 in recent months.”  When asked about…
09 July 2020 News
This is a question we’ve been asked on a number of occasions during the last three months and we’re afraid to say that, normally, the answer is “yes”. Unless there is something very specific in your contract of employment about holiday arrangements, then you need to rely on the terms of The Working Time Regulations 1998. These regulations allow your employer to decide if you’re to take holidays – and that doesn’t matter if you’re on furlough or not. Your employer can instruct you to take any number of days holiday provided they give you double that number of days notice. That means if your employer decided…
09 July 2020 News
During lockdown, many of our clients were surprised to hear we could still look after their legal interests even though our offices were closed and the partners and staff were working from home. Many of our clients contacted us during the lockdown to ask us about preparing a Will or a Power of Attorney and we were delighted to be able to assist them even though we couldn’t meet with them face to face. It became very apparent from the beginning of the lockdown that certain things would have to change to allow us to properly take our clients’ instructions to prepare Wills and Powers of…
09 July 2020 News
Following the Scottish Government’s announcement that the housing market would re-open on 29 June, we were inundated with requests from clients to arrange valuations of their properties and from buyers wanting to view. We had expected this to happen due to the pent-up demand from buyers and sellers to get moving on the property ladder. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story. When the lockdown was ordered on 23 March, the property market came to an abrupt halt. Whilst we could continue with the conveyancing aspects of ongoing transactions, the instructions from the Scottish Government were to postpone the entry dates of all transactions, where possible…

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