With so many unknowns surrounding buy to let at the moment, it is perhaps no wonder that large numbers of landlords are using this current period of ‘stability’ to seek to purchase before we move into a more uncertain environment.
You would certainly need a crystal ball to be able to figure out at present whether the government’s changes to Stamp Duty for additional properties and cutting the rate of tax relief on interest payments will go ahead – both are the subject of legal challenges. Additionally, if they do make the statute book, it remains uncertain just how they will change the nature of property investment, particularly for individual landlords.
Regardless of what might be the result, going forward we appear to be moving into a period where specialist lending is far more prevalent and, as a case in point, will require not just specialist advice from intermediaries, but also specialist conveyancers. What has been interesting about the last few months in the buy-to-let market is the move towards limited company purchases – an area which many solicitors simply have no expertise in.
Indeed, as Bob Young of Fleet Mortgages recently said, those advisers working in the specialist buy-to-let market really need to ensure their clients are using a specialist conveyancer because if they are not, any hope of them purchasing before the Stamp Duty deadline is dead in the water before they’ve begun.
The role of the adviser and the conveyancer is very similar, as is their position within the overall process. No doubt advisers are certain their clients come to them because of their professional expertise and their ability to deliver a quality service. Surely it’s the same for conveyancers? Why would you allow your client to go off and use a conveyancing firm which was not cut from the same quality cloth as your very own firm?
As Bob Young also pointed out, at this time the choice of conveyancing firm has perhaps never been so important. That will certainly be the case for those buy-to-let purchasers wishing to complete by the end of play on 31 March. We may already have passed the date when such a completion is viable however by using a specialist conveyancer your client is being provided with the very best chance of doing so. And that goes for all kinds of specialist activity. Specialists should use specialists, in this day and age that is surely a recommendation worth providing.