In our latest podcast, we go back to conveyancing basics with solicitors Mark McBride and John Quinn. We’ll find out exactly what you are buying, from the bricks and mortar in the property to the airspace above. We’ll find out why the Land Registry is so important to property sales and talk about the many different checks our conveyancing team undertake before letting clients buy or sell.
The Scottish Government announced last week that moving home would be permissible from 29th June 2020. It has now issued further guidance on what that means in practice for Scotland’s property market. The overarching guidance remains unchanged in that whenever possible elements of a property sale should be conducted remotely using digital technology.
New Build Property
From 29th June, you will be allowed to visit show homes by appointment and where it is safe to do so. Visit the website of your chosen house-building firm to see what access measures have been put in place.
Estate Agents / Resale Property
From 29th, Estate Agents will be able to visit houses to prepare valuations, take pictures, and other activities necessary to help bring a property to market. Surveyors will be able to visit properties to prepare home reports. Our Estate Agency partners, Keys Estate Agents in the West and ESPC in the East, are ready to help get your property sold – contact us if you have a property to sell.
House Viewings should continue to be ‘virtual’ by default. If you are ready to make an offer on a property an in-person viewing is permissible by appointment and involving only members of one household. ‘Open House’ Viewings are NOT allowed at this time.
You will almost certainly see all property professionals wearing face coverings when conducting aspects of property sales. You may be asked to wear face coverings too. You will be asked to self-certify that you:
- Do not have symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new and continuous cough, loss or change of sense of smell or taste)
- You are not waiting for a coronavirus test result or have tested positive for coronavirus
- You do not live with somebody who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive.
The Scottish Government has created guidance on face coverings and other precautions relating to covid-19 which you can read here.
Visiting Our Offices
Our offices in Livingston and Glasgow will reopen to the public BY APPOINTMENT only from Monday 29th June 2020. Appointments will be by exception – our default position will be to continue to conduct business remotely if it is possible and practical.
Whilst the Property Market is restarting, this does NOT mean a return to pre-covid operations. The buying and selling of property will be subject to safety protocols and will (and should) feel unusual. What will not change is the professional and efficient conveyancing and estate agency services we offer our clients and we are delighted that Scotland’s vibrant and economically important property market is opening further from Monday 29th June 2020.
The Scottish Government’s review of the lockdown restrictions (Thu 18) has delivered some good news for property buyers:
- Construction will restart on new-build properties from Monday 22nd June.
- There will be a relaxation of the restrictions on moving house from Monday 29 June.
If you have a property you would like to purchase (or one to sell), get in touch and we’ll get started. There is no need to wait – in fact, we would encourage you to act now if you have a property in mind.
Our solicitors are seeing an increase in instructions from buyers to begin the conveyancing process in recent weeks and we expect a further upturn in business with ‘phase two’ of lockdown easing now beginning.
We are open for business
Wallace Quinn have been open for business throughout the lockdown process and we will continue to work remotely with clients to progress Conveyancing, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Equity Release and all other legal matters. If you would like to speak to a solicitor on any legal matter, please fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you within one working day.
Finally, no changes have been announced in relation to offices, meaning our premises in Livingston and Glasgow will remain closed to the public for now.
Capital Gains Tax changes for 2020 came into effect on 6 April.
This could have an impact on the amount owed to HMRC following the sale or gift of a property. Three principle changes to the legislation centre around CGT liability, lettings relief and principle private residence status. In the legislation sales and other transfers such as gifts are referred to as ‘disposals’.
Capital Gains Tax Liability
Until 6April 2020, where a CGT liability existed, you had until 31 January following the end of the tax year in which the disposal was made to report this to HMRC and pay any CGT. From 6 April, you will need to notify and pay CGT within 30 days of the disposal.
Until 6 April, you were entitled to some CGT relief if you rented a property which was designated your ‘Principle Private Residence’. From 6 April, you will only qualify for some relief if you also occupy part of the property while letting the other part.
Principle Private Residence Status
Until 6 April, if you rented your principle private residence, you didn’t pay CGT on the gains from the last eighteen months of the let. From 6 April, this reduces to the last nine months of any let.
Capital Gains Tax Changes for 2020 – are you affected?
Whilst we can offer a general view on whether the changes will affect your property disposal, we are unable to give advice on tax matters and would strongly suggest clients seek specialist advice from an accountant, tax adviser or Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) to discuss their individual situation.
TV Property Shows – what you need to know before going to a property auction. In this podcast, we find out why property shows on television are perhaps giving an unrealistic idea of what goes on in the conveyancing process and why buying a property at auction has some considerations all potential buyers should be aware of before bidding. If you are thinking of bidding for property at auction, we strongly urge you to discuss the property and the process with a solicitor before bidding!
If you’re buying a new build property you can generate a quote for your conveyancing here: https://www.wallacequinn.co.uk/new-build-calculator/
This week’s announcement from the Scottish Government that the Scottish Construction Industry can immediately restart sites with appropriate safety measures is hugely welcome, as are the tentative steps towards further easing of the lockdown restrictions.
Construction Industry Restart Scotland
In the new build market, we expect to see and hear activity immediately on sites which have been closed since March. Builders are again taking reservations and we’re starting to see an increase in instructions from excited buyers.
In the resale property market, sales which were interrupted in March are again progressing towards settlement. Surveyors are likely to restart preparing Home Reports shortly which means additional properties can be marketed for sale. Estate Agents have a growing list of potential buyers eager to view properties.
The Land Register is now reopened with a new digital platform, which was a key requirement in order for us to complete property sales.
Ensuring High Standards of Customer Service
Our solicitors are settling into a blended approach to client meetings, successfully using video conferencing for most matters and even meeting in client gardens on occasion to finalise Wills or Powers of Attorney.
Our overarching consideration throughout these difficult weeks has been to ensure we continue to provide a consistently high level of service to all of our clients. Our staff have been tremendous in this respect and we continue to receive positive feedback from our clients.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, but equally there are many covid challenges and potential pitfalls still to navigate in the weeks and months ahead.
If you are looking to buy or sell property, prepare or update a Will, or have any issues which require a solicitor, we remain open for business and ready to help. You can read more about our services here on our website, where you can also generate a real-time quote for new build conveyancing services.
Get in Touch
Please get in touch if you would like to speak with a Wallace Quinn solicitor: