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NewBuy Scheme launched

On 12 March 2012 the Government launched a new scheme which will guarantee mortgages  with the aim of giving the housing market a kick start.

The NewBuy loan guarantee is designed to give buyers access to mortgages even if they only have a 5% deposit. Under the scheme, housing developers pay the lender 3.5% of the purchase price of a new-build property while the government provides an additional guarantee of 5.5%, to be called upon only if there is a crash in house prices

The scheme is available on flats and houses up to a maximum value of £500,000 and means a buyer requiring a £40,000 deposit for a £200,000 property will now only need £10,000. The scheme is open to anyone buying a property, but the government sees it as a means for first-time buyers in particular to purchase their first home.

Sharratts are recruiting

We are looking to recruit new fee earners as part of our expansion and below are details of the positions which we have advertised in the Law Society Gazette this week.

“Highly successful, niche, property Firm requires:-

Partner / Senior Associate

Social housing property development; proven track record in this sector essential.

Partner / Senior Associate

To head Department acting for private housebuilders; acquisitions and disposals;

to expand existing client base and build on wealth of existing contacts.


Plot sales – drafting plot sale packs, working with established team.

Role with considerable client contact.


Please send CV to

Sharratts LLP is an equal opportunities employer.”

Construction Act becomes effective

Are you aware of the changes brought in by the Construction Act 2009, which came into force on 1 October 2011?

Significant changes have been made to the payment procedures that will apply to all Development Agreements and JCT Building Contracts.

1. Previously there was no specific legal sanction if the paying party failed to issue a payment notice. This has now changed and if no payment notice is issued the application for payment issued by the Contractor may serve to be the payment notice instead.

2. The Payer now how has the right to issue a “pay less notice” if he doesn’t agree with the requested sum. The “pay less notice” gives the Payer the opportunity to notify the Contractor of his intention to pay less than the requested amount and must be served before the final contractual date for payment.

3. The Act also gives the Contractor the right to suspend work for non payment and charge for costs and expenses if this right is exercised.

To find out more please contact Nick Wookey.

Sharratts launch new Identity

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new brand which we feel reflects the direction we are taking our business. We have taken the broad brush approach to this and revamped everything from stationery to our website.

We will be updating the news articles regularly so watch this space for interesting, exciting and relevant communications from Sharratts.

SDLT for First Time Buyers

End of the Relief

The current Stamp Duty Relief for First Time Buyers comes to an end on 25th March 2012.  This relief meant that First Time Buyers of residential property have not had to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax for properties purchased at a value of £250,000 or under.  For all completions taking place on or after 25th March (regardless of the date of exchange of contracts) the previous Stamp Duty Land Tax provisions will apply.

From 25th March 2012 Stamp Duty Land Tax will be payable on all residential transactions where the value of the property is £125,000 or more at a rate of 1% of the market value.  The other increments will remain the same.

How will this affect Shared Owners?

Currently any Shared Owner (who is a First Time Buyer) who is purchasing a property does not have to pay any Stamp Duty Land Tax on their purchase where the Full Market Value of the Property is £250,000 or less.  From 25th March 2012 Shared Owners will have to pay 1% of the full market value in Stamp Duty Land Tax if they opt to pay SDLT on the full value at the time of purchase.  If, in light, of the change they decide only to pay SDLT on their share they will have no SDLT to pay on completion only if the value of the share is less than £125,000.  Buyers in this position will have to note that SDLT may then become payable on a subsequent staircasing transaction.

Sewers – Automatic Adoption

Be aware that private sewers and lateral drains, connected to an adopted system before July 2011 become automatically adopted in October 2011.  These will not be revealed by your pre-contract searches.