Expert View: Get a Survey now or face costs later

Our experienced director Ian Lee has shared his expertise with readers of the Portsmouth News.
Ian featured in the Expert View column in the paper’s Property section, giving an insight into the impact of Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharges coming into force on April 1.
The Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that the new ‘landlord tax’ will definitely take effect next month. Ian’s advice to buyers trying to push a purchase through before the deadline is not to take any shortcuts and make sure you get a survey – it could come back to haunt you otherwise.

The full column is below. You can also keep up to date with the Portsmouth News business and property at Contact us on 02392 697 193 and [email protected] to discuss surveys and any of your property related requirements.

Expert View by Ian Lee BSc FRICS, Director at McAndrew Martin and former Chairman of Portsmouth Property Association (PPA)

Q: I am a landlord hoping to push through a Buy to Let purchase before the new Stamp Duty rates start on April 1. Do I really need to get a survey?

A: You’re talking about the Government’s new 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge on second homes, holiday boltholes and buy-to-let properties.
The new levy – on top of the existing Stamp Duty to be paid on a property – has understandably caused some concern, particularly amongst buy to let landlords like yourself.
With the clock ticking until April 1, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has already reported an increase in the number of transactions as investors try to beat the deadline.
Cutting a survey out of the process and relying simply on a mortgage valuation report may seem a tempting way to speed things up. However, it could have serious consequences and end up costing you more in the long term.
A survey will identify any urgent or significant defects, and flag up any problems or issues which may become worse and prove costly to fix in the future.
This is particularly important if you are intending to let a property, especially in the light of new gas safety and energy efficiency regulations for the private rented sector.
Using a professional, friendly and experienced member of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) is always recommended. Using a firm with years of experience in the area may help uncover details which are not readily apparent.
Local businesses aim to deliver the best service and to work to the highest professional standards. They have a reputation to protect and possess in-depth local knowledge as well as strong industry contacts to help with a smooth transaction; some will offer a quick turnaround for a survey report to help speed up the process.
You may not beat the deadline for the ‘landlord tax’ but you may find that the wait and extra cost was money well spent a few years down the line.

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