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Acquisition of Former Ulster Bank Premises in Comber

We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the former Ulster Bank premises, The Square, Comber.

Charlie Stewart, Managing Director, Stewarts Solicitors

Commenting on the announcement, Managing Director, Charlie Stewart said:

"Contrary to the approach taken by many banks we believe it important to have a local presence and to employ local people. We have had a presence in Comber for many years and will be relocating from adjacent premises to the bank building early in 2024 following a sympathetic refurbishment. This larger space will allow our growing team in Comber and our Newtownards head office to serve the needs of the wider Comber area.”

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Patterson Donnelly Solicitors/PDS LAW

In March 2017 following the closure of Patterson Donnelly Solicitors also known as PDS Law, Stewarts Solicitors took a transfer of the majority of active files together with the Wills & Deeds held by Patterson Donnelly on behalf of their clients. Stewarts Solicitors was also appointed by the Law Society to assist with the closure of the client account of the former firm of PDS Law.

Claire Donnelly who had formerly been in Partnership with Colin S Patterson in the Firm of PDS Law, joined Stewarts as an Assistant Solicitor as part of a two-year transition period.

Should any clients of the former practice of PDS Law/Patterson Donnelly have any queries or wish to check the updated storage records please do not hesitate to contact the Newtownards Branch of Stewarts Solicitors and ask for Charlie Stewart, Director. We will be able to confirm what records were transferred to this Firm.

Charlie Stewart is the great grandson of Alexander Stewart who began practice as a solicitor in the town of Newtownards in 1897. He was succeeded by his son William C Stewart who in turn was succeeded by his son, the current Chairman, Charles E Stewart, who has practised as a Solicitor for over 50 years.

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Stamp Duty Holiday

In July 2020 Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a “Stamp Duty Holiday” by announcing that Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), also commonly known as stamp duty, is to be axed for six months on homes worth up to £500,000. The decision is effective immediately and forms part of the government’s emergency mini-budget, aimed to combat the potential financial crisis caused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Historically, stamp duty was charged at 2% on properties sold for a price above £125,000, increasing to 5% for properties over £250,000. The removal of this willsee the average stamp duty bill fall by £4,500 and almost 9 out of 10 people buying a home before 31 March 2021 will pay no stamp duty at all.

If you are looking to purchase or sell a property, given the introduction of the “stamp duty holiday” it is advisable to obtain independent legal advice from an appropriately experienced solicitor before taking any action. If you would like legal advice or assistance with buying or selling a property or have any questionsregarding your position in relation to stamp duty please call us, email enquiry@stewartsolicitors.com or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

If you are considering buying or selling a property, contacting a solicitor at an early juncture is advisable so that you are appropriately advised at the outset of any key considerations in relation to stamp duty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is a government tax applied to both freehold and leasehold residential property or piece of land costing more than £125,000, or £300,000 forfirst time buyers. Different rates apply for non-residential property. The tax applies whether you are buying outright or with a mortgage.Before the stamp duty holiday, 2% was payable on homes sold for £125,001 – £250,000, 5% on homes sold for £250,001 – £925,000, 10% on homes sold for £925,001 – £1.5m and 12% on homes above £1.5m

Am I eligible for a stamp duty tax break?

The changes to stamp duty are applicable to buyers in England and Northern Ireland.In order to qualify, the purchase has to be completed from 8 July 2020 and before 31 March 2021.

When will the stamp duty holiday start?

The break is effective immediately, starting 8 July 2020. This means that any property sale which has not completed before 8 July will be eligible.

How will the stamp duty holiday work?

The tax will not be payable on any residential property or land sold for less than £500,000. Any property sold for over £500,000 will be subject stamp duty on the amount of the price over £500,000.

I am a first time buyer – what does this mean for me?

Before the stamp duty holiday, first time buyers benefited from a higher threshold of 0% stamp duty on the first £300,000. With a raised lower limit of £500,000, first time buyers are now granted a further £200,000 in tax relief.

I am buying an additional property – what does this mean for me?

Buyers purchasing second homes or buy-to-let properties will also benefit from the exemption, but will continue to pay the additional 3% levied on the entire purchase price.

The content of this article is for general information only. The information in this article is not legal or professional advice. If you require legal or professional advice you should obtain independent expert advice from qualified property solicitors such as those within our firm.
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