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Home > Useful Information > Free cash for first-time buyers: Help to Buy Isa makes gift of £250 for every £1k of deposit saved up for first home

Job Vacancy

Role: Conveyancing Assistant

Location: Hipperholme, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Salary: Dependent on Experience


Valerie Holmes Property Lawyer is a small family run firm in Hipperholme, Halifax. We are looking to appoint a Conveyancing Assistant with 2+ years’ experience. You will be responsible for assisting fee earners and progressing transactions, opening files, giving quotes, putting searches in hand, pre and post completion work. With excellent time management and organisational skills, you will offer outstanding customer service by communicating with clients including estate agents, customers and other firms.

To apply, please send your CV to

Job Vacancy

Role: Experienced Qualified Conveyancer (Licensed Conveyancer/ Solicitor/ CILEX)

Location: Hipperholme, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Salary: Dependent on Experience


We are a small well-established law firm based in Hipperholme, Halifax and are looking for an experienced qualified Conveyancer to join our thriving team.

 As a Conveyancer with over 3 years’ experience, your role will play a valuable part in contributing to the first class service provided to clients and other third parties in all residential Conveyancing matters, within a busy residential conveyancing department.

 Working on all aspects of residential conveyancing work, managing cases from start to finish you will be used to using a case management system as well as delivering a high level of customer service to clients. You will be expected to make proactive care calls to the client dealing with contract checks, mortgage reports and search results; through to replying to freehold and leasehold enquiries, and dealing with complex queries. The role includes producing of accurate, comprehensive documentation for clients, Title checks, checking check mortgage offers and reporting to client, preparing completion statements and invoices, dealing with the exchange of contracts and completion of transactions.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Be a qualified Conveyancer
  • Have a minimum experience of 3 years conveyancing.
  • Have experience with case management systems.
  • Be a great all round team player with excellent communication skills.

 If you would like to apply for this role, please email your CV to Rachel Oates at

How to apply:

Please send your CV with a covering letter to 


Valerie Holmes Property Lawyer appointed as Chair Person of the Society of Licensed Conveyancers

Valerie Holmes, a Property Lawyer based in Hipperholme, Halifax has been appointed as Chair Person of the Board of the Society of Licensed Conveyancers. This is a great accolade that a Licensed Conveyancer based in Hipperholme, Halifax, West Yorkshire is taking a national role.


With over 30 years’ experience, been an active SLC Board Member since 2013, and running Valerie Holmes Property Lawyers for 12 years,  Val is passionate about making the legal process of buying a home quicker and easier.


Val explained: “I'm delighted to have been appointed as the new SLC Chairman and relish the opportunity to continue the great work of Simon Law and the Board along with Mike Ockenden and his Secretariat team. I look forward to working with the Society’s Board and its Members to provide constructive responses to Government consultations, and to working together with the CLC and other legal bodies to make the conveyancing process quicker and easier to benefit the general public”.


“The housing market is picking up and I am active in assisting Gvernement to make buying and selling property easier to benefit my future clients.”



Valerie Holmes Property Lawyer celebrates winning Small Conveyancing Firm in the North

The Law Firm Services Awards held at the NEC in Birmingham announced Valerie Holmes, a Property Lawyer from Hipperholme, Halifax as the winner of the Small Conveyancing Firm in the North Award.

In the Judges Report, the Law Firm Services reported, “It was clear that this firm puts their clients at the centre of everything they do. The team go above and beyond for their clients, ensuring they provide the best quality service to all. They cater for individuals and offer a very personal touch, making them stand out from other small firms. Their application also stood out from the rest. They explain the home buying process and requirements clearly and concisely to their clients and ensure they are supported throughout.”

Valerie Holmes responded, “We work really hard so it’s brilliant to receive this recognition. Moving house can be emotional and stressful and I have to say a massive thank you to the team for consistently delivering brilliant service and reassurance to our clients.”



Restricting loan interest relief for 'buy to let' landlords

The government will restrict the amount of income tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs to the basic rate of income tax. Finance costs include mortgage interest, interest on loans to buy furnishings and fees incurred when taking out or repaying mortgages or loans. No relief is available for capital repayments of a mortgage or loan.

Landlords will no longer be able to deduct all of their finance costs from their property income. They will instead receive a basic rate reduction from their income tax liability for their finance costs. To give landlords time to adjust, the government will introduce this change gradually from April 2017, over four years.

The restriction in the relief will be phased in as follows:

- in 2017/18, the deduction from property income will be restricted to 75% of finance costs, with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate tax reduction

- in 2018/19, 50% finance costs deduction and 50% given as a basic rate tax reduction

- in 2019/20, 25% finance costs deduction and 75% given as a basic rate tax reduction

- from 2020/21, all financing costs incurred by a landlord will be given as a basic rate tax reduction.

This restriction will not apply to landlords of furnished holiday lettings.


Other changes to property taxation

From April 2016 the government will:

- replace the Wear and Tear Allowance wiht a new relief that allows all residential landlords to deduct the actual costs of replacing furnishings. Capital allowances will continue to apply for landlords of furnished holiday lets. 

- increase the level of Rent-a-Room relief from £4,250 to £7,500 per annum.


Source: Sleigh & Story Chartered Accountants, The Second Budget 2015.

Free cash for first-time buyers: Help to Buy Isa makes gift of £250 for every £1k of deposit saved up for first home

First-time buyers are set to benefit from a Help-to-Buy Isa, which offers a major tax break to those saving up a deposit to make their first step on to the property ladder, the Chancellor announced today. For every £200 that aspiring homeowners save up towards a deposit for their first home, they will receive a top up of another £50, George Osborne announced.

The move will mean that someone saving up a ten per cent deposit on the average first-time buyer property valued at £150,000 will now have to save £12,000 and the government will chip in £3,000 more.

The tax break will be capped at £3,000. The chancellor explained this is the equivalent of first-time buyers saving for their deposit from their pre-tax income. He added: 'We'll work with industry so it's ready for this autumn and we'll make sure you can start saving for it right now.'

A couple saving towards a home together could benefit from a bonus of up to £6,000 as both savers would be eligible for a £3,000 bonus. The move will cut the amount of time first-time buyers will need to save for by just under a year, if they are putting together a five per cent deposit, according to Lloyds.

The announcement made in the Budget today was part of what the chancellor labelled 'four new steps in a savings revolution'. As part of this strategy, the chancellor scrapped tax on the first £1,000 of savings income every year. The move will mean 95 per cent of savers will pay no tax at all on their savings, he said.

He also launched a 'fully flexible' Isa, which will allow savers to take money out of their Isa and put it back in again without losing their tax free entitlement. He said the former set-up restricted 'what people can do with their own savings – but I believe people should be trusted with their hard-earned money'. The fourth strand of his savings revolution was an announcement that pensioners will be able to sell their annuities - swapping a regular monthly income for life for a one-off lump sum without a prohibitively large tax penalty.

The launch of the Help to Buy Isa will help millions of aspiring homeowners who can afford the monthly mortgage payments required to buy a property but simply cannot manage to put aside enough cash for a down payment.

As many as 52 per cent of purchases by new buyers last year were made with help from the 'bank of mum and dad, recent figures from the Council of Mortgage lenders reveals. The figures underline the continuing uphill struggle faced by those who are not able to call on relatives to help. Savers will be able to make an initial deposit of £1,000 when they open a Help to Buy Isa. After that, they can put in anything up to £200 a month. The Isa will be only be available to first-time buyers purchasing UK properties. The minimum bonus that will be paid out is £400 per person - the maximum is £3,000.

The bonus will be available on home purchases up to £450,000 in London and up to £250,000 outside London.

The accounts will be available through banks and building societies from the autumn and will be available for four years. But once first-time buyers have opened an account, there will be no limit on how long they can save for. Accounts will be limited to one per person rather than one per home, so those buying together will both receive a bonus. It will only be available to those aged 16 and over.

Yvonne Braun, director of long term savings policy at the ABI said: 'We welcome the announcements for more flexible ISAs and help-to-buy ISAs. These measures should help re-build a savings culture in the UK, which is critical for people's financial wellbeing. Helping people build up their savings is the best way to make sure they really have freedom and choice in retirement. 'The help-to-buy ISA rightly recognises that housing is a very important part of people's assets over their lifetime which should form part of savings policy.'

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