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Job Vacancy

Job Title: Residential Conveyancing Assistant

Job type: Permanent full time

Location: Hipperholme, Halifax

Salary:  Negotiable subject to experience

Contact: Rachel Oates, 01422 200400,


Valerie Holmes Property Lawyers are a long standing and well established small law firm based in Hipperholme, Halifax, West Yorkshire. We are pleased to announce an excellent opportunity has arisen for a Residential Conveyancing Assistant to join our busy and client focused team.

The Role:

We are looking for an experienced, accurate and self-motivated person to join our team. The role covers all aspects of the conveyancing process including opening files, taking ID, giving quotes, completing searches, post completion work, and handling the admin throughout the matter. The role will include working for a fee earner and liaising with clients, lenders, solicitors, and estate agents so a positive, friendly, yet professional manner is essential. The role involves preparing bills ,  dealing with SDLT’s, OS1s and post completion and registration formalities with minimal supervision. The successful applicant will be organised, able to prioritise and have a positive can do attitude, especially when dealing with clients.

Knowledge, skills, & experience:

  • Minimum 2 years experience within a similar role
  • Experience in the conveyancing and transaction processes
  • Experience in dealing with post competition work
  • Experience dealing with transfers of equity would be useful, but is not essential
  • Experience of Case Management computer systems

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.”


Help to Buy ISA

The government announced the introduction of a new type of ISA in the March Budget, the Help to Buy ISA, which will provide a tax free savings account for first time buyers wishing to save for a home.

The scheme will provide a government bonus to each person who has saved into a Help to Buy ISA at the point they use their savings to purchase their first home. For every £200 a first time buyer saves, the government will provide a £50 bonus up to a maximum bonus of £3,000 on £12,000 of savings.

The government has now announced that Help to Buy ISAs will be available for first time buyers to start saving into from 1 December 2015.First time buyers will be able to open their Help to Buy ISA accounts with an additional one off deposit of £1,000.


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.

Japanese knotweed: Tiny insect could finally tame Britain

Article from The Independent Sunday 19 October 2014

Fallopia japonica, the one-time toast of Victorian horticulture which under its English name of Japanese knotweed is now considered Britain’s most pernicious invasive plant, may have finally met its match in a two millimetre-long insect.

The shrub plucked from the sides of Japanese volcanoes in the 19th century and imported to Europe as a medal-winning ornamental has become a botanical menace, resisting chemical control and causing £170m of damage to buildings each year as it forces its way through concrete and brickwork.

Scientists who have spent the last four years studying one of the plant’s natural predators believe they may have hit upon of a method of taming the floral thug by unleashing a tiny sap-sucking insect upon it on test sites across the country.

Painstaking trials on the bug, Aphalara itadori, which is a psyllid or plant louse similar to aphids, have established that it inhibits the growth of the knotweed and, most importantly, poses no risk to native species, including close relatives of the oriental plant such as rhubarb.

Researchers at CABI, a not-for-profit international research body specialising in agriculture and the environment, announced that they have also succeeded in getting the insect to survive through British winters. The findings raise the possibility for wide-scale release of the specialist knotweed nibbler and the potential for its target host to be slowly but surely brought under control at a vastly reduced cost compared to artificial eradication methods. Kate Constantine, one of the CABI scientists working on the project, said: “The results confirmed the psyllid to be a high-specialised natural enemy of Japanese knotweed. The challenge now is to get the psyllid to establish in the natural environment which, as for any programme of this type, isn’t easy.”

Japanese knotweed causes £170 million of damage to buildings each year. A natural means of controlling knotweed would be a huge advance in the battle against the plant, which every year damages hundreds of homes and invades urban land. Just a few millimetres of its underground root or rhizome is sufficient to spawn a new plant, making its removal from soil time-consuming and expensive.

The Government last year faced calls to do more to tackle the invader following reports that banks were refusing to offer mortgages on properties affected by knotweed.

The CABI research, which involved placing tens of thousands of specially-bred lice on knotweed at eight locations in England and Wales, was the first time the release of an alien insect species had been authorised in the European Union. The study found that the creature was happy to suck on the sap of the knotweed, inhibiting its growth, but also failed to breed on any of 90 other native British species, meaning it can be specifically targeted at the invasive plant. The scientists say the number of colonies that have successfully over-wintered remains too small to be certain that the bug could widely establish itself in Britain. But if it does, they believe the bug will allow a natural order to slowly reassert itself and knotweed could eventually be seen as just a “mild nuisance”. Dr Constantine, writing in The Ecologist, said: “A more natural equilibrium is restored. Biological control doesn’t aim to eradicate the target plant, but rather to reduce its vigour and invasiveness. Keeping the invasive plant in check ideally allows native plants to re-establish and flourish.”

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