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SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) FAQs

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1. I have been registered as an owner of a residential property in the past but I did not live there. If I purchase a property to live in will I be a first time buyer?

Answer: Unfortunately not. To qualify as a first time buyer you need to have never owned another residential property.

2. I am purchasing a house with my partner. I have never owned a property but my partner previously owned their own house. Will we still be able to qualify as first time buyers?

Answer: In order to qualify as first time buyers all those purchasing the property must be first time buyers.

3. I have never owned a residential property in the UK but I used to live abroad and owned a property while I was there. Am I still a first time buyer.

Answer: You can only qualify as a first time buyer if you have never owned another residential property anywhere in the world.

4. I purchased a residential property as a first time buyer prior to 22nd November. Am I entitled to a refund of the SDLT?

Answer: Only property purchases which completed after 00:01 hours on 22 November are eligible for the relief.

5. I am purchasing a property for over £500,000 and I am a first time buyer. Will I be eligible to a partial relief?

Answer: Any purchase of a residential property for more than £500,000 will not be eligible for the relief. Properties purchased between £300,000 and £500,000 receive a partial relief.

6. I sold a previous residential property several years ago and have not owned a residential property since then. Do I count as a first time buyer?

Answer: In order to qualify as a first time buyer you must have never owned another residential property

7. I have never owned another property and I am buying a residential property as a “buy to let”. Will I qualify as a first time buyer?

Answer: To qualify as a first time buyer and claim the relief you need to be purchasing the property in question as your only or main residence.

8. I own my property jointly with my partner. We have separated and the property is being transferred to my sole name. Will I qualify as a first time buyer?

Answer: You will not qualify as a first time buyer as you already own the property. The question of how much SDLT will be payable is more complicated when there is a transfer of this type and can depend on whether you are married and the precise mortgage arrangements. You should speak to a solicitor to obtain more specific advice based on your circumstances.

9. I am a first time buyer buying a 25% share in a shared ownership property. My share is costing £50,000 but the property is valued at £200,000. Can I claim first time buyer’s relief?

Answer: When purchasing a new shared ownership property you can pay SDLT is 2 ways.

The first option is that you can pay SDLT on the share you are buying and deal with any further SDLT at the time that you staircase (i.e. when you purchase a further share in the future).

The second option is that you can elect to pay SDLT on the full market value of the property at the time of initial purchase. This means that no further SDLT is payable if you staircase in future.

In order to claim first time buyers relief on a shared ownership property you must elect to pay SDLT from the outset on the full market value of the property. Provided the full market value is under £500,000, and you meet the other criteria, you will be eligible for the relief. If the market value of the property as a whole exceeds £500,000 you will not be eligible for the relief.

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