Anyone buying a buy-to-let or 'additional residential' property now has to pay an extra 3% in stamp duty (or LBTT in Scotland). Find out if you'll have to pay the higher rate.
Stamp duty - or Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) in Scotland - is a government tax on property purchases. It's tiered, which means you pay different rates on different portions of the property's price.
New rates of stamp duty and LBTT came into force on 1 April 2016 for everyone buying a buy-to-let property or second home costing over £40,000. The new rates are 3% higher than those for people buying property to live in as their primary residence.
The higher rates of stamp duty and LBTT apply to anyone buying an additional property or 'dwelling' to the one they live in, including holiday homes and buy-to-let properties.
What is a dwelling?
Any building or part of a building used a living space is classed as a dwelling and will therefore be subject to the higher rate. In practical terms, this includes holiday homes but does not include caravans, houseboats or mobile homes.
Rules for married couples and civil partners
Stamp duty and LBTT rules treat married couples and civil partners as a single entity. In other words, if you are married or in a civil partnership and one of you already owns a property, you'll have to pay the higher rate of tax on on any additional properties - whether you buy them together or separately.
If you're selling a property and buying a new one at the same time and your purchase doesn't go through before you've completed your sale, you will have to pay the higher rate.
However, if this happens but you manage to sell your previous home within 36 months of your purchase, you'll be able to reclaim the additional 3% you've paid.
In the table below you can see the basic stamp duty rates compared with the rates that apply to second homes and buy-to-let properties in England and Wales.
Buying in Scotland? Skip to our table of LBTT rates.
Stamp duty tax for residential properties in England and Wales
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) for residential properties in Scotland
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