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First time buyer changes to Stamp Duty: FAQ

On 22nd November 2017 the rules regarding Stamp Duty for first time buyers changed. We're answering some of the questions arising from the Stamp Duty exemption for first time buyers.

First time buyer changes to Stamp Duty: FAQ
First time buyers will be exempt from paying Stamp Duty on properties up to £300,000, and if buying a property worth up to £500,000, they will only pay Stamp Duty on the amount over £300,000.

However, there are still some specific details regarding eligibility. Here are some of the questions people are asking.

I’m a first time buyer - we’ve exchanged but not completed so do I still need to pay?

This comes into play when you have completed the sale, so if you exchanged before 22nd November but have not yet completed, you will qualify for the Stamp Duty exemption.

I’m a first time buyer, but my partner owns a Buy To Let property - are we eligible?
No, unless you are solely buying the property in your name. Both partners buying the property need to be first time buyers.

I sold a property 5 years ago and don’t own anything. Does that make me a first time buyer?
No, if you have owned a property before, even if you don’t now, you are not an FTB.

I inherited a place in France but have no property in England - do I qualify?
Inheriting property, even abroad means you are not eligible. Also if you bought property abroad you cannot qualify.

I’m a first time buyer selling in Scotland and buying in England - do I qualify? What if I sell in England and buy in Scotland?
If you are selling in Scotland and buying in England, then you have previously owned property and cannot be eligible. If you are selling in England and buying in Scotland, Scotland does not operate this Stamp Duty exemption.

I own commercial premises, but not a home. Am I a first time buyer?
If you own commercial property but not a dwelling, you are a first time buyer and are eligible.

I want to buy with my partner, but I live elsewhere – are we eligible?
If you are aiming to live with your partner when you buy the property, you qualify. If both your names will be on the deeds, but you will not be living in the property, you cannot qualify.

I live in Wales – can I apply?
Yes, but do so quickly. The stamp duty exemption in Wales lasts until March 2018, when those powers will be devolved, and Wales will decide whether they want to carry on with it or not. Wales are currently changing the SDLT to the Land Transaction Tax, which has different rates to Stamp Duty.

Add any questions you have about the first time buyer Stamp Duty changes, and we’ll answer them as soon as possible.


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