What are changes?
From April 2016, the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on the purchase of any second home or Buy to Let property will increase by 3%. Subject to consultation, the change may apply to properties bought for more than £40k and will apply regardless of current SDLT banding. The consultation will also confirm many of the finer points around exclusions and alternative applications.
Does this change impact Scotland?
Scotland no longer charge Stamp Duty on property purchases, instead a Lands and Buildings Transaction Tax is payable. This tax is structured in the same way as Stamp Duty, albeit with different property value thresholds.
If has not yet been made clear whether the 3% increase will also apply to Scotland, or just England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
When does the increase to stamp duty for BTL and second properties start?
The increase to Stamp Duty will apply to completions on purchases from 1st April 2016
Are there any exceptions to the new Stamp Duty rules?
The initial announcement highlighted that portfolios with more than 15 properties may be exempt. However, this is subject to consultation with further details to follow.
Are we likely to see a spike in application volumes between now and the introduction of the new rules?
As purchase applications will need to complete prior to 1st April in order to avoid the new, increased Stamp Duty charges, it is more likely that landlords will seek to push these through over the coming months. However, with a finite stock of properties within the market, any increase of applications will have a limit.
Will applications have to complete before the introduction of the new rules to avoid the increased Stamp Duty?
Yes, purchase applications will need to complete prior to 1st April in order to benefit from the current Stamp Duty charging structure.