Following the Autumn Statement on 25th November 2015, the then Chancellor announced that higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) would apply from 1st April to purchases of additional residential properties. Since then we have found that clients can be confused as to whether higher rates are applicable in the less straightforward cases.
For example, consider the scenario where a married couple live in a house that is owned by the husband. The wife then decides to buy an investment property to rent out in her sole name. On the face of it you might think that the higher SDLT rates will not apply but in fact as a married couple all property owned by either of them will be treated as being owned jointly and the purchase of the property will be classed as an additional residential property for both of them so the higher SDLT rate will apply.
If in doubt it is worth checking with us at the outset of the transaction so nasty surprises further down the line can be avoided.