If I buy a flat in London that is connected to mine in order to join the two back together into the original configuration of the house (for which I already own the freehold), is that transaction considered as a second property for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) purposes? If I complete the transaction and merge the titles on the same day, does that make any difference?
Arthur Weller replies:
It would seem to me that you would have to pay the extra 3% SDLT. See HMRC’s guidance at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/570876/SDLT_Higher_rates_for_additional_properties.pd. In section 3.7, it states that one of the conditions for paying the extra 3% is Condition C ‘the individual purchaser owns, or is treated as owning, a major interest in another dwelling’. In section 3.12, it states: ‘The interest held at the end of the day must be an interest in another dwelling. A further interest owned in the same dwelling in which a major interest has been purchased will not, on its own, cause Condition C to be met.’ But in section 2.10A, it states: ‘A self-contained part of a building will be a separate dwelling if the residents of that part can live independently of the residents of the rest of the building including independent access and domestic facilities.’