Q: My girlfriend and I are about to buy our first home together and I am concerned that we may have to pay the higher rates for stamp duty. My girlfriend will sell her flat but I’ll keep my buy to let which I will continue to let. Will we have to pay the higher rates on the half that I am purchasing or on the whole property?



A: The higher rates will apply to the total price paid for the property. The reason for this is that you will own an interest in an additional residential property and there are special rules for joint purchasers.

For joint purchasers, the higher rates will apply if either purchaser already owns another residential property and they are not replacing their main residence. In the case of joint owners, we look at each joint buyer separately and ask whether the 3% surcharge would apply to a purchase by that person. If the 3% would apply to either party, then the 3% surcharge applies to the whole of the transaction.

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