‘Unfair!’ shouted the leaseholders; ‘unclear!’ shouted the professional advisors when the additional 3% rate of SDLT was introduced and applied to certain lease extension transactions.
Following the Government’s introduction of the higher rate of SDLT, an additional 3% SDLT surcharge applied to lease extensions at a property which was not your only property when the agreed premium was £40,000 or more.
Now, the Government has announced in the Autumn 2017 Budget that, from 22 November 2017, it will grant relief from this higher rate for individuals who buy an additional interest in their main residence, or extend their lease, when they own other residential properties. Detail, as always, remains subject to the final legislation.
No doubt, many leaseholders who would otherwise have been subject to the higher rate SDLT when extending the lease of their main residence will welcome the prospect of relief, but other leaseholders will find only frustration, and even seethe at the unfairness, in being caught by the surcharge tax over the course of the past year.
Iris-Ann Stapleton, Streathers Solicitors LLP