First Time Buyer Relief SDLT

We have a situation where clients are selling their home (held in husband’s sole name) where they have lived for over 50 years.

Moving home and buying in wife’s sole name, so they will not own more than one property. Family member is convinced this will qualify for FIrst Time Buyer Relief as wife has never owned a property. We are convinced that the same rule as for the 3% SDLT would apply and a married couple are connected persons.

Does anyone have any concrete reference that proves us right or wrong. The HMRC Manuals do not help save for the application of the higher rate.

If anyone has come across this issue before their input would be very welcome!

Many thanks
Kathy Melkerts

The relevant legislation is confined in FA 2003 Schs 4ZA and 6ZA (first time buyer relief (FTBR)).

H has sole beneficial ownership in H/W’s current home. W only is to purchase new family home.

Is W entitled to FTBR?
Para 1(1) to (7) are relevant. Prima-facie, (1) to (6) are satisfied. In particular, W qualifies as a FTB as she satisfies para 6 (ie in particular she has never been a purchaser in relation to a major interest in a dwelling; 6(1))).

So it would seem W is entitled to FTBR. However, FTBR may still be denied IF para 1(7) is in point ie if W’s purchase is a “higher rate transaction” for Sch 4ZA para 1 purposes.

Is W’s purchase a “higher rate transaction” for Sch 4ZA para 1 purposes.
Para 3 (1) , (2), and (3) are each satisfied but para 3(5) is not satisfied (ie W’s purchase is a replacement residence) assuming H disposes of his residence within 3 years prior to W’s date of acquisition.

Unfortunately, H and W are married and so in examining whether W’s ;purchase is subject to the higher rate of SDLT it is, in addition to the above, necessary to consider the impact of para 9 Sch 4ZA.
The effect of para 9(2) is that had, hypothetically, H acquired the new residence and had not by that date sold his own residence then para 3(4) would be satisfied and W’s transaction would be a higher rate transaction. On the other hand, if H had sold how own residence then para 3(4) would not be satisfied and W’s purchase would not be a higher rate transaction.

Malcolm Finney

Thanks for your input Malcolm, its a bit of a conundrum.

Its a contemporaneous sale and purchase. Selling husband’s and buying replacement in wife’s sole name. They need the proceeds of sale form husband’s to buy the new one so higher rate not in issue.

It would seem a very strange effect if they could benefit from the first time buyer rate.


Not really, as H sells his home and it is substituted by the purchase of a new home and W has never owned a home. Sale and purchase on same day is fine and per the above wouldn’t ;preclude FTBR applying.

Malcolm Finney