3% Stamp Duty - BTL ownership?


Tim H

New Member

My wife and I are looking to purchase a property, and have had an offer accepted.

I was under the impression with the new 3% rule, that so long as you SOLD your main residence and are replacing it, you are exempt from the 3% rule, but we're in a very tricky situation and seem to be in the grey region between HMRC guidance.

1.) My wife's main residence was SOLD 12 months ago (less than the 36 month rule). It was in her name, and not ours.
2.) I separately own a Buy to let property, which is solely in my name. I have never lived in this property.
3.) We have subsequently rented together, but I still own the BTL property.
4.) The guidance is therefore not clear on whether the 3% applies at all, or if it is re-funded IF/WHEN we sell the BTL property.

As we are treated as one entity, the legislation especially around (1) seems to suggest we should ok as if you treat us as one entity then we owned two properties, but have disposed of the MAIN residence in order to purchase a new MAIN residence, which is true irrespective of any other properties you own before Nov' 18 but there is not clear exact guidance on this.

Any advice would be hugely helpful here. We're trying hard to sell the BTL flat in any case to raise funds (but don't need it for the sale) and dont want that to be the reason the sale falls through. The only other workaround I can think of is to move in to the BTL property during the next 2 months which would then be our main residence, which as long as we then SOLD it in the next 18 months, we'd pay the 3% and get it back, is that feasible?

Many thanks,


Hi @Tim H

I saw your post from some time ago and wondered how you got on with the buy to let stamp duty quandary? One of the main problems with investment in the UK is the way in which taxes can be interpreted differently by different people. Why not make everything simple and straightforward!