Stamp duty problems
If you own more than 1 residential property then you pay 3% more SDLT than would be applicable based on normal rates
Unfortunately the rule is not as easy to apply in practice and there are all sorts of specific.
Purchaser owns a buy-to-let property and then buys a property to live in.
3% SDLT surcharge applies
Purchaser owns 20 properties and buys a house to live in as a replacement for previously owned private residence.
3% SDLT surcharge does not apply (note this exemption only applies to replacement private residences and not first time purchases).
Couple A and B buy a house to live in jointly. B owns no other properties but A owns a buy-to-let property.
3% SDLT surcharge does apply in full. Unfortunately you have to look at each person individually and apply the worst outcome.
An individual owns various properties jointly with his sister. He then buys his first main residence for £1M (he was renting before).
3% SDLT surcharge does not apply. The reason for this is that the properties he holds jointly with his sister do not constitute a major interest which is required by the legislation. Unfortunately this argument cannot be applied to the facts of Example 3.
It is worth checking out the position to ensure that you do not overpay SDLT or underpay it and face the prospect of penalties.