Clarity on higher Stamp Duty on new (2nd) home?


Just looking for a bit of clarity re stamp duty fees if anyone can assist please!

I currently own a flat worth circa £90K. I have a normal repayment mortgage on this not buy-to-let.  When expecting our first child, my partner and I moved out of this property in 2016 and moved into a rented house which we are still living in today. The flat is currently being rented out.

We’re now looking to buy a family home for around £300-350K which will be our new main residence, and the plan is to keep the flat as a second property and to continue to rent this out.

When we purchase the new house, this will become our main residence, whereas our main residence currently is the rented property. Is it as simple as “you will own two properties therefore you have to pay the higher rate of stamp duty on completion” (even if technically the flat at the lower value will be my second property)? If so are there any ways around this (other than selling the flat within 3 years)? I’ve seen conflicting information on this, so was just hoping someone could clarify please.

My wife would technically be a first time buyer, however her income alone would not give us sufficient to afford the mortgage we are looking for.

Thanks in advance.



  • stig
    stig Posts: 162 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    You currently own one residential property.

    after buying a family home you will own (at least a share in) two residential properties. You’re not replacing your main residence, which in this case means selling your current main residence and buying another.  So the purchase of the family home will attract the 3% stamp duty surcharge.

    Even if your wife could afford to buy on her own, this wouldn’t help as the tests for first time buyers relief and the surcharge are applied to both the buyer and any spouse or civil partner, so married couples can’t get around the rules by putting properties in separate names.
  • Thanks for your response, I suspected that would be the case.
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