You are correct. If you get property as a gift you won’t pay SDLT as long as there’s no outstanding mortgage on it.
Primary Residence relief is allowed for your main home as long as:
You don’t need to do anything. You’ll automatically get a tax relief called Private Residence Relief.
You can nominate one property as your main home by writing to HMRC. You want to do this because you do own another property. Even though it is outside the UK and used for letting.
Just to clarify, my other property is actually in the UK. But as I said, I'm not sure that's too relevant, beyond confirming that the new property would be my main residence.
Just so I'm sure on what you're saying, does the scenario which I've set out sound like legal/permitted tax planning?
On what you've said, if there was likely to be an issue it would be around my acquiring the property to make a gain. Could HMRC not simply say that's exactly what I've done - especially if the property is sold fairly soon after acquiring it?
The wording which you've used is 'buying' the property just to make a gain. However I won't actually have bought the property, as opposed to it being gifted to me. Is that relevant?
It is relevant in that you need to declare this new property as your residence.
Sell fairly soon after acquiring could be questioned by HMRC because the PRR is not meant to allow a person to "flip" a property. You selling rather quickly could be seen as your and her avoidance to pay cgt.
It does not matter that you did not buy.