Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.
The purpose of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge was to deter individuals form buying more than one home. It is set at #%.
It only applies to a second property. If the buy to let property you are contemplating is your only property then the surcharge does not apply. CCH Daily has the following pithy summary [note the word additional]:
'Higher rates of SDLT will be charged on purchases of additional residential properties, such as buy to let properties and second homes, with effect from 1 April 2016. this will apply to additional property purchases valued at over £40,000.
The higher rates will be 3% above the current SDLT rates. At the same time changes to capital gains tax payment dates will be reduced to 30 days after completion rather than the current 10 to 22 month payment window.'
Of course the surcharge will catch nearly all buy to let acquisitions.
A Buy to Let is defined in Wikipedia as:
'a phrase referring to the purchase of a property specifically to let out, that is to rent it out'
I do hope that I have been able to shed some light on your question.
As houseboats are specifically excluded from SDLT. I do not think you need to worry on that score.
Forget about mortgages, they are irrelevant in this matter. If you are buying to let out it is a buy to let, end of story.
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What is wrong with the excellent Wikipedia definition? Just Answer protocol requires me to quote all my sources.
Deciding to rent out a property you own and live in does not convert it to a Buy to Let. The latter is a property specifically acquired to let out.
As houseboats are outside the scope of SDLT then their occupation would not attract the surcharge wer you to buy an additional property elsewhere.
The definition is:
'the purchase of a property specifically to let out, that is to rent it out'
Thus it would probably come within that definition, but not if you first occupied the property as I explained earlier.
\my answer embraces owning as well as occuping.
I have answerd this follow up. If you buy a property, live in it then decide to let it out it does not become a Buy to Let. It is not a property bought specifically to be rented out.
Houseboats are outside the scope of SDLT. That information is available from the Gov UK Web Site.
1. I am saying that if you buy to occupy and later rent it out it does not become a buy to let. Literally thousands of people would be thrown into that definition were that the case.
2. Normal rate.
Thank you for your support.