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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
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I live in a property owned by my sister. She bought the

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I live in a property owned by my sister. She bought the property following my divorce and I have lived there alone ever since. My sister lives with our parents and she is not on the deeds of that property.
I am having to move but can't find a quick buyer for the house that I currently live in. My sister has kindly agreed to buy the new house in which I and new partner will live in which will obviously incur the increased rate for stamp duty. My sister intends to remain living with our parents.
I took advice from hrmc weeks ago who stated that although my sister doesn't live in the house that I currently live in it would be counted as her main residence and she would therefore be able to reclaim the additional stamp duty if she sells that within 3 years of buying the 2nd property.
We therefore identified the second property and my sister is in the process of buying it. My concern is that the conveyancing solicitor is of the opinion that the verbal only advice that I got from hrmc is incorrect.
I have spoken to hrmc who now can't answer my query and advised that I write to them however the completion date is fast approaching.
I have read the hrmc website and it is unclear. It does say that one of the other exemptions of paying the additional stamp duty is that when another person has a lease of 21 years or more.... Does this mean if me and my sister get a legal lease written in my name she could avoid paying it in this way?

Hello, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

Your sister is buying a house when she already owns one. She will have to pay the 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge on acquisition. If she sells her original house within three years she can apply to the Stamp Office for a refund of the surcharge.

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks for the reply however I must ask for clarification as my sister has never lived in the house that she will eventually sell (or the new one that she will purchase). As such would she fit the criteria of 'main residence'. Thanks.

Whether she lived there or not is irrelevant. If she owned it and no other residence then it would be classed as her sole or main domestic residence.

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