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3% higher rates on multiple dwelling purchases & interaction with MDR


Client query:

Ronnie is a property developer and is buying five properties from the same vendor for £300,000 each. Ronnie owns an interest in a number of other properties, including his main residence.

Ronnie has queried whether the properties could be purchased in his daughter Jenny’s name, as she does not hold an interest in any other properties, so as to mitigate the exposure of the 3% surcharge.


Firstly, as the transactions are between the same vendor and purchaser or those connected with them, they will be deemed to be linked so that the aggregate consideration must be applied, i.e. £1.5m.

The rules on the higher rates of SDLT differ depending on whether the transaction involves the purchase of a single dwelling or multiple dwellings.

For multiple dwelling transactions, where at least two of the properties are worth £40,000 or more (and are not reversionary on a lease with more than 21 years to run), it is irrelevant if the individual holds additional properties or if they are replacing a main residence.

Therefore, in this case, the 3% higher rates would be applied regardless of whether the purchaser is Ronnie or Jenny. We calculated that the SDLT on the total consideration would be £138,750.

However, we advised that a claim for Multiple Dwellings Relief could be made, reducing the SDLT to £70,000. This resulted in a total saving of £68,750.


The rules governing SDLT are becoming increasingly complex. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

If you have any queries around SDLT please do not hesitate to get in contact via our SDLT Advisory Service.

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