Can I get Stamp Duty relief as a first-time buyer?

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Can I get Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief as a first-time buyer? Are there any conditions? Check how much you could pay with our 2021 Stamp Duty Calculator.

Note: Stamp Duty is subject to special measures during the COCID-19 pandemic.

First-Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief

On 22 November 2017, the Chancellor introduced First Time Buyers’ Relief with a view to helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

How does First-Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief work?

The pandemic has seen the introduction of emergency Stamp Duty measures. These measures mean that First Time Buyers’ Relief is effectively suspended until the end of the measures change on 1 July 2021.

If your purchase completion date is after 22 November 2017 but before 8 July 2020, you can claim relief if you have not already done so.

If your purchase completes on or after 1 July 2021, as a first-time buyer you would pay Stamp Duty as follows:

Purchase priceStamp Duty Rate
£300,000 or less0%
£300,0001 to £500,0000% on the first £300,000 and 5% on the portion from £300,0001 to £500,000
£500,001 +Standard non-first-time buyer rate

To qualify, first-time buyers must intend to occupy the property as their sole or main residence.

Relief can apply to any residential property purchased in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Will I still get Stamp Duty relief when buying under a shared ownership scheme?

Yes. Since 29 October 2018, it has also been possible to claim First-Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief when buying under an approved shared ownership scheme.

The change applies retrospectively to any property purchased on or before 22 November 2017.

What if I paid the Stamp Duty in instalments rather than the market value?

Before 18 October this was not possible. However, it is now possible to claim relief if you pay in instalments and you can even make a retrospective claim.

To make a retrospective Stamp Duty tax claim, you will need to complete a Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return on the Gov.Uk website.

What if I am buying with someone else (joint ownership)?

If you are buying with your spouse, partner or friend, you will both need to qualify for First Time Buyer's Stamp Duty Relief.

However, if you are unmarried and buying jointly, you could claim relief when only one of you is eligible. However, to do this, only the eligible person can appear on the property mortgage deed.

This could affect the amount that you can borrow (as a sole mortgage applicant) and it could lead to issues if you subsequently separate.

Read more:

What you need to know before buying a home with a partner or friend

find out how much Stamp Duty you will need to pay with our Stamp Duty Calculator

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Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher