First time buyer relief (A complete guide)

What is the First time buyer relief?

The first time buyer relief will refer to the stamp duty break for first time buyers. The stamp duty break is a first-time buyer government relief introduced by chancellor Philip Hammond on December 2017 as a way to make getting on the property ladder more affordable for first-time buyers.

The first time buyer relief (stamp duty break) for first-time buyers essentially exempts first-time buyers of paying stamp duty on the first £300,000 of any property worth up to £500,000.

The price of the home above £300,000 and up to £500,000 will be charged stamp duty at a rate of 5% for first -time buyers.

The stamp duty will only apply in Wales till April 2018 when it will be dissolved and replaced with the land transaction tax.

The tax does not apply in Scotland as the stamp duty has been already replaced with the land and buildings transaction tax as of April 2015.

The first time buyer relief (stamp duty break) for first time buyers applies in Northern Ireland just as it does in the UK.

A first time buyer is anyone who resides in the UK and has never owned a property via any means. E.g inheritance, trust etc.

These people are eligible for the first time buyer relief( the stamp duty relief for first time buyers)

To be considered a first-time buyer the property you are buying must be for residential purposes and not a commercial buy to let property.

Yes, somewhat but it doesn’t tackle the biggest issue of rising house prices which then results in higher mortgage deposit requirements.

You should always consider other government schemes in tandem with the stamp duty break.

If you have paid your stamp duty and should have claimed for a first-time buyer relief or stamp duty break you can do so by following the guidance here.

Your conveyancer will have to do this for you.

Unfortunately, if you have completed your home purchase by November 22nd 2017 you will not be eligible for the first time buyer relief (stamp duty break) for first time buyers. This is the case even if you haven’t paid your stamp duty yet.

The first time buyer relief (stamp duty break) for first time buyers only applies for completed property transactions completed after 22nd November 2017.

Completion of a property purchase is not defined by the exchange of contracts. Seek specific advice on when you completed or would complete from your conveyancer

If you are buying a shared ownership scheme you will have have to pay the stamp duty tax upfront to be eligible for the first time buyer relief (stamp duty break) for first-time buyers

The stamp duty break applies to both leasehold and freehold as long as the leasehold has a minimum of 21 years to run.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact the HMRC SDLT Helpline on Telephone: 0300 200 3510 (from abroad +44 1726 209 042).

You can read more detailed guidance here

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.