I've purchased a new flat outright as a cash buyer. The solicitor documentation suggests there is a 'SDLT' (stamp duty) tax of around £8,000. I believe this can be avoided by living in the property and not renting out. However, I want to eventually rent out, so is there a standard time period to wait before doing so?

EDIT: made the question more cohesive

  • 2
    Is this in the UK?
    – yoozer8
    Sep 11, 2019 at 9:01
  • 8
    Who would charge you £8k and why? Sep 11, 2019 at 9:29
  • 1
    @TomRevell I'm assuming the mortgage requires the OP to live in the unit, as it is not a 'buy to let' mortgage which has higher associated risk. Sep 11, 2019 at 12:37
  • 5
    Please add more detail. Without context, I take "purchased a new flat outright" to mean "paid cash, no mortgage". If so, then where does the potential £8k charge come from? If Grade 'Eh' Bacon is right (as if very often the case) and it stems from conditions imposed by a mortgage provider, then (a) you should probably clarify "outright", and (b) it is probably only their terms and conditions that can provide an answer. If the threat of an £8k charge comes from elsewhere, please specify.
    – TripeHound
    Sep 11, 2019 at 12:45
  • 3
    @JackScott At the end of the day on which you bought the new flat, presumably you owned at least one other property that you are currently living in... is that correct, and if so, is it your only other property?
    – TripeHound
    Sep 12, 2019 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


SDLT applies to most residential property sales, with some variations and exemptions. There is no exemption to SDLT for living in the property for a certain period of time (you might be confusing this with capital gains tax, where a practice known as flipping was used prior to selling in order to avoid it).

If you already own a home and it wasn't sold before purchasing an additional home, then on top of the normal stamp duty you may be paying a surcharge of 3% of the new property's value.


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