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I am about to purchase as house which costs less than 400k in the UK under a leasehold over 110 years. Currently, they say there are no stamp duty rates applying until the end of June 2021. The house is going to be my main residence (flat to live in) and not a buy to let or an alternative place to live (e.g holidays etc). My main residence at the moment is a flat I am renting privately from a landlord.

I am a bit confused as I am aware that I have share of ownership in some cases and a flat for which my grandmother owns the usufruct. All those are based in South Europe (EU).

A solicitor told me that I would have to pay 12k approximately.

Just to recap in bullets:

  1. The new house is going to be my main residence
  2. My current residence is a house I am renting
  3. I am a UK resident who is going to be a UK citizen soon as the ceremony is pending
  4. The new flat is going to be acquired before the end of June
  5. According the gov page, this should be my answer as I am replacing my current main residence (where I rent though a private landlord): enter image description here

Does anyone have experience on this matter?

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You’re not replacing your main residence, because your current main residence is rented not owned. And your part-ownership of other properties does mean that you’re liable for the extra 3% — it doesn’t matter that they’re not in the UK.

Note also that unless you’re already pretty far along, you’re unlikely to be able to complete the purchase by 30 June, so you’ll only benefit from the £250,000 nil-rate band that’s lasting until 30 September, and have £7,500 (5% of £150K) to pay on a £400K purchase as well as the £12K for the 3% second home surcharge. Leasehold purchases with a mortgage typically take four months from agreeing the purchase with the seller to completion, and things are going slower than normal at present since there are so many people trying to beat the deadline.

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  • I agree, you are liable for the stamp duty on an "additional property". There's a good calculator here: stampdutycalculator.org.uk/stamp-duty-holiday.htm – Vicky Mar 16 at 19:42
  • Thanks for the response. I lost any hope. Our rights are gone and it is devastating. 12k for a tax even with a discount is excessive. The only way is to give the current property to a family member. Or open a business and buy it under the corporate name? Is that possible? But in that case, help to buy will not count, I guess. – Datacrawler Mar 16 at 20:12
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    @Datacrawler In fact, 3% is pretty cheap by European standards. It’s 8% to 10% in Spain, 5% in France, 3.5% to 6.5% in Germany. – Mike Scott Mar 16 at 20:15
  • In Spain you can get a mansion with 130000 euros where in the UK, an equivalent house would cost 817000 euros. As a result, the taxes overall are still cheaper in Spain etc. – Datacrawler Mar 16 at 20:22
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    Why do you say "Our rights are gone and it is devastating."? Paying stamp duty is a normal part of a property transaction in the UK. It's no different than walking into a shop and complaining that you had to pay VAT on your purchases. If you can't afford the property+stamp duty then you have to buy a cheaper property. Sorry if this sounds harsh but I don't understand the issue. – Vicky Mar 17 at 11:17

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