My partner had previously co-bought a house (in the UK with a mortgage) in 2002, the house was then sold in 2013 (no profit made after mortgage pay-off and fees). Fast forward to 2021, we're buying a home together as we've been renting and saving for 8 years since.

I myself am definitely a first-time buyer as I've never owned property but it seems to be very vague and differently answered wherever I look to find out if my partner is as well.

I mean first-time buyer in relation to the government's SDLT, not in the eyes of lenders for a mortgage/loans.

All the different answers around vary greatly and often contradict each other. If more info on my partner's situation/history is needed, just let me know.

1 Answer 1


This is explained in this guidance note from the government.

Chapter 3 has the definition of a first time buyer:

In order to count as a first time buyer, a purchaser must not, either alone or with others, have previously acquired a major interest in a dwelling or an equivalent interest in land situated anywhere in the world.


If the property is purchased jointly, all the purchasers must meet these conditions.

So if you buy it jointly, you won't qualify for the SDLT reduction on the basis of being a first time buyer.

  • Thanks for your answer. I had read that and then I read an article that said "...in the past three years" and another that said "the previously implied currently owning property with intent to sell for the purpose of buying the new property" So many mixed answers and contradictions have just fried my brain on the situation. Although, part of the confusion could be coming from some of the articles I have been reading don't specify the country they're referring to. Anyway, thank you, it's as I suspected all along before hesitating and doubting the first answer.
    – user110250
    Jun 29, 2021 at 9:17
  • @SmurfTheSmurf It is also possible that you have confused the text on SDLT for first-time buyers with that on additional SDLT, taxable if you (or your partner, depending on your legal status) hold another property when you buy your home. The 'three year', 'intent to sell' excerpts seems to point to the latter, but thankfully based on what you described in the question, is not relevant to your case.
    – B.Liu
    Jun 29, 2021 at 11:56

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