Multiple dwellings relief (MDR) abolished

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Other business, Tax, Technical

A useful relief originally intended to ease the SDLT burden when more than one dwelling is being purchased is being abolished. It will cease to apply for purchases that complete after 1 June 2024 unless contracts were exchanged before 6 March 2024.

The relief applied where two or more dwellings were acquired in a single or linked transaction; the purchaser was able to compute the SDLT by reference to the average value of the total number of dwellings included in the claim, i.e. total dwellings consideration/total number of dwellings. This was referred to as the average value SDLT (AVSDLT). The total SDLT liability is obtained by multiplying the AVSDLT by the total number of dwellings. This could result in a rate of SDLT of as low as 1% (the minimum allowed).

It was therefore possible to acquire two dwellings with considerably different values – say a main house with a separate staff house – and reduce the SDLT substantially. The relief did not apply company purchases of the individual properties worth more than £500,000 unless the properties were to be used in a property rental, development or trading business.

At the time of writing, it appears that the relief for the acquisitions of six or more dwellings in a single transaction (which subjects the purchase to the lower non- residential property rates of SDLT) is still available.

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