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What is a stamp duty refund and why does it exist?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax paid to the government when purchasing a property. The amount varies depending on the buyer’s circumstances and the type of property. In some cases, such as for investors, second homeowners, or those purchasing properties over £1 million, the SDLT cost is lower if the property is classified as ‘non-residential’ for stamp duty purposes.

If a property is uninhabitable at the time of purchase, it cannot be classified as residential, as it is unreasonable for someone to reside there, e.g., due to excessive damp and mold. For certain buyers, non-residential stamp duty rates are typically lower than residential rates. These buyers can claim a stamp duty rebate from HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) if they’ve purchased an uninhabitable property. However, HMRC doesn’t make the process easy, necessitating organizations like ours to represent clients’ interests.

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