In the recent Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the government will introduce a new 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional properties purchased from 01 April 2016. 

This will impact any buy-to-let purchasers as well as those looking to buy a second property for themselves, such as a holiday home, on any purchase valued over £40,000.

The proposed changes will increase each SDLT band by 3 per cent as follows: - Property purchase of £40,000 to £125,000 – Stamp Duty will be levied at 3% (currently 0%) - Up to £250,000 – 5% (currently 2%) - Up to £925,000 – 8% (currently 5%) - Up to £1.5m – 13% (currently 10%) - Over £1.5m – 15% (currently 12%).

These proposed changes have spurred a lot of industry and nationwide press with many view points and potential effects being thrashed around, mainly criticism...

City AM go as far to state it is "Petty, shallow and stupid". 

There's a lot of "if's and but's" to consider but ultimately this initiative looks likely to cause more woes for tenants as landlords in the buy-to-let market look to recoup additional costs they incur.

Coupled with the vast amount of changes announced after the Summer Budget there's a lot for landlords to consider. This includes the scrapping of the 10% tax break for wear and tear allowance by 01 April 2016 alongside the reduction of interest relief to basic rate which will be staged from 2017-2018 until it applies in full from 2020-2021. 

Other scenarios that the government hasn't necessarily taken into consideration could be where someone completes on their onwards purchase without completing or even selling their existing property yet they have every intention to sell but just didn't want to lose the new property. Will they incur these costs despite potentially selling their existing property within the next 2-6 months?

Likewise what if you have a share in a holiday home from years back when you invested some inheritance with other family members but after April end up buying a large property which will be your primary residence. Sounds like this person will wish they'd spent their inheritance on a blow out holiday instead!

It has been suggested that couples may purchase in separate names or families putting additional homes in their children(s) name(s). All these situations will incur various tax implications and we advise that specialised advice is sought in these instances.

Furthermore the government also announced changes to capital gains payment dates which will require accounts to be settled in 30 days after completion as opposed to the 10 to 22 month window currently. This coupled with the news that the payment window to settle your SDLT bill will be reduced to 14 days in 2017 leads to even more headaches and confusion in times of change around an already complicated purchase process.

Until the draft is published with the precise details we can only speculate. We have however already started to see activity in the market because of these changes and we are sure there will be a further flurry of activity between now and April where landlords attempt to get their investments in order before the changes commence. We anticipate that a lot of landlords who have perhaps one or two buy-to-let investments or "accidental" landlords (i.e. those who need to relocate for work or because they can't sell their property or have inherited, etc) may want to sell quickly to avoid the inevitable changes which are likely to damage their profits and the best time to do so will be to get the properties sold before 01 April 2016.

On the other hand caravans and mobile homes are exempt from the additional SDLT surcharge so lets hit the road and holiday in our homes!