HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published new guidance on the meaning of “dwelling” in its Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual (SDLTM).

The meaning of the term “dwelling” impacts on whether property is non-residential or is subject to the (usually) higher stamp duty land tax (SDLT) rates applicable to residential property.

The guidance therefore aims to help buyers, agents and caseworkers decide which SDLT rates should apply to a transaction.

The guidance covers points including:

  • definitions of key terms such as dwelling, residential and non-residential property
  • situations where a building is used partly as a dwelling and partly for other purposes
  • guidance on assessing how many dwellings form a property.

The new pages range from SDLTM00360 to SDLTM00430.

Multiple dwellings in a property

It can be important to determine how many dwellings form a property for SDLT purposes, for example in deciding whether six or more dwellings are the subject of a single transaction which may be treated as non-residential property. 

Manual entries 00410 to 00430 explain what to consider when working out how many dwellings form a property. Factors include:

  • physical configuration (facilities, independent access and privacy)
  • control of utilities (such as electricity and heating)
  • other factors (such as council tax or separate post).