On 9th December the government published draft legislation to extend reliefs from the 15% SDLT rate and ATED together with a policy paper. These documents are available here. The extended reliefs will apply as follows:
Presently, relief from the 15% SDLT rate and ATED is available where a dwelling is to be occupied by an employee of a trade, subject to certain conditions being satisfied. This relief is to be extended to apply in respect of employees of a qualifying property rental business.
A new relief from both the 15% SDLT rate and ATED is to apply where a dwelling is occupied by a person employed as a caretaker in a building of multiple occupancy, such as a block of flats.
A new relief from the 15% SDLT rate and ATED is to apply where an interest in a property is held exclusively for the purpose of an equity release scheme where the activity is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
A new relief from the 15% SDLT rate will apply where a business purchases a property either for demolition or conversion for non residential use. This relief will be withdrawn if, within a period of three years from the effective date of the transaction, demolition or conversion has not begun or the property is used as a dwelling.
The above reliefs are to apply with effect from 1st April 2016, so anyone seeking to take advantage will need to ensure that the effective date of the transaction does not arise before that date.
With regard to the new additional rate of SDLT on second homes, which is to apply with effect from 1st April 2016:
The policy paper published on 9th December states that draft legislation will be published for consultation in January 2016.
In answer to a question put to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr David Gauke, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, responded that foreign investors and non UK domiciliaries are to be treated in exactly the same way as UK residents and that if purchasers of residential property in the UK own another property anywhere else in the world and are purchasing an additional property in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, they will be charged the additional rate.