My husband and I want to buy a house. I owned a house which I sold five years ago, but my husband has never owned property. If we buy a house together, do we count as first time buyers and so could we qualify for stamp duty tax relief?

The relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) was introduced in 2017 for first time buyers wanting to buy residential property for £500,000 or less, and intending to occupy the property as their only or main residence.

First time buyers no longer have to pay SDLT at all on properties worth up to £300,000. If the property is worth between £300,000 and £500,000 they pay no SDLT on the first £300,000 but will pay the standard five per cent on the remaining amount.

According to the First Time Homebuyer Definition (FHA) you can qualify as a first time homebuyer if you have not been an owner of a primary home for at least three years leading up to your purchase. As you sold your house five years ago, both you and your husband will qualify and so will be entitled to relief up to £500,000. This means a potential saving for you of up to £5,000.

It's worth noting that, under the rules, married buyers both need to meet the criteria as first time buyers to qualify for the SDLT relief.

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