My sister (Barbie) is married to a man (Ken).
She owns a house in Manchester which she rents out (she's been unable to sell it), as she moved in to Ken's house when they tied the knot.
They are currently selling Ken's house for £125k and purchasing a house in joint names for £173k. So my sister will own two houses.
They obviously have to pay stamp duty of 2% above the £125k threshold on the £173k purchase - but their solicitor has informed them they have to pay an extra 3% on the whole £173k as, technically, this will be my sister's second home.
The government website states:
Anyone who is buying an additional residential property for £40,000 or more must pay the 3% surcharge. This could mean a holiday home, buy-to-let or even a main residence you plan to live in.
If the home you are buying replaces your main residence, you will not be liable for the 3% surcharge, even if you own an additional property/properties (such as a second home, or let flat) at the same time.
The word "additional" is the key word here. As far as I'm concerned when you are married the assets in that marriage are jointly held, even if the houses are only in one name.
So what I'm saying is my sister is simply replacing her main residence. She owned two houses, and she still owns two houses.
The solicitor says she owned one house, and will now own two houses.
Who is right?