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11 August 2020

Following the announcement on 27 July that transfers of ownership of property, leases, mortgages, and other property dealings can be signed electronically, HM Land Registry has also confirmed that customers in Wales and England can now manage all portal applications and correspondence in one central place. Read More...

Government urged to speed up cladding remediation process

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Consultation to reform planning system launched

06 August 2020

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick announced today, 6 August, the Government is ‘Planning for the Future’ and aims to overhaul outdated systems and reform the way the country builds. Read More...

Two per cent stamp duty surcharge for non-UK residents announced

Thursday 23 July 2020

Following a six-month consultation, the Government has introduced draft legislation on all properties purchased by anyone who isn’t a UK resident.

The legislation would also include some UK-resident companies controlled by non-UK residents and will apply to purchases of dwellings in England and Northern Ireland on or after 1 April 2021. It will apply to both freehold and leasehold properties.

The new rates will also increase the amount of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on rents when a new lease is granted.

The government believes that “a two per cent surcharge strikes the right balance between being high enough to have a material impact on house prices, thereby helping residents get onto and move up the housing ladder, and the UK remaining an open and dynamic economy that welcomes inward investment.”

Consultation results

Residence tests

Individuals will be considered as a non-UK resident where they spent fewer than 183 days in the UK in the 12 months up to the purchase date of the property. This would be refunded if the purchaser spends more than 183 days in the UK in the 12 months after the purchase.

Corporate residence will be defined using the principles used for Corporation Tax, including where a company is “treaty resident” for Corporation Tax purposes under a Double Taxation Agreement.

The proposals simplify residence test for trusts so that the residence status of a trustee is determined using the relevant SDLT residence test. Where there are multiple trustees, the trust will be UK-resident only if all the trustees are UK-resident under the SDLT tests.

Draft legislation


Propertymark made a response, on behalf of our members, to the initial consultation. Propertymark did not believe that the measures would have a significant effect on the housing market outside of major cities and that the surcharge – set at one per cent for the initial consultation – was insufficient to deter most overseas investors. 

Propertymark response