An SDLT supplement of 3% applies to purchases of second and subsequent residential properties where the consideration is £40,000 or more.

HMRC have published a detailed guide explaining when the higher rates do and do not apply, what reliefs are available and when and how a refund can be claimed. The guide is available on the website.

The higher rate does not apply where a main residence is exchanged, even if the taxpayer owns other residential properties. However, if the new residence is purchased before the sale of the old residence completes, the higher rates may be payable initially. The supplement can then be reclaimed as long as the former main residence is disposed of within three years of the purchase of the new main residence.

However, it should be noted that the time period for claiming a refund is tight – the refund application must be received by HMRC within three months of the sale of the previous main residence, or 12 months of the filing date of the return, if later.