Transfer part of ownership of BTL flat to spouse without having to pay SDLT?

Transfer part of ownership of BTL flat to spouse without having to pay SDLT?

11:16 AM, 27th May 2022, About 4 months ago 16

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I am going to sell a BTL flat with is under my sole name. For tax efficiency, I would like to transfer part of ownership to my husband (I am a high rate taxpayer) before selling.

The Mortgage provider has no issue to add his name. My questions are:

1) if I pay down the mortgage to 80k eg chargeable consideration of 50% of ownership becomes 40k, then there is no SDLT to pay for 50% transfer, right? or alternatively

2) I keep the mortgage at the current level (120k) but transfer less percentage ownership say 1/3 to my husband to stay below 40k, there is also no SDLT to pay.

Do I understand it correctly?

Many thanks.




19:44 PM, 27th May 2022, About 4 months ago

All due respect to your solicitor, they are not tax specialists and have not even done basic research. This is from who have extracted it from HMRC. If they insist then contact your tax office.

"For transfers on and after 22 November 2017, the higher rates rules disregard transactions solely involving the transfer of interests between spouses or civil partners while they are treated as living together on the date of purchase. ‘Living together` takes the definition in section 1011 of the Income Tax Act 2007. A married couple or civil partners of each other are treated as living together unless they are separated under an order of a Court, or they are separated by a formal deed of separation, or they are in fact separated in such circumstances that the separation is likely to be permanent.

If (before or after the transaction takes place) someone other than the spouses or civil partners has an interest in the property, the transaction will still count as a higher rates transaction. For example, a transaction would not be disregarded where an interest owned by a wife and her otherwise unrelated business partner is transferred to her husband."

Source: HMRC - SDLT - higher rates for additional dwellings: purchasers with a spouse or civil partner"

Lisa Madle

21:03 PM, 27th May 2022, About 4 months ago

many thanks, where I can find a solicitor who has right understanding and do the equity transfer legal work for me? Even though a tax adviser tell me that with 80k mortgage no SDLT is due for 50% transfer he would not be the one carrying out the legal side of things and lender would not go any further without the details of my legal representative. So far I talked to two conveyance solicitors, first one said they do not do this type of work but only straight buy and sell; the 2nd one is above saying that we have to pay SDLT even transfer at 40k debt because my husband already joint own our main home. Any recommendation a good solicitor who can do 50% equity transfer with 80k mortgage outstanding and understand that no SDLT is due?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

21:20 PM, 27th May 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lisa Madle at 27/05/2022 - 21:03
Is this a freehold or a leasehold property?

Are you looking to keep it or sell it after doing this planning?

The most cost effective way to achieve you goals will be to use a Declaration of Trust. No need to involve mortgage lenders in that basis either.

The question is whether it’s worth the hassle and costs. Have you quantified the tax savings yet?


9:27 AM, 28th May 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 27/05/2022 - 21:20
OP says she wants to transfer before selling.

@Lisa - call a firm in your area which has trusts and residential property expertise (it'll be on their website) and ask the question. If they want your business I am sure you'll get a straight answer.

As Mark says, what are the comparative savings? If you save on CGT by transferring, you need to be sure you save more than the transfer is going to cost you (probably a good few hundred).


9:38 AM, 28th May 2022, About 4 months ago

You can send this link to your existing solicitor (conveyancer?) if you want to use them (I suggest not)

As long as the mortgage is less than £80K so the consideration is less than £40K, no SDLT


23:12 PM, 1st June 2022, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lisa Madle at 27/05/2022 - 21:03
I was recently quoted £400 + VAT for this - i.e. a deed of trust before I clarified that what I wanted was a 50% equity transfer to my wife because the property concerned was 100% unencumbered as there was no mortgage involved at which point the fee dropped in half.

You will need a deed of trust for your situation though.

I can recommend Charlene Jenkins at the Cross Hands office of

We have used her pretty well exclusively for over ten years now but the firm is pretty tightly focussed on conveyancing work so may not be up for just a deed of transfer that does not also involve a sale as well.

Still, it might be worth a try.

Note that they are very busy and so it may take several days to get a response from an email.

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