Stamp Duty Rebate for Uninhabitable Property

Stamp duty can be one of the most expensive parts of buying a property in the UK. Not only do home buyers need to budget deposits, potential renovation costs, mortgage fees and more, but they also need to take into account stamp duty.

Stamp duty, also referred to as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax payable on properties and land bought in England and Northern Ireland. If you have purchased or are in the process of buying a property, and you believe it might be considered ‘uninhabitable’, then you may qualify for stamp duty exemptions.

Find out more with Stamp Duty Rebate below about what makes a property uninhabitable, and whether or not you might be eligible for a stamp duty rebate or exemption.

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Purchased a property with defects? Calculate how much Stamp Duty you may be able to claim back.

Use our handy calculator to see how much you may be able to claim back, should you be eligible for a rebate.


You may be eligible to receive a rebate of:

How is this calculated?

We estimate the Stamp Duty on your home would have been:

Residential: £0.00 (Effective 0.0%)

We could help you reduce the stamp duty paid to:

Non-Residential Rate: £0.00 (Effective 0.0%)

The total rebate you will receive is calculated as the difference between the Stamp Duty you originally paid, and the lower non-residential rate.

A Stamp Duty Expert will contact you for a free, non-obligatory assessment of your potential claim.


Who Is Exempt From Paying Stamp Duty?

HMRC collects stamp duty tax on behalf of the government. How much stamp duty you pay will depend on if you own other properties, are a first-time buyer, and where and how much the property is worth. Generally, stamp duty is payable on properties or land worth over £250,000. Those that own additional properties will also be charged a 3% surcharge on payable stamp duty.

Conversely, those that buy uninhabitable properties may be exempt from paying the stamp duty surcharge or entitled to a stamp duty refund of the amount paid. Likewise, those that purchase second homes yet sell their main residence within years are also entitled to a stamp duty rebate on the 3% surcharge.

Discover more with Stamp Duty Rebate to see whether or not you are exempt from paying stamp duty, or if you are entitled to a stamp duty refund for an uninhabitable property.

What Makes a Property Uninhabitable in the UK?

An uninhabitable property, by general definition, is one which is not fit for dwelling (or everyday living). While HMRC does not provide a clear definition for an uninhabitable property, under the Housing Act of 1967 in order for a property to be deemed habitable it must have the necessary facilities to meet basic living needs. For instance, a bathroom (for hygiene reasons) and a kitchen or cooking area (for basic living purposes).

A property may, therefore, be deemed uninhabitable if there are:

  • Presence of mould or asbestos
  • An unsafe electrical system
  • No clean running water
  • Unsafe chemicals present
  • Structural damage (either external or internal)
  • Nothing in place to keep the property weather-proof (e.g. an appropriate roof)
  • Animal, plant or insect infestations

There are, however, other factors which may deem a property not fit for dwelling, or everyday basic living. Keep in mind, however, that properties which are bought for renovation purposes that are deemed habitable at the time of purchase will not be entitled to a stamp duty refund.

Do You Pay Stamp Duty on an Uninhabitable Property?

Yes. You still pay stamp duty even if a property is considered uninhabitable. However, you may be entitled to a discounted rate of stamp duty as the property is deemed ‘non-residential’. Non-residential properties, generally, pay less stamp duty. 

Furthermore, if you have paid any stamp duty on an uninhabitable property, you may be entitled to a refund on some stamp duty paid and the 3% surcharge you may have paid if you already own other properties.

Am I Entitled to a Stamp Duty Refund?

Stamp Duty Rebate, as experts in the field of stamp duty refunds, can help you discover whether you are owed thousands of pounds from HMRC. Stamp duty is expensive, and is one of the largest expenses for those purchasing homes or land in the UK. Therefore, our team can help find out, on your behalf, whether you are entitled to a stamp duty refund. 

Typically, those that purchased properties which were deemed not fit for dwelling, or uninhabitable, at the time of purchase are entitled to a stamp duty refund. Exemptions, nevertheless, are not always clear-cut and so it is important to always consider if you are entitled to a stamp duty refund.

Recent claims

How much can I expect to get back should my claim be valid and approved?

Every case is different. In some cases, we were able to arrange a rebate of up to 60% of the original SDLT paid. Some of the cases that we’ve successfully claimed refunds for:

Steven B Primary Residence
Rebate Received £9,337.00
Purchase price £1,100,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £53,750.00
Gary H Primary Residence
Rebate Received £26,795.00
Purchase price £1,485,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £89,750.00
Matt S Buy to Let
Rebate Received £8,817.35
Purchase price £274,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £11,920.00
Ben G Primary Residence
Rebate Received £17,397.00
Purchase price £1,260,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £69,750.00
Zev S Buy to Let
Rebate Received £13,044.95
Purchase price £410,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £22,800.00
Ashkey P Buy to Let
Rebate Received £2,502.33
Purchase price £82,500.00
Stamp Duty Paid £2,475.00
Sophia L Primary Residence
Rebate Received £42,478.00
Purchase price £1,680,000.00
Stamp Duty Paid £115,350.00
Jonathan P Buy to Let
Rebate Received £2,340.51
Purchase price £77,500.00
Stamp Duty Paid £2,325.00

How Can I Apply for a Stamp Duty Refund on an Uninhabitable Property?

To find out if you are owed a stamp duty refund then you can get in touch with us today at Stamp Duty Rebate. Filing a tax return to HMRC 12 months after the purchase is completed will increase your chances of a refund. Nevertheless, if you’ve purchased one in the last 4 years you may also be entitled to a stamp duty refund.

You can file a stamp duty refund to HMRC by yourself, by filling out an online form or by sending the form by post. However, this can be time-consuming and potentially confusing for some. That’s why our team here at Stamp Duty Rebate aims to make this process as easy as possible. All you need to do is provide us with some basic information regarding yourself and the uninhabitable property bought, and we will get back to you shortly.

We have a team of dedicated workers, all experienced in their fields from tax to surveying, which will ensure your stamp duty rebate is completed. We operate on a No Win No Fee basis and have claimed back hundreds of thousands of pounds already for homebuyers in the UK.

We make stamp duty rebates easy, fast and secure. Find out today if you are owed thousands by HMRC, and get the money you deserve.

Frequently asked questions

What qualifies as a defect?

In 2019, a First Tier Tribunal heard a case known as ‘The Bewley Case’ (P N Bewley Ltd v HMRC [2019] TC6951) that set further legal precedence for reducing high rates of Stamp Duty. Bewley successfully argued that, since his property suffered from substantial defects at the time of purchase, he should have been charged the non-residential rate of stamp duty, rather than the higher residential rate.

The Tribunal ruled that where a residential property was unsuitable for use as a dwelling, the lower non-residential rate of stamp duty should have been applied. We can advance claims based on the following (non-exhaustive list of) defects:

  • Defective Heating System
  • Unsafe Electrics
  • Damp/Mould/Rot
  • Structural Issue
  • Non-operational Bathroom or Kitchen
  • Subsidence
  • Asbestos
  • Severe Roof Leaks

If you purchased a residential property which suffered from any of the above, or similar defects, you might be eligible for a stamp duty rebate.

What do I need to prepare for my SDLT rebate assessment?

You would need to provide us with some of the legal documents received from your solicitor at the time of purchase; SDLT5 Certificate, TR1, Sales Contract, and Completion Statement. 

We would also require relevant evidence such as surveys, repair invoices and images.

What are your fees in the case of a successful SDLT refund claim?

We operate on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. 

In the case of a successful claim, our service charge is 30% + VAT of the total rebate and interest received. Our minimum fee is £1,000 + VAT.

HMRC has an allowance to revisit claims within 9 months of pay-outs. We fully indemnify claims and, where we are unsuccessful in defending a challenge from HMRC, we return, not only the 30% +VAT fee paid to us but also any interest or penalties levied by HMRC within these 9 months. This is a unique part of our service.

How long can I claim after purchasing a property?

HMRC won’t accept stamp duty rebate claims for property purchases that took place more than 4 years ago.

What makes a property uninhabitable in Scotland?

Scotland and Wales have their own SDLT rules. Consult the appropriate government websites for the latest stamp duty rules.