Our success in a multiple-dwellings relief claim

Our success in a multiple-dwellings relief claim's Tags

Tags related to this article

Our success in a multiple-dwellings relief claim

Published 14 December 2020

We are pleased with our recent success at High Wycombe County Court in a case involving the alleged failure to advise on multiple-dwellings relief (MDR) during a residential conveyance in 2013. 

MDR is a way of reducing the Stamp Duty Land Tax to be paid when more than one “dwelling” is purchased. When the relief was introduced in 2011, the original guidance appeared to suggest that MDR would be available to those purchasing properties divided into self-contained units.

In this instance, the Claimants’ case focused on the argument that a small room (no larger than a dining room) with en-suite facilities attached to the main house constituted a separate dwelling for the purpose of MDR.

The claim was defended on a number of grounds and following a remote trial, Deputy District Judge Buttar dismissed the Claimants’ claim.

Of significance, DDJ Buttar considered the state of knowledge of a reasonably competent solicitor in 2013. She noted that the HMRC Impact Note on MDR from 2011 and the Law Society Conveyancing Handbook in 2013 made no mention of a single self-contained annexe or a single domestic property with a separate or adjoining annexe, qualifying for such a relief. This led DDJ Buttar to conclude that “this was a relief which a reasonable and competent solicitor exercising reasonable care and skill would not have thought was available to a self-contained annexe, whether or not the annexe within the property was self-contained.”

The decision of DDJ Buttar makes it clear that in 2013 a conveyancer would not have considered that MDR applied to annexes. The case is a helpful decision in defending these claims.

Authors

Sophie Ruffles

Sophie Ruffles

Newport

+44(0)1633 657624

Catrin Davies

Catrin Davies

Newport

+ 44 (0)1633 657682

Alex Erdmanis

Alex Erdmanis

Bristol

+44(0)117 918 2065

< Back to articles