Simply Business homepage
  • Business insurance

    • Business Insurance FAQs

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Sign In
Call Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Knowledge Centre

Can you avoid stamp duty land tax surcharge on a buy-to-let if you’re a married couple?

1-minute read

Mollie Millman

23 June 2017

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Most landlords will be aware that you have to pay a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties – but what if your spouse already owns a property? Should you have to pay that surcharge if you want to buy a second property in your name?

According to the government, the answer to that question is yes.

Couples count as a single person for stamp duty

The rules of the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge due on second homes or investment properties state that ‘you may be viewed as the owner of a property if it’s owned by your spouse or civil partner.”

This means that even if the home that a couple lives in is only in one person’s name, the other partner will still have to pay the additional 3 per cent stamp duty that’s due on any investment properties.

However, there is one way to avoid this additional tax bill - and that’s if you’re divorced, although this is a rather extreme measure to take to lower your tax bill.

But are treated individual for other tax purposes

It has been years since the Government changed the law to treat wives as a separate person for income tax purposes, instead of as extensions of their husbands.

And yet, the Government is not applying the same approach to stamp duty paid on the purchase of property.

Get landlord news, guides, and resources straight to your inbox

Your email address will be used by Simply Business so that we can send you the latest guides, offers and tips. You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time. For more information, check out the Simply Business privacy policy.

What about non-married couples with a joint mortgage?

One way to avoid the stamp duty surcharge for non-married couples is via a process called ‘sole proprietor, joint borrower’.

This is where the property is purchased and owned by just one person, but the mortgage can be in joint names.

It is a process sometimes used where a lender’s minimum income requirement of £25,000 cannot be met. By taking into account both salaries, a lender’s affordability rules can be adhered to while the property is actually only owned by one person. At the same, the 3 per cent surcharge can be avoided.

Get set with tailored landlord cover

Over 200,000 UK landlord policies, a 9/10 customer rating and claims handled by an award-winning team. Looking to switch or start a new policy? Run a quick landlord insurance quote today.

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19 business support hub


Public liability insuranceBusiness insuranceProfessional indemnity insuranceEmployers liability insuranceLandlord insuranceTradesman insuranceCharity insuranceRestaurant insuranceCommercial van insuranceInsurers


About usOur teamAwardsPress releasesPartners & affiliatesOur charitable workModern Slavery ActSocial mediaSite map

Customer support

Contact & supportPolicy renewalMake a claimProof of policyComplaintsAccessibility


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ


Careers at Simply BusinessTech careersCurrent opportunities


BenefitsRefer a friendFinance


Terms & conditionsPrivacy policyCookie policyVuln Disclosure policy


Knowledge centreOpinionsMicrosites

© Copyright 2022 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.