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Stamp Duty Land Tax: Multiple Dwelling Relief Abolished (Budget 2024)


Home / Insights / Stamp Duty Land Tax: Multiple Dwelling Relief Abolished (Budget 2024) 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has officially announced the abolition of Multiple Dwelling Relief (MDR) for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), effective from 1st June 2024. 

For those who have already exchanged contracts on or before 6th March 2024, the relief will still be available, regardless of when they complete. However, any contracts entered into after 6th March 2024 can only benefit from MDR if they complete before 1st June 2024. 

What is Multiple Dwelling Relief? 

Introduced in 2011, Multiple Dwelling Relief (MDR) aimed to stimulate investment in residential properties, bolstering the institutional rental and housing sector by offering Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) relief for multiple purchases. 

MDR works by applying SDLT rates based on the average price of each dwelling rather than the total chargeable consideration.  

By taking the average price of each dwelling, MDR enables investors to purchase multiple residential properties to pay SDLT on the average price of one dwelling. SDLT costs are usually higher the higher the property price, however, this relief has led to significant SDLT savings

MDR was available for qualifying land transactions in relation to the following purchases: 

1.At least two or more dwellings in a single transaction; or 

2.A single dwelling if it is one of several linked transactions. 

A ‘linked’ transaction is when two or more property transactions involve the same buyer and seller (or persons connected with them). However, it should be noted that MDR does not apply to mixed-use/commercial properties. 

When acquiring additional properties, a 3% SDLT surcharge is levied on each additional residential property. However, exemptions exist, such as purchasing a dwelling due to life events like separation or divorce. Additionally, properties with mixed commercial and residential use, such as flats above shops or offices, are exempt from the 3% SDLT surcharge. 

Why has Multiple Dwelling Relief been abolished? 

Following a 2021 consultation on MDR, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) conducted research revealing that MDR did not significantly support or impact the residential property investor market.  

The government found that while MDR provided SDLT savings, its application was subjective. Some buyers exploited the relief with “incorrect and abusive claims,” leading to numerous MDR cases being brought to the tax tribunal.n 

What does this mean for the property market? 

The abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief is expected to have a profound effect on industry investment, according to the British Property Federation. Although this change curbs the exploitation of MDR, it will likely adversely affect genuine developers and investors aiming to expand their property portfolios. 

However, the government anticipates minimal macroeconomic impact, as investors purchasing at least six dwellings can still benefit from lower non-residential SDLT rates. 

It remains to be seen how this decision will shape the real estate market in the coming months, with speculation about a potential surge in investors rushing to complete purchases before the 1st June 2024 deadline. 

Contact Our Commercial Real Estate Solicitors

For more information or advice on Commercial Real Estate matters, contact Associate Solicitor Jane Kaprata on 020 8138 8129 or via email at 

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