The official Government Help to Buy website
The Government’s standard rules and procedures for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) apply to all Help to Buy purchases.
SDLT is payable at the time of purchase, on the full purchase price of the home. That is, the amount paid by you (the first mortgage and any cash contribution) plus the value of the Help to Buy loan.
There is no further SDLT to pay on any ‘staircasing’ repayments or repayment when the home is sold.
You should budget for SDLT on the full open market price of the property when you purchase a Help to Buy home.
Because Help to Buy: equity loan homes are generally on new developments (and may still be under construction), in common with most new home sales, you will normally be expected to arrange a mortgage and exchange contracts within one month of paying your reservation fee.
Your moving in date may depend on the time required to complete construction work – this will vary from scheme to scheme. Some Help to Buy applicants may need to wait for a longer period of time for a home that matches very specific needs whereas others may buy from a development that allows you to move in earlier.
No. If you can afford to purchase another home you will have to repay the Help to Buy: Equity Loan.
The property purchased must be your only residence. Help to Buy is not available to assist buy-to-let investors or those who will own any property other than their Help to Buy property after completing their purchase.
You cannot rent out your existing home and buy a second home through Help to Buy.
Applicants who make fraudulent claims for Help to Buy assistance will be liable to criminal prosecution. Fraudulent claims will always require immediate repayment of the equity loan.
Not without permission from the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent. Further advances must be approved by the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent.
Advances to be used for repaying the equity loans in part (staircasing) or full will usually be welcomed and approved. Advances for other purposes will be considered by the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent on a case by case basis (see question below regarding extending or altering the property).
You may be able to transfer your mortgage to another lender taking part in the scheme following scheme following prior permission from the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent. However, you must ensure your new lender is informed that your home is a Help to Buy property with a second charge entitling the Homes and Communities Agency to a share of the future sale proceeds. You should note that not all lenders will accept a remortgage where there is already an equity loan in place.
The Post Sales Help to Buy Agent may decline permission for further advances or transfer to another lender if after assessment they consider you may be putting yourself in an unsustainable financial position.
Not without permission. Because Help to Buy is designed to help people move on to or up the housing ladder, you should consider repaying part or all of the Homes and Communities Agency’s contribution before making plans for improvements or alterations. This is because the Agency is seeking to help future aspiring buyers and may use the proceeds of these repayments to make more assistance available. Therefore, consent will not usually be granted for significant home improvements. The Post Sales Help to Buy Agent will act reasonably in considering any application and will review cases of hardship if, for example, property modifications are required for a disability.
When your property is sold in the future, if improvements have been made with the approval of the Post Sales Help to Buy Agent, these will be ignored when your property is valued to work out how much should be repaid to the Agency.
Fees can be paid in a single yearly payment or in monthly instalments.
The Post Sales Help to Buy Agent will collect your fee by direct debit or standing order. They will contact you at least a month before your fees are due, to set up your repayment arrangement. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, you will pay an additional administration charge (currently £4 per month).
You will also receive a statement each year confirming when your fees are payable. The annual statement will also show any payments you have made once you start paying the fee.
This depends on whether you bought your home alone or with others.
If you bought the house/flat on your own and you die, the home will be passed on in the normal way under the terms of your will and the payments explained in this guide will be made by your estate in accordance with the scheme. If you have not made a will it will pass under the laws of intestacy.
It is recommended that a sole buyer seeks independent legal advice about this.
If you bought your home with others and one of them dies, their interest in the property will either be transferred to the surviving co-owner (s) or will pass under the terms of their will, or (if there is no will) the laws of intestacy.
It is recommended that where there are two or more owners, they seek independent legal advice about this.