My client is one of two trustees of an interest in possession trust where the main asset is the residential property of the life tenant. The life tenant is the only person who is entitled to benefit from the property/fund and thus the trustees have no beneficial interest.
My client wishes to purchase her own home (main and only residence) but has been advised by her conveyancer that as she is a trustee of another property then she will be subject to the higher level SDLT on the purchase of her own. I disagree as she does not have any beneficial interest in the trust asset, she is simply a trustee.
Please could you clarify the position? I would agree if they were purchasing the new property in their capacity as trustees as an asset for the trust – but even then, from my understanding and interpretation of the FA 2016 it would be the beneficiary of the settlement, rather than the trustee, who would be treated as the purchaser and therefore be liable for the SDLT.
I agree with you as the individual is purchasing as an individual and not in her capacity as a trustee. The matter is however put beyond doubt by paragraph 11, Schedule 4ZA FA 2003 which treats the beneficiary as holding the interest in the trust dwelling leaving the individual who is also the trustee to purchase her dwelling without also being treated as owning the trust dwelling.